Ladakh tourism: Things to do in this wild land of wonders

Some of the most stunning landscapes in India can be found in one place, Ladakh where there are many natural wonders. The tricky terrain of Ladakh has kept it a secret from tourists until recently. Now it stands as one of the most enchanting locales in the country with some of the finest experiences this spectacular land has to offer and plenty of places for tourists to explore.

1. A True Attraction
One of the most intriguing occurrences in the world is the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, which is located 30 kilometres from Leh. Here, switched off vehicles move up a steep mountain at the speed of 20 kilometres/hour. The ride is an unbelievable, almost magical experience.

2. Trekking Trails
Trekking in Ladakh is an exceptional and incomparable experience. Choose from all-day treks as well as shorter ones to manoeuvre mountain slopes and reach a remote village or monastery. Longer treks can last up to 21 days and sometimes even more. These spectacular but testing trans-mountain journeys will offer up some of the most dazzling landscapes in the world and involve camping in the middle of nowhere. Treks limited to the Indus Valley, are possible to arrange in May and other routes are safe and accessible after July. A route called Chaddar is considered one the world’s most exciting trekking trails. Irrespective of what trail you choose, prior arrangements and supplies are essential. The terrain is tricky and deceptive, and you should not make the mistake of underestimating the conditions.

ladakh-attraction-treks

3. River Rafting
Rafting options are widely available on River Indus and many of its tributaries. The stretch between Spituk and Saspol is the most suitable for rides and the ideal location for tourists to experience the sport without pushing their luck. Beyond Saspol, even ardent adventure seekers would require highly skilled professionals to guide the journey. The most tumultuous route is between Padum and Nimo. To take on this journey, advance preparation is imperative. Even with professional guides and participants, rescue crews are a pre-requisite when taking on the mighty Zanskar.

ladakh-attraction-river-rafting

4. Photographer’s Paradise
Ladakh is considered one of the most stunning places in India for photography, if not the best. Even though, or perhaps because it was, opened to the general public only in 1974, it is not over-exposed and has mystique. In just the last decade its elusive beauty has become the toast of the film making and photography world. Photographers brave the long journey to reach far flung corners of Ladakh and capture its unreal beauty of film. Ladakh’s natural terrain resembles lunar landscapes with spurts of azure pools set within golden mountain-sides. To take back images of the local life in Ladakh, opt for one of the communal homestays here. These are homestays where the entire village operates as a team to promote eco-tourism. These native villagers have access to the beautiful local monasteries and by staying with them you can obtain an insider’s view into rituals and festivals; a priceless experience.

5. Drives of a lifetime
A trip to Ladakh is incomplete if one hasn’t driven on the Manali-Leh route. This journey is possible the best part of a trip to Ladakh. The journey is set along breath-taking locales. Driving isn’t the only option of undertaking this journey, private taxis can also be hired in Manali to reach Leh. More often than not, taxi drivers can be cajoled into letting guests take the wheel. The route of Delhi-Manali-Leh is significantly longer than a Delhi-Leh flight. But without a shadow of a doubt it is worth the extra time and money spent. Another unbelievable driving route is in Khardungla. At 18380 above sea level this the highest motorable road in the world and offers the most splendid and incomparable vistas to visitors.

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6. Life in Leh
Leh is famous for the Victory Peak, which was built in the 16th century by King Tashi Namgyal. A very important religious and historical monument Leh’s Sunni Mosque that is over 400 years old. Other than due to its age, the mosque is important because it a rare amalgam of Islamic and Tibetan architecture. Most Buddhist monasteries in Leh can be covered within two days. An idyllic way to experience the real life and culture of Leh is by living with a local family. Many families have opened their homes to visitors as homestays. By staying with them, one can experience Leh’s rich culture through food, music, and conversation as well as learn about their history through elders who have lived it first-hand.

Find out about booking a hometay in Ladakh.

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