Visiting Ladakh? These are must in your Itinerary
Eight of the Best Places to Visit in Ladakh
If you want to awaken your sixth sense and trust your instincts; if you want to enjoy nature in its most natural state; if you are willing to move out of your comfort zone; if you can live being technologically handicapped; if you want to know more about cold injuries than an average doctor in any of the metropolitan cities in India; if you want to make more friends than one possibly can in any other region from any part of the world; if you want to learn how to use stoves, lanterns, bukharis, and solar lights; if you want to know how much your body can take in extreme conditions; if you want to believe in the Pir babas albeit you don't believe in ghosts; and lastly, if you want to silently laugh at Sharma uncle when he brags that his son went to Switzerland on a vacation ... you should visit Ladakh.
With this article, we are going to tell you about the top eight must visit places in Ladakh - The Land of Mystic Lamas.
1. Thiksey Monastery -
Nestled on top of the Thiksey village, approximately 20 kilometers east of Leh city in Ladakh, is one of the most popular monasteries in India - the Thiksey Monastery. The 12 storey complex is located at a height of 3,600 meters above the sea level. The climb could be pretty difficult, but it is absolutely worth it. Every year, the 14th Dalai Lama visits and stays at this Monastery for three days. The prayer ceremony should not be missed.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit the Thiksey Monastery.
2. Zanskar Valley -
Located at an altitude of over 3,500 meters above the sea level, this euphoric valley is breathtakingly gorgeous. The confluence of the Zanskar river and the Indus river and the colorful, rocky hills is a treat to watch. One can even go River Rafting here. Zanskar Valley is also referred as the Virgin Valley, and is mainly known for the wild Chadar Trek. For every adventure seeker, it is a must visit place in Ladakh.
The best time to visit the Zanskar Valley is from July to September and from January to February.
To know about the extremes of the Chadar Trek, read - Extremes at Zanskar's Chadar Trek
3. Hall of Fame -
Located close to the Leh airport, in the army area of Ladakh, is the Hall of Fame. It is a museum that contains the chronicles of the rich history of Ladakh, starting from the Dogra conquest, right up till the Kargil and the Siachen battle. There is a bevy of arms and ammunition in the museum that was once used by the Indian Army. The video screening of the Kargil war could well give you goosebumps and make the eyes of the strongest of human beings moist.
Any time of the year is good to visit the Hall of Fame.
4. Pangong Tso -
A vacation to Ladakh would be incomplete without a visit to this mystical lake. Located in the Changtang plateau of the Eastern region of Ladakh, Pangong Tso is the most popular place to visit in Ladakh. It is situated at a height of 4250 meters above the sea level. Labelled as the most beautiful lake in India (thanks to a Hindi movie), the crystal clear water of the lake, the pristine mountains, and the contrasting color of the sky and the clouds make this place the epitome of paradise. However, all of that attracts thousands of visitors to this place, often making it a little overcrowded.
The best time to visit Pangong Tso is between June and September.
5. Khardung La -
This place, like Pangong Tso, does not need any introduction. Located at a height of 5359 meters above the sea level, it is known for being the highest motorable road in the entire world, Khardung La is the pass that leads to the Nubra and the Shyok valleys. It is advisable not to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes at this point since one can suffer from breathlessness and may pass out. Also known as Khardzong La, it is extremely popular amongst bikers visiting Ladakh.
The period from May to September is the best time to visit Khardung La.
6. Tso Moriri -
Calmly nestled about 230 kilometers from Leh, and over 4520 meters above the sea level, it is the highest lake in the country. Tso Moriri is an appropriate location to unwind. It is an uninhabited, wild place sans the crowd. Surrounded by mountains, the lake is like an oasis in the region of cold desert. By the side of the lake, on the lush green surface, one can see wild horses grazing. It is one of the most underrated places to visit not just in Ladakh, but also in the entire country. The nights are equally gorgeous here. On a clear night, one can see our galaxy (The Milky Way) and uncountable number of bright stars, staring back at you.
May to August is the best time to visit Tso Moriri.
7. Donkey Sanctuary -
Many donkeys in the region are rescued from maltreatment or abandonment. The sanctuary is one of a kind in India. They are treated with love and affection, and given due respect from the care takers. They are fed with sugar and carrots, and live a better life. In case if you think that the donkeys are kept in captivity, you are wrong. They are allowed to roam freely all the time. The wall graffiti and paintings are adorable. That is not all, this place offers scenic, mesmerizing beauty of Ladakh like no place else. Located in upper Leh, it is a must visit for those who want to visit offbeat places in Ladakh.
8. Kargil War Memorial -
The Kargil War Memorial is situated on the way from Srinagar to Ladakh, less than a kilometer away from the Dras town. Most of the Indians are unaware that in the year of 2000, India evicted a bunch of Pakistani intruders who had occupied a strategic highway, 1A, and had began attacking Indian towns such as Kargil, Batalik, and Dras. The brave officers and soldiers of the Indian Army captured the heights and overthrew the Pakistani intruders. A visit to the memorial will instil any Indian's heart with pride.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit the Kargil War Memorial.
Photo: jkinside.com , Deepak Nashine, wikipedia.com
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