TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN LADAKH THAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST
- Cycle or take a Bike Trip to Khardung La:
How much do you love a challenge? Up for an adventure at the world’s highest motorable road? Bike trips are difficult, even on plain terrain. Imagine trying that out in the mountains, at 18,000 ft. above the sea level! It would be an achievement, no less. So take that risk and boast off your accomplishment in the years to come!
Best time to visit: April-June and September-October
- Bactrian Camel Ride at Nubra Valley Desert:
You must have had a dromedary camel safari, if you have been to a hot desert. But ever rode on a two-humped, better called a ‘bactrian camel’? This species is indegenous to Central Asia and would serve as a vital means of transport in the cold desert of the Silk Route. Recently, the Bactrian Camel safari has turned out to be a major attraction in the rugged terrains of the Nubra Valley.
Cost of the ride: INR 150 per 15 minutes (Excluding photography and entry charges)
- Chemrey Monastery:
Ladakh is known for its spirituality, due to the number of Buddhist Monasteries present in the region. If you are in need for some soul searching and would like to visit a monastery with minimal human presence, this is the one. A 400 hundred years old, the monastery was established by monks of the Drugpa order and hosts the beautiful and sacred Chamrey Angchok Festival.
Best time to visit: November, during the Chamrey Angchok Festival.
- Hemis Festival:
The biggest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, during this festival when natives gather around in traditional attires while Lamas dance around to the tunes of drums, cymbals and long horns, bringing life and vibrancy into the barren desert. This is one of the things you should definitely be a part of, if you happen to be in Ladakh in June. The highlight of the festival is the ‘Chham Dance’ and the sacred plays that celebrate good over evil.
When it will take place: June 30- July 1, 2020
- What to do in Ladakh if not eat yak cheese:
Even if you don’t happen to be a foodie, you should definitely keep this on your must-do-things-in-Ladakh list. Having momos in the mountains is a cliche but not that of yak cheese. Even if it may sound bizarre, but this is a thing and it is delicious. Known as ‘chhurpi’, it tastes nothing like your usual chicken momo and will leave you yearning for more.
- Hot steaming cup of butter tea:
Traditionally prepared from tea leaves, yak butter, water and salt, having a cup of steaming butter tea is one of the best things to do in Ladakh. Known as ‘gur gur’ in the local language, it is therapeutic to the freezing cold climate. Wrap yourself in a comforter on the terrace with a cup of butter tea and watch the sun go down the mountains. You would never want to leave.
You can get it almost anywhere in Ladakh but the best ‘gur gur’ is rumoured to be found in Hemis Gompa.
- Activities to do in Ladakh-visiting a Pashmina Mill
If you have watched Jodha Akbar or read the Mughal history, you would know what we are talking about. Deriving its name from Persia, pashmina is a kind of cashmere wool, believed to have been worn by royalty due to its high price. While you are in Ladakh, make sure to visit a Pashmina mill to see the works of the shawl, which have been a status symbol since centuries in the country.
Suggestion: Nomadic Wooden Mill
- The defiance of gravity: Magnetic Hill
An act of nature, a science or a pull to heaven? As you reach the signboard of BRO stating the Magnetic Hill to be in range, park your vehicle in neutral and witness the miracle to nature pulling your vehicle upward. There are many theories to explain this unnatural phenomenon but no one has been able to validate any. Wouldn’t you want to go and experience this spookiness for yourself?
- River Rafting in Zanskar River:
River rafting at the world’s highest and one of the most difficult rivers in India definitely is among our must-do activities in Ladakh. At a height of 16,000 meters above sea level, the Zanskar river rafting is a grade 4, being the second toughest after Rishikesh. The same river is used as ‘Chadar Trek’ during winter when the water is frozen. Experience the adventure of a lifetime amidst towering mountains, ancient canyons and hued monasteries.
- Stargaze from Lamayuru Monastery:
Stargazing with your lover by your side, trying to identify the constellations- hits right at heart, right? So while you are in Ladakh, be sure to visit the Lamayuru Monastery, the moonland of Ladakh. Clear skies make it the perfect destination for camping and night photography. If you are going with a group of your friends, make a bonfire and share your tales, never to forget the moments.
- Take an evening stroll in Leh market:
What good is a vacation if you did not explore the marketplaces? Your closed ones would be disappointed if you came back empty handed. Leh markets won’t is exquisite, with pashmina and Kashmiri rugs to Central Asian spices and everything else. You either burn a hole in your pocket in a tourist place such as Leh or leave unscathed with your amazing negotiation. But it is always fun to take an evening stroll and watch the life of the busy sellers and tourists from all over the world go by.
- Maggie at the mountains:
What have you even done if you haven’t eaten a plate of maggie at in the Himalayas? Eating hot cup noodles in a mountainous region has its own charm and maggie is just our favourite snack for the winter. No matter how cliche it gets, we must have that instagram story of maggie on the hands and mountains in the background.
- Camping near Pangong Lake:
Although camping beside Pangong Lake has been banned recently, due to the waste humans are disposing, there are camping sites located near the lake, at a few metres’ distance. Enjoy camping under the starry sky, have a bonfire party by the lakeside or a barbeque! Getting enough goals for your trip?