Ladakh is famous for its beautiful and rich culture, snow-covered roads and jaw-dropping landscapes. The mountain peaks covered in snow, cold deserts, and magnificent glaciers define the geography of the region. If you think that is all, you are mistaken, for there are breathtaking rivers and lakes with water so clean that one can see their reflection like a mirror.
Ladakh is also known for the opportunity it provides for river rafting and sightseeing tour of the numerous beautiful places that this region owns. Therefore, we have come up with a list of top 20 things that you should definitely do in Ladakh.
1. Attend the Hemis Festival
Hemis Festival is a brilliant way to interact with the locals and get to know in depth about their culture and traditions. The Lamas perform colourful chams wearing dragon masks and it is a sight to behold. This festival takes place in the ‘Hemis Monastery’ from the 11th of July to the 12th of July.
2. Visit Hemis National Park
Visiting the Hemis National Park will give you a breathtaking view of the very magnificent Snow Leopard, which is very rare to sight. This National Park is home to more than 200 snow leopards, which you can see in winter. You can also see a lot of other beautiful animals if you go during the summer.
3. Try a Bactrian Camel Safari
Double humped Bactrian Camels are a speciality of Ladakh and a ride on them at the sand dunes of Hunder is another adventure you should take up when in Ladakh. It has a beautiful terrain along the sparkling rivers of Shyok and Nubra. You can have a ride of June to September, and enjoy the scenic beauty along the route.
4. Visit the highest cafeteria in the world at Khardungla Pass
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Ladakh is the cafeteria situated at Khardungla pass. It is the highest cafeteria in the world and gives you the luxury of enjoying a steaming plate of Maggi noodles overlooking the Himalayan ranges. Khardungla Pass is the highest motorable pass in the world and the best time to visit here is from April to June and from September to October.
5. Try Yak Cheese and Momos
The Yak blesses the locals with milk, butter and meat for their tables and Ladakh is the only place where you get the chance of trying cheese made from Yak’s milk. Yak cheese is also known as Chhurpi and is used to make delicious Yak cheese Momos. Gesmo Restaurant is famous for making this lip-smacking Momos and you can enjoy them throughout the year.
6. Visit the peaceful Hemis Monastery
Besides visiting all the popular sites in Ladakh, make sure that you visit this beautiful and peaceful Buddhist Monastery and stay a night there too! You will get the chance of attending the early morning prayers, which is a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The prayers start at 8 in the morning.
7. Hit the high roads
To all the adventure seekers out there, a bike ride on the narrow and rocky roads of Ladakh sounds perfect for you, doesn’t it? Ride up the lonely roads on a motorbike with clouds and snow-capped mountains surrounding your journey. April to August is the best time to visit.
8. Try the famous Hot Butter Tea
You must have surely had chai in every nook and corner of your country, but the local Butter Tea is a different experience in itself. You can also try out Chang, the local brew made in a porcelain pot by fermenting miller.
9. Visit the old school mills
One of the most expensive handlooms of the words- the Pashmina is crafted in these Old School Mills of Ladakh. You might bargain for these in your market but here, you see the magic happening at work. You can also find Pashmina goats to pet.
10. Trekking to Spituk Gompa
Spituk Gompa is a beautiful and ancient monastery sitting at the top of a hill. It is loved by the adventure freaks as the trek leads them to the beauty of the monastery. The monastery is surrounded by uneven mountains which add to its beauty.
11. Take a tour of the Zanskar Valley
Zanskar valley lies in the separated regions of Ladakh and is very famous for its breathtaking views. The valley has cave monasteries and trekking trails enveloped within a natural setting.
12. Chill at Tso Moriri
If travelling around has been tiresome and you are looking to chill, Tso Moriri is the best place. Beautiful mountains are surrounding the region and a pretty lake adds to the serenity of the place.
13. Stargaze at Lamayuru
This place is also called the Moonland of Ladakh and is great for watching the stars twinkling in the sky. Lamayuru is situated 100 kilometres away from Leh and flaunts some of the best resorts of Ladakh.
14. Chadar Trek – A treat
If walking on frozen sheets of ice is something on your list, this is the place for you. While trekking on a frozen river, you will also capture panoramic sights of frozen valleys surrounding you.
15. Enjoy scrumptious local food
Ladakh is famous for offering multi-cuisine food like Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Korean. Don’t miss out on Thukpa, Tsampa and Skyu from the Tibetan cuisine. Chang, an alcoholic drink is also worth trying.
16. Visit the Drang Drung Glacier
Trekking to Drang Drung Glacier located in Suru Valley is a must in Ladakh. Make sure you visit Panikhar and Parachik on your way to the glacier. it is said to be one of the most exciting activities in Ladakh.
17. Have a religious visit to Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa in Leh is one of the most popular Tibetan structures. It has a beautiful structure and gives you a panoramic view of the surroundings. This place is guaranteed to rejuvenate your soul and bring peace.
18. Gain peace at Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib
Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib falls in the way when travelling to Sham Valley from Leh. You might be lucky to taste the holy food from their Langar. This shrine is devoted to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and is believed to be very sacred.
19. Attend the Ladakh Harvest Festival
It is an annual festival that goes on for two weeks, starting in September. The Llamas of the monasteries perform local dances wearing masks and traditional costumes. A plethora of contests like wedding celebrations, polo contests and archery are performed here.
20. Visit the Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame was constructed by the Indian Army in remembrance of the soldiers who were martyred in several Indo-Pak wars over the years. This can turn out to be a different experience for you.
Ladakh is nothing less than heaven on Earth, with its vibrant local culture. So, we shared our to-do list of Ladakh with our readers. Try and not miss out on any of the beautiful experiences. We hope this comes handy when you are planning your trip in the near future. Happy Ladakhing everyone!