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Things To Do In Ladakh
The cold and barren land of Ladakh is inviting for a number of reasons. The charm of this cold desert is asserted by the sheer number of tourists visiting throughout the year, even when it's freezing during winters. This is could be because of the daring yet simple lifestyle the Ladakhi people lead or it could be the beckoning calls of adventure. Whatever the reason, Ladakh will always be mesmerizing.
Here's our list of how to make the most of the valley during your visit, with the top things to do in Ladakh.
Adventure and Sports
The Ladakhi terrain can be as high as 9000 feet at its towns and over 14000 feet at its passes. The roads are rugged and its rivers and lakes are crystal clear. Ladakh literally calls out to bikers, rafters, and trekkers. In fact, if you are really up to it you can go on a Snow Leopard trail during the winters!
One of the major attractions for trekkers is the Chadar Trek which passes over the frozen Zanskar River that winds through steep gorges amidst snow-covered rocky mountains.
Stok Kangri Trek:
There's also the Stok Kangri Trek that takes you through quaint Ladakhi villages, over slippery glaciers and past steep ridges until you reach the peak at 19,000 feet!
The rough waters of the Indus River beckon white water rafters to seek thrill maneuvering the many rapids and narrow gauges that the river’s tributaries are lined with.
Sights to See
Ladakh can hold many pleasant surprises for a curious mind; you may have heard of the Nubra Valley, a cold desert covered by sand dunes and home to very curious cultures and people. Some parts of the valley remain inaccessible, and thanks to this much of the culture stays preserved and it can be like looking back in time. The magnetic hills are another wonder. If you are traveling with your own vehicle then find the gravity hills and experience the irrational phenomenon of cars rolling uphill defying gravity!
The arid atmosphere of Ladakh serves astronomers quite favorably. It is no wonder the Hanle observatory, one of the most important ones in the world is located here! Stars that are otherwise difficult to observe can be easily spotted from here. So even if you are not a trained star gazer, it's best not to miss the stunning sight of the Milky Way galaxy in the night sky!
Culture and Festivals
Ladakh is a land of festivals. Almost every month a festival pops up that colors the rocky mountains as well as the Ladakhi people who don their traditional attires and beautiful stone ornaments. Don't miss the Losar festival, the Tibetan New Year, an important day for Tibetan Buddhists. Also, the Sindhu Darshan, the Hemis festival, the Ladakh harvest festival and the Stok Guru Tsechu all present dramatic performances and masked dances which will leave you in complete awe.
You will find a gompa in every nook and cranny of Ladakh, constantly reminding you of the deeply spiritual atmosphere of the Buddhist valley. Among the most famous are the Spituk Gompa Monastery, the Namgyal Monastery, the Lamayuru Monastery and the Hemis Monastery. Interestingly, most of these monasteries hold their own festivals during the year.