This series of
Leh, is the gateway to the Land of high passes. Arriving here is stepping into a tranquil zone. Elevated to the height of 3500m above sea level, this place remains chilled year around.
#TravelLikeAPro: Flying to Leh might be a little troublesome for your health, might as well opt for roadways. Driving down to Leh will help you get accustomed to the rising altitude gradually.
Summer: 5 to 30° Celcius
Winter: -20 to 10° Celcius
We arrived in Leh, late in the evening, by then only restaurants were open. Our hotel (Hotel Asia) was located in the city. Not a fancy hotel though, but it was surrounded by many herbs & flowers. The hotelier also had his own little farm in the vicinity & we were lucky enough to have the rooms facing his farm. Fresh picks of cabbage, radish & carrots were used in preparing daily meals.
#TravelLikeAPro: Srinagar-Leh highway opens up in Mid-May.
Manali- Leh highway opens up in early June.
160 km away from Leh, lies this amazing dessert. But before we could even reach Nubra, we treated our eyes with awestruck backdrops of nature. Passing through secluded villages, descending & ascending mountains ranges bought us to one of the highest motorable road, “KHARDUNG LA”.
#TravelLikeAPro: Halting more than 10 mins is NOT advisable, as Khardungla is elevated at approx 5300 m. At this altitude, the air is very thin which can be queasy for some tourist.
The sight of the snow capped mountains & the glacier; is hard to erase from your memory. After taking a pitstop at this prominent pass, we moved further. Every kilometer we moved ahead, we spotted colorful mountains. Riding from these mountains, at a point, made us feel that we are in the middle of nowhere, & suddenly we see particles of sand hitting our vehicle. It was hard to believe that this coldest place also has a dessert. We were relieved, alas, we reached Hunder valley.
Surrounded by the conifers, our glamping site (K2 Luxury Camp), made us tick off 1 goal from our travel bucket list.
Our tent was well equipped with basic amenities. The best thing was the inbuilt washroom. ( as most of the camps have common washroom).
The dining room at the entrance was the only room which was permanently built. Each tent had a pathway leading to the dining room. Shadow of the trees falling on the campsite made me feel content for adding Hunder Valley in my itinerary.
As the day was approaching dusk, we started rambling towards the sand dunes. Walking on the wooden logs placed over the gentle stream of fresh water, we entered the desert.
#TravelLikeAPro: Take a ride in Hunder valley on Double humped camel.
#TravelLikeAPro: This cold desert gives a high dose of adventurous activities, from camel riding to river rafting to quad biking.
We opted for a camel ride to cruise over & explore the sand dunes. While approaching the desert, we heard some thrumming sound from distance. Nearing the sound we got to know it was a folklore show arranged by the locals. Dancing on the tunes of the drums & humming their native song, all the ladies were looking pretty in their classic costume & heavy beaded jewellery.
Ohh their boots were too adorable.
#TravelLikeAPro: Detour to Turtuk, India’s last village.
“Tso” (pronounced as ‘SO’) means Lake. This magnificent lake & the landscape will make you bow down & feel how blessed you are to endure it. Sun is always frolicking peek-a-boo, providing a rhythmic change in the natural light for photography, when in Ladakh. Hence shooting these landscape will give you variations.
Our hotel, Hotel Pangong Inn here was located up on the hill, with a perfect view of the lake from our window. Again, it wasn’t a fancy hotel, but the basic need of the hygienic washroom was what we were looking out for & it was fulfilled. We were not emphasizing on luxury accommodation as these location are miles away from the city, some hotels are not even permanent.
While moving towards Pangong Lake, we stationed at Changa- La pass. A temple constructed in the memory of Changala baba.
Here are some pics that itself speaks about the beauty of the nature.
#TravelLikeAPro: Only 40% of this humongous lake is in the territory of India, rest is in China.
Since Three idiots movie, this lake has gained popularity in such a way that they have even installed a moped as a photo booth.
#TravelLikeAPro: You can find many cafes serving Continental cuisine. As Leh also attracts lots of foreign tourist.
Best time to visit
Summers: starts from April end to June.
April is when the locals start welcoming the guests, as the roads to Leh open up. If you want to relish snow, you can plan in April, but mind it this will be melting snow.
May till July, Leh flourishes with tourist.
Monsoon: From Jul to Aug
This is the best season to travel. Leh does not receive much of rainfall though but the routes leading to Leh might have landslides due to rain fall.
Autumn: Sep to Oct
This is when the touring season comes to an end. Most of the camp site’s start packing their stuff.
Winter: Nov to March
This season experiences extreme cold. The roads to Ladakh are closed, even though Pangong Tso & Nubra Valley is open. Later, when harsh winter starts to mellow down, Chadar Trek i.e walking on the frozen Zanskar River can be opted for adventure sports.
- Carry your winter clothes as even the SUMMER’s has cool breeze flowing around.
- Keep camphor handy to safeguard yourselves from acute mountain sickness.
- Carry extra camera batteries, portable charger.
- Carry empty water bottles & fill it where ever possible.
- Stay hydrated.
- Innerline permits are required at few places,if you are riding by yourself or not going through any travel agent, then please make a note of this before hand.
- Carry enough of cash, as banking facilities, online wallets may not be available in the remote places, due to lack of internet.
Running through my Leh Itinerary in a gist.
Day 1. Arrive in Leh. Overnight in Leh
Day 2. Nubra Valley. Overnight in a Luxury camp.
Day 3. Back to Leh. Overnight in Leh
Day 4. Pangong Tso. Overnight in Hotel
Day 5. Back to Leh. Overnight in Leh
Day 6. Fly back from Leh
While planning an Itinerary for Ladakh, most of the sightseeing is at a distance of 4 hrs or more (1 way). Hence keep Leh as our base city & then do the excursions.
Trippers who loves road journey as well as adventure can start their tour from SRINAGAR – KARGIL – LEH – SARCHU – MANALI or vise versa.
Nearest Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport (Code: IXL)
Nearest Railway station: Jammu Tavi (approx 715 kms)
We spent approx INR 30,000 Per adult. (we were 4 of them)
P.S : This was including our flights, stay, all meals, transportation, sightseeing & shopping for around 9 Days.