Can there really be a heaven on earth? Yes, there is. It is a journey that doesn’t stop at all. The valleys, passes, mountain ranges – the travel landscape is large. Beware! You may never want to come back home because you would not have had enough of it. Leh-Ladakh cannot be described in words. It is an experience of a lifetime. Endless vistas of mountains with rivers on both sides and a road that meets the horizon – this is a dream destination. An Indian visit is incomplete without its tour.
Pangong Tso Lake
This clear beauty reflects all that is beautiful around it –the towering mountains. Situated at a height of around 15000 ft, the lake freezes in the winters for adventure enthusiasts to ice skate on it. Watch the Hindi movie ‘3 Idiots’ to see how breathtaking it is. It runs through the international boundary, from India to Bhutan and almost 60% of the lake is in China. It is a popular camping site for people traveling in this belt.
Tso Moriri Lake
This is a freshwater lake. Unlike the landscape around Pangong Tso Lake which is devoid of any greenery, Tso Moriri Lake will remind you of a hill station. Turn around and you will find everything in colours of blue, white and green. Lodging houses are available here.
Khardung –La Pass Managed by the Border Roads Organisation, it is said that it is the best road at this height. The Khardung-la Pass is supposed to be the highest drivable road in the world. Biking down this road is an adventure of its kind. Only one word of caution here is that at this height of 18000 ft, please ensure you are physically fit to deal with the weather. The entire landscape looks different every season. Summers can be dry and bright while winters are filled with snow and temperatures which go drastically down. Numerous Tibetan flags draw a colourful contrast with the white snow.
The entire topography is dominated by the mountain ranges of Zanskar and Ladakh. These huge mountains are daunting. There are innumerable echo points which are worth stopping by. This region is sparsely populated with mainly Buddhists who have made this valley their home. The Zanskar valley has the Zanskar mountain range and the Zanskar River. The outdoor activities in Zanskar are one of a kind. River rafting, trekking and the famous Chadar Ice trek are daring activities which cannot be done by the weak hearted.
The enchanting capital town of Ladakh, also known as the valley of flowers, Nubra Valley is a vast desert with green vegetation where civilization exists. The sand dunes and the two-humped camels of the desert give you a fairy tale setting. Nubra Valley leads to the Khardung-La Pass.
Situated between hillocks, the Lamyuru Monastary is the oldest Tibetan Monastary. Thangka wall paintings, murals, and scriptures are the highlights of this place. Clear, cloudless nights give the best star-gazing experience here. You may just get to witness a lot of shooting stars too!
Along with adventure, this trip offers an opportunity to relax the mind and introspect. Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese and sits on a steep hilltop. It is the perfect place to feel the peace and meditate. The view from this place is extraordinary and strangely gives a perspective to a restless mind. The quiet of the night is even better a time to levitate your thoughts.
The list of places to visit in Leh-Ladakh is exhaustive. An easy 15-day trip would just fly by. The proximity to nature and its prowess suddenly makes one humble and modest. It is an adventure of the highest level and you will always return an enriched person.