On Earth there is no heaven, but there are places of it. – Jules Renard
One such place is Ladakh, a region in Jammu and Kashmir which is commonly named as a land of high passes. Its history is closely related to the history of Tibet. Leh, the capital of Ladakh is a beautiful place which follows the Tibetan and Buddhist culture. Ladakh is a very friendly place and you will fall in love with the people and their hospitality.
A trip to Ladkah and its capital Leh can be a mesmerizing experience for anyone. Although, any number of days can be less to see and feel the beauty for this place, still it would be nice to plan a 6 nights 7 days trip if one is travelling till Leh via flight. All the flights to and from Leh are in the morning. No flight reaches and flies to/from Leh after noon.
Nearest airport: Leh
One can find reasonable hotels in the premises of Leh if the bookings are done in advance, at least 3-4 months prior to the visit.
Recommended Hotel: Dragon and Grand Dragon
Both these hotels are situated near to the airport, around 15 minutes travel time via car. If one wants to have a luxurious stay then
Hotel Grand Dragon is a perfect place. It is a hotel where the actors and ministers stay while their visit to Ladakh. Its chain hotel Dragon is also a small and nice hotel which relatively cheaper prices. The hospitality and food of this hotel is simply amazing. A well mannered staff with neat and clean premises makes Dragon a big name among the hotels of Leh.
The transfers to the various spots can be easily planned and managed with the help of the hotel staff. They arrange a cab with a chauffeur who will act as your guide for the entire trip. One can get ready, have breakfast in the hotel and bored the cab to see the paradise on Earth.
For the adventurous tourists, bikes are easily available on cheap rents. Don’t forget to keep your driving license with you, otherwise they will not allow you to take the bike. Keep things with you to cover mouth and ears covered to save you from the high pressure winds. You will be amazed to see the hilarious road signs managed by the BRO (Border Roads Organisation).
One will reach the hotel by at max noon. As Ladakh is a high altitude and low oxygen region, it is adviced to have rest on the very first day of the trip. One can relax in the hotel and enjoy the hotel premises on the very first day. Also, do keep water and energy drinks with you while travelling in Ladakh. To utilize the entire day, one can visit the local Tibetan market near to the hotel itself. The market is huge and one can get souvenirs, handmade embroidery T- hirts, Buddha idols, Tibetan junk jewelry, Ladakhi kurtas, wall hangings, hangings with Tibetan prayers, ponchos, shrugs, shawls and many more such items at a very reasonable price. Once can easily bargain if buying items in bulk. While roaming in the market, one can enjoy the momos and the fresh
apricots. All the dry fruits are also available in the market at very cheap prices.
The major attractions which make Ladakh a heaven on Earth are:
Zanskar and Ladakh Mountain Ranges:
These mountain ranges will accompany you through your entire trip to Ladakh. The steep terrains, some of which are covered with snow and the loud sound of the rivers rushing through these mountains give a fantastic view. One can actually shout in these ranges to hear the echo of the voice.
The utmost reason to visit Ladakh is to take a break from the busy everyday schedule. Visit the Shanti Stupa, a perfect place to find some peace from the hassled life of the busy cities. The night view of this stupa is just amazing.
It is observed that if one leaves the vehicle without break at the base of the hill, it will start moving up the hill slowly on its own. The science behind this phenomenon is unknown till date.
Pangong TSO Lake:
The lake famous as the 3 Idiots lake, is a breathtaking and unending beautiful lake stretching from India to Bhutan. The water of the lake is so clear and one can actually see the different shades of blue in it. It is an awesome site for camping. There are many food joints named after 3 Idiots movie and its characters.
It is the highest motor able road in Ladakh. Once you reach this point, you will feel the extremely high pressure of air. The winds can make you feel chilling to the bones. Being at such a great height, one needs to take a good care of his/her health. You will find a lot of colourful Tibetan flags here. The white snow and the colourful flags make a beautiful contrast.
Ladakh is a land of monasteries. There are various monasteries which one can visit during the Ladakh visit. Some of them are:
Spituk: The monastery famous for its location at the top of a hill.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa: The monastery visited by Dalai Lama is famous for its Buddha statue.
Hemis: The biggest monastery of Ladakh which hosts a Hemis festival in the month of July. The masked parade is the major highlight and sacred ritual of this monastery.
Lamayuru: Visit this monastery to have a night in the lap of nature with numerous stars above you. The time of the shooting stars is the best time to visit and feel the beauty of the place.
Likir: Visit this place to see the beautiful wooden work.
This is the surprise element for your visit to Ladakh. It is actually a desert which will give you an Arabian nights experience. The sand dunes and two humped camels are the major highlight of the trip to Nubra valley.
The Leh Palace built by Namgyal King in the 17th century is a 9 stories high building. It offers a panoramic
view of the entire Ladkah.
Zanskar river, famous for the Chadar trek. One can trek over the frozen rivers safely in the month of November. While in the summer months, one can enjoy the water rafting. Even if you do it in summers, the water will be too chilled to freeze you up.
Hall of Fame:
The museum constructed and well maintained by the Indian Army. It is in the memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak wars.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib:
A beautiful Gurudwara well maintained by the Indian army. It has a great story behind its construction which the army men will let you know. Enjoy the langar and tea at this place.
Leh Ladakh is must place to visit for the photograph lovers. The Astro photographers can click the scenic beauty of the milky way at the night time. The clear night sky with uncountable stars gives a mesmerizing view.
So, next time if you are planning a trip then Ladakh can be the best and must place for you to visit.
This article is contributed by Chetna Khanna on Sun Sep 18 2016 00:45:14 GMT+0530 (IST)
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