Hidden away from all the chaos, is a destination named Ladakh. With amazing people and mesmerizing landscapes, words cannot begin to describe the true beauty of this ancient town. Featuring a Buddhist style and culture, Ladakh is a haven of nature and tranquillity. The exquisite mountain ranges and cultural diversification makes it a perfect destination for anyone wishing to get away from reality. Ladakh, also featuring a Tibetan style of architecture, is also full of monasteries, making it perfect for a spiritual retreat. The prehistoric culture, the colourful art, the vibrant festivals, everything leaves you in awe of the place. Safe to say, it will be different from any of the destination you have ever been to.
Famous for road trips all over, Ladakh has enough to offer every soul. The colourful flags with ancient scriptings, the heap ranges, the landscape, the people. Ladakh is almost always at the top of every traveller’s bucket list.
Telecom communication: Only post paid networks work in Ladakh, pre paids do not work, Also there is a very inefficient internet network in the area so try not to depend so much on it.
Acute Mountain Sickness: One of the biggest challenge and threat to travelers visiting Ladakh is that of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Acute Mountain Sickness occurs due to scarcity of oxygen at high altitude, and inability of our bodies to adjust to low oxygen content in air. Do make it a point to rest if you have any symptoms of AMS like : dizziness, nausea, headache, fast heart rate, apnea, sleeping difficulty & vomiting. There is more likeliness of flight passengers to Leh to have these symptoms.
Identification: Keep multiple photocopies of your driving license, PUC, insurance, vehicle registration papers and PAN, voter-id card or passport. You will find it is far easier to go through military checkpoints if you have everything ready.
Physical preparedness & acclimitization: Your body should be physically conditioned to deal with tough weather conditions and unexpected situations. A rigorous workout regime that includes breathing exercises can help you better survive high altitude places with limited oxygen supply. Also AMS or acute mountain sickness is a phenomenon that hits almost every traveler. You can potentially reduce its severity by staying in Leh for a day or two to allow your body to get used to the high altitude mountain conditions before proceeding upwards.
Route 1: Manali - Keylong - Leh
Covering a distance of 490km have an unforgettable experience on the Ladakh road trip. Tandi(113kms from Manali) is the only village on Manali-Leh highway which has a petrol pump. The next petrol pump is 365 kms away in Leh. Overnight stay at Keylong is advised because the next major accommodation will be at Sarchu or Pang but spending the night at that altitude is generally uncomfortable owing to AMS.
Total Distance: 490 Kms
Best Time to Visit: June to September
Route Map: Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang - Tanglang La – Gya - Upshi - Karu – Leh
Route 2: Srinagar - Leh
On the Srinagar to Leh trip, you will visit beautiful villages, war memorial, Himalayan valleys, a mountain top Gurudwara, monasteries and more. Covering a distance of 434 kms, this trip lets you understand the true majesty of Mother nature’s creations.
Total Distance: 434 Kms
Best Time to Visit: Highway generally opens on early May to late October (Depends on the weather)
Route Map:Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh
Buses run from Leh to the surrounding villages. Often overcrowded. Daily buses or mini buses run to Alchi, Basgo, Dha-Hanu, Likir, Nimmu, and Saspul; twice daily to Chemray, Hemis, Matho, Stok, and Tak Tok, hourly or more often to Choglamsar, Phyang, Shey, Spituk, Stakna, Thiksay.
You will find in Leh a number of local taxis, that will take you to the surrounding monasteries much faster and more comfortably than Public transport. Rates are fairly steep compared to elsewhere in India.
By bike rental
In Leh there are a number of shops that will lend motorbikes on rent, mostly the Royal Enfields. Rents are fairly cheap, it is certainly a great way to move around and far cheaper than local taxis.
On footConnect with the local aura of the town by preferring on foot travelling to nearby areas. The towns in this area are small in sizes individually which essentially means all the necessary things are at a walking distance.