What to See Where to go in Ladakh Himalaya
The great news for those who wanted to go to these areas of Ladakh as well as the people have been there they may visit again for more explore wilderness, culture, Adventure, Nature, landscape and people. These have now been opened:
Turtuk in Nubra Valley (ie pretty close to the Pakistan border, and about an hour's travel further than Hundar, previously the farthest point you could go to). It's Balti, which is a similar culture and language to Ladakhi. The religion of Turtuk is mostly Nurbakshi Muslim; some villages are Shia.
Nubra Valley is situated about 150 km north of Leh. The Nubra Valley means Ldumra (the valley of flowers), The route from Leh takes the traveler over the Khardung-la, the highest motorable road in the world (18,380 feet// 5,578 m) above sea level feet. To enter the Nubra valley, one must cross over the Shyok River via a small bridge and pass through a military checkpoint. Tourist require an "Inner Line" permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to pass.
Main Attraction: In this area is Bactarian Camels (Shaggy double hump Camel) around sand dunes, Deskit & Samstanling monasteries and Khardung la Pass ( the world highest motor able road.)
Drogpas, the Aryans
Batalik and the rest of the Dard villages. Now not only going to Dah and Bema and then turning back up the Indus, you can continue along down the Indus through more Dard villages, and then cut south back to Kargil town. Dards are a totally different culture and language from Ladakhis. Some are Buddhist, and some are Shia Muslim.
Maan and Merak villages on Pangong Lake. You used to be able to just basically go to the edge of the lake at Spangmik and then you had to turn back. Now you can travel along to a couple of villages there. One can make round trip to Nyoma village and continue to Tsomoriri Lake.
Nomads of the Changthang & wild life
The Changthang is the name given to the captivating high altitude plateaus of Western Tibet, an extensive area which sits at an average elevation of 4500 to 5000 meters and is inhabited by such rare species as the 'chiru' (Tibetan antelope), 'kyang' (wild Tibetan ass) and blue sheep. This remote and fabled region is peopled by Changpas, the traditional traders of the Changthang, who have wandered these high pastures in true 'caravan' style with their (nomad tents) and flocks of pashmina goats and sheep for centuries. This traditionally Tibetan region lies in part in the Indian Himalaya, although the culture remains purely Tibetan. Tsokar Lake & Tsomoriri Lake are for Rare and exotic birds like Bar Headed Goose, the migratory birds black Necked Crane, the great crested Grebe, the Tibetan Crane and the Brhame ducks are also found in Changthang.
Best Time to visit: May to October
Ladakh is home to some very beautiful lakes. As peak winter temperatures hover near – 35 degrees for days at a time, everything in Ladakh freezes. The Indus and Zanskar become broad highways of ice, and the great lakes, Pangong and Tso Morari, freeze to a depth of several meters.
Pangong Tso, 154-km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest salt-water lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh east into Tibet. Pangong Lake situated at a height of about 4,250 m (13,900 ft). It is 134 km (83.3 mi). Two thirds of the length of this lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3 mi) wide. In winter, the lake surface freezes completely despite being salt water.
Pangong Tso can be reached in a five-hour drive from Leh, This route takes the visitor past picturesque villages of Shey and Thikse, and turns off the Indus valley by the side-valley of Chemrey and Sakti. The Ladakh range is crossed by the third-highest pass in the world, the Changla pass. The lakeside is open during the tourist season, from May to September. Tourist require a special permit to visit the lake. Permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to pass.
At Darbuk village near Tangste Valley stood a chain of war memorials with Regimental Insignias in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Chinese war of 1962. Villagers can be seen here along with their large herds of Pashmina sheep and long tailed yaks.
Tsomiri is the largest of the High Altitude Lakes to be situated entirely within India. The remote high plateau of Changthang (meaning ‘northland’) stretches from western Tibet into eastern Ladakh. It is situated at a height of 4595 m above sea level. And the maximum length of the lake is 19 km and the maximum length of the lake is 40 m. .You can visit Korzok monastery at Tsomoriri which lies on the western bank of the lake.
This region, known as the land of the nomads, will give you an experience to last a lifetime. See the nomads’ traditional lifestyle and share a cup of butter tea in one of their black yak-hair tents along the incredible oval-shaped bank of Tsomoriri. The lake changes its turquoise blue color with the light and is surrounded by a picturesque landscape.
Korzok, situated at 15,000 feet (4,572 m) with its dozen or so houses and its gompa appearing like a mirage among the barren hills, is the only permanent settlement in Rupshu; otherwise the region is inhabited only by nomadic Chang-pa herd’s people. The Rupshu Chang-pa live in tents all the year round, moving in accordance with an old-established annual routine between the pastures the exist wherever an occasional stream carrying snowmelt from the heights makes possible the growth of grass, scanty indeed, but reportedly highly nutritious. The few barley-fields at Korzok must be among the highest cultivation in the world, but there is no guarantee that the crop will ripen every year.
Tso Kar - White Salted Lake
Past the Thanglang La (Pass) and a soak in the hot springs of Chhumathang, you arrive at the salty Tso Kar or the ‘White Lake’. Tso Kar is at a distance of 155km from Leh and approx 45 kms northwest of the Tsomoriri Lake. You can camp at the nearby Thukje village and also visit the monastery of Thukje. You can see the hot springs at Puga.
Zanskar is a small town, spread over an area of 7000 sq. km, at an altitude ranging from 3500 m to 7000 m above sea level. Zanskar definitely is one of the remotest regions in the world to reach and the fact becomes more prominent as it remains virtually inaccessible for 8 months due to bitter cold and heavy snowfall. Zanskar is a semi desert that is surrounded by mountains from all sides and is cut through by Zanskar river which is the reason many people come to Zanskar braving all the adversities. Zanskar River is one of the best places in the world where you can indulge in river rafting. All the high passes are close in the winter and the river freeze on the surface. People of Zanskar walk along the frozen river to reach the Indus River in Nimoo village, which is known as the Chadar trek.
Places to see in Zanskar
Zanskar has lot of beautiful Buddist monasteries like Zongkhul, Bardan, Stongde, Karsha, Phuktal and Sunni Palace and most of monasteries and be visited in a day or two by Jeep from Padum.
Zanskar is an ideal destination for adventure travelers. Rafting, mountaineering and trekking are some of the adventure sports that you can enjoy on your tour to Zanskar. Remala and Karsha Gompa near Padum offer excellent opportunity for river rafting on Zanskar River. You can also take various trekking trails in Zanskar.
Zangla Lying deep in the northern arm of Zanskar at the end of the 35 km long road from Padum, Zangla was being ruled by a titular king. The old castle now in ruins except for a small chappel, occupies a hill, overlooking the desertic valley below. Nearby is the old nunnery worth a visit for the austere life style of the small monastic community of nuns. An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar has exquisite frescos.
Zongkhul The other spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar are in Zongkhul. The two caves here are the present monasteries, are said to have been used by the famous yogi for the solitary meditation. A footprint on the stone near the ingress of the lower cave is reserved as that of the yogi. The frescos on the cave walls are very old and reflect a high degree of artistic achievement. These are believed to be the original murals executed by Zhadpa Dorje. The celebrated scholar-painter of the same monastery who was active about 300 years ago.
Stongdey The monastery of Stongdey lies 18 km to the north of Padum, on the road leading to Zangla.
Penzella Pass Penzella Pass that divides the Zanskar valley with the Suru Valley. Besides being the excellent camping site the Penzella Pass is a vintage point offering excellent views of the majestic mountains and the captivating countryside.
Karsha Karsha is a human settlement with basic facilities. The Gelugpa monastery at Karsha is a must visit to know the importance of the religion in the lives of the inhabitants of Zanskar. The mural art displayed at Labrang is other must check out in
Padum is around 464 Kms. from Leh and 234 Kms. away from Kargil. Once the Capital of the Zangskar valley, today it is the administrative headquarter of the region and probably the most populous settlement of Zanskar. Padam valley in Ladakh is one of the few ones that have a dominant population of Muslims. Constituting nearly half the township's population, their origin dates back to the mid 17th century. Padum is considered as the most populous settlement of Zanskar with a population of nearly 1500. Stakrimo Gompa is on a hill side and the 10th century monument carved on a huge rock near the river bank, provides epigraphic evidence that the region was influnced by Budddhism since ancient period.
Get in touch
Shangri La Experience
Oppsite State Bank of Leh,
P.O Box 158, 194101,
Leh Ladakh J&K India.
Mobile: +91-94 19 17 86 21.
+ 91-96 22 96 36 04
"At Shangri-La Experience, I felt welcome, got useful information and good
service. What else does one need? Anybody from newcomers to old friends of
Ladakh and other Himalayan areas can trust this team to provide a great
experience on the 'roof of the world'.
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and M. Karve Road, Mumbai (India)"