The Ladakh region is ecologically and culturally unique. It has a topography that is very different from India and is home to enormous mineral reserves. The extremely fragile and cold desert ecosystem of the regions has meant that its inhabitants have a very adaptive lifestyle. The Ladakhi cuisine is known for momos and Thukpa. The primary language of the region is Bhoti and the Ladakhi culture has a rich tradition of songs and poems. The region is settled by tribes and races. Visiting and exploring this heaven on earth is a dream for everyone. While some wish to take a more adventurous route and plan a Ladakh bike trip, others rely on Ladakh tour package and plan a Ladakh road trip and explore it in cars. Ladakh is called paradise on Earth because of its breathtaking beauty, stunning landscapes, calm and serene lakes, lush green pastures, and barren deserts. A person who is still young at heart and dreams to absorb the beauty of this dreamland can travel to this place. The offerings of Ladakh have been enlisted below.
Ladakh: A Gateway To Peace
The region of Ladakh is an ancient abode of Buddhism. This beautiful place is dotted with historic monasteries dating back centuries. 5 monasteries that you must visit include the following:
Spituk Monastery- Founded somewhere between 1040-1050 by Odde. The elder brother of Lha Lama Changchun Of, Geluppa order was introduced in the 15th century, since then the Yellow Hat sect has continued in the monastery. There is a huge statue of Kali situated in the Poldon Lamo temple on the highest level.
Lamayuru Monastery– It is counted as one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. It organized two annual festivals in the 2nd and 5th months of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The Monastery is famous for its rich collection of murals, thangkas, wall paintings, scriptures, and statues. Lamayuru monastery is very picturesque and it is the dream of every photographer to capture this monastery.
Alchi Monastery- It is unique as it is built on the flat ground unlike other monasteries of Ladakh that are built on top of hills. The monastic complex consists of several temples and charters, which belong to different periods. This monastery is visited by every traveler who takes a journey to Ladakh.
Thiksey Monastery- It houses the largest statue of Maitreya Buddha in Leh. It offers incredible views of the Indus Valley, the Matho Gompa in the east, Stok palace in the south, and Shey palace towards the west. It is known for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in its architecture. Adorning the walls of the Monastery are Murals, stone reliefs, Thangkas, swords, statues, and stupas.
Hemis Monastery- Hemis festival is the major Buddhist festival and marks the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. There is a sacred hermitage founded by the great Gyalwa Kutsang where in the cave, his footprint and handprint on the rock are available for a visit.
Apart from these, there are other monasteries as well like the Stakna Monastery, Deskit Monastery, Chemday Monastery, Likir Monastery, and Phyang Monastery.
Ladakh bike trip
A bike trip to Ladakh is a desire for many. It is a trip where you ride through spine-tingling roads during the day and dance your night away under the stars. During a bike trip, you will have a breathtaking ride through the green fields, banks of rivers, valleys surrounded by captivating mountains, and mesmerizing lakes. You will feel your heart racing and the blood rushing across your veins once you are on the highest motorable road- the Khardung La pass. It will be a thrilling experience as you cross the town of Ladakh feeling the wind across your face. This will be a perfect opportunity to let free the daredevil trapped inside you. A well-planned bike trip is a perfect way to capture jaw-dropping views.
Trekking in Ladakh
If you are in Ladakh and you want to explore it on foot, you should opt for trekking. Apart from watching the spectacular mountain scenarios, the vibrant flora and fauna, and the confluence of rivers, you will also see the life of people in the villages. You will understand the harsh conditions in which they live in, the culture and heritage of these people. You will get to enjoy the local delicacies and be a part of the festivals. The treks however are not easy. You will keep gaining altitude as you travel and as a result, the oxygen level will keep decreasing. While some treks are on frozen rivers, some are seated in valleys, some will lead you to mesmerizing lakes and some are in a cold desert. Some of the most difficult treks include the Chadar Trek, the Markha Valley trek, the Nubra Valley Trek, and Lamayuru to Alchi Trek. The treks which can be completed in lesser time include the Sham Valley Trek, Spituk to Stok Trek, and Padum to Darcha Trek. You can do a camel safari and an ATV ride on the white sand of Nubra Valley if you don’t want to go trekking.
Sight Seeing in Ladakh
Apart from Monasteries and the panoramic views, Ladakh also has a lot of lakes that have a calming effect on the mind. The Pangong lake which changes its color naturally is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world with saline water. It is surrounded by a range of mountains and is a treat to the eyes. The largest lake in the Ladakh region, the Tso Moriri Lake which has also been declared the wetland of international importance. This place is further intensified by a variety of bird species so this is a great place for bird lovers. There are many other lakes like Mirpal Tso, Tso Kar, Ryul lake, etc. The Magnetic hill, the Shanti Stupa, the Hemis National Park, and the Royal Leh palace are other centers of attraction.
Ladakh can also be called a fantasyland or a wonderland. Everything about Ladakh is captivating in its way, it’s like a painting comes alive. Travelling Ladakh is an opportunity that nobody wants to miss as it will give you an experience of a lifetime. It has something for each age group and therefore it indeed is a dream for those young at heart.
Ladakh will give you a dazzling and overwhelming experience. If you want to know what all you can do in Ladakh, here is an article for you with all the details.