Ladakh is located on the highest plateau of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has its altitude scaled at 3000m (9800ft). It is located at the point where the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges meet along the upper Indus River valley. Primarily Buddhist, the region is famous for its dramatic vistas of high mountain deserts, ancient monasteries and stark landscape populated by explosions of greenery made possible through ingenious irrigation channels.
The capital Leh is a thriving and bustling town where tourists from across India and the world over visit every year mostly between the months of June and September.
An exploration of Ladakh can take a lifetime but if you have only a week or two to stay, it’s as good a time as any to begin that journey.
Raft down the Zanskar and Indus, take a mountain bike trip up to the Khardung La, trek the Markha Valley, climb any one of the hundreds of peaks of the East Karakoram mountain range and spend time in the ancient monasteries which are priceless repositories of Tibetan Buddhist knowledge and wisdom.
And when you come once, we hope you will keep coming back for more.
While runners train for their races, family members and friends have the opportunity to explore the area around Leh and participate in a variety of activities including rafting, trekking, mountain biking and cultural sightseeing.
Trekking is a popular activity in Ladakh. The different valleys around Leh offer a lot of opportunities to the outdoor enthusiast . From a day’s trek in the side valleys around Leh , one can trek from a 3 day to a week or even longer the valleys of Markha, Nubra, Zanskar , Sham, Tsomoriri.
A day’s rafting trip can be organised on the Indus and Zanskar rivers out of Leh. The most popular stretch on the Indus is between Phey and Nemo – a fun section with easy class 2+rapids (depends on the water levels). In September, even the Zanskar river is tamer and rafting on this section is fun with bigger rapids. This trip begins either from Chilling ( for the more adventurous) or Skorpochey and ends in Nemo after the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers.
Indus Himalaya, Splash Adventure, Luna Tours and Rimo Expeditions are the recognised Rafting Operators in Leh.
Mountain biking is a fun and environment friendly way to explore the surroundings of Leh . From monasteries to small villages taking the less travelled link roads and soaking in the spectacular landscape, one can take the challenge of mountain biking up to Khardungla pass at 5370 or drive up to the pass and roll downhill to Leh. One can hire bikes for a day or longer from mountain bike rental stores like:
Cultural Tours And Sightseeing
Ladakh is a place where Tibetan Buddhism has thrived for centuries and its rich cultural heritage can be seen from its ancient monasteries and palaces spread across. One can visit Thiksey early morning to witness the daily prayer ceremony as well as famous monasteries like Hemis, Matho, Stakna , all which lie close to Leh. Further down the Indus , west of Leh lies Alchi, Lamayuru, Ridzong, Likir and day trips can be made or one can spend a night at Alchi or Lamayuru and visit this side of the valley. The ALTOA website www.ladakhaltoa.com has a list of registered Tour Operators.