LehLadakh is a traveler’s dream. Located in the Trans-Himalayan region, Leh-Ladakh is a region that is known for beautiful lakes, magnificent rugged terrain, beautiful river banks, rich flora and fauna, ancient culture, elaborative monasteries, and unmatched local cuisine.
It is a Land of High Passes that offers travelers wide variety of activities- trekking, camping, bike riding, mountaineering, and much more. You must be wondering now when is the right time to visit Leh-Ladakh. The best time to visit Leh-Ladakh is during the summer months, because the lakes are not frozen, the passes are open, there is lot of greenery, the trekking routes are open, and mountain biking is allowed.
Summer in Leh-Ladakh begins in April and ends in September. The monsoon here starts in June and ends in September. Monsoon is also not a great time to visit this region, because of landslides due to which many of the passes and roads are closed. Thus the best time to visit this place is from April to June and June being considered the best time for travelers.
Now that you have decided on a summer trip to Leh-Ladakh, let us get started on how to plan that trip.
Altitude Sickness and Acclimatization
Most of the Leh-Ladakh region is located 14,000 feet above the sea level; therefore, it is important to understand the importance of acclimatization and how to acclimatize when you get here. Since your body is not used to low atmospheric pressure, you should rest for at least two days after you reach this place via the air route. This will give your body a chance to adjust to the atmosphere.
If you are coming via road and you are taking the Leh-Manali Highway, you should stop at Keylong, Jispa, and Darcha to give your body a chance to adjust to the place. If you are traveling via the Leh-Srinagar Highway, you should spend a night at Srinagar and Kargil. Once you reach the place you should rest for two days before proceeding on your itinerary list.
Symptoms for Acute Moutain Sickness (AMS) include headache, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Consult a doctor and take AMS medicine with you. Finally and foremost, do not travel to Ladakh if you suffer from high blood pressure, asthma, or heart ailment.
How To Travel
When you are planning a summer trip to Leh-Ladakh, you have to first figure out how you are going to get there. There are pros and cons to both road and air travel. If you are taking the road route, there are two options available- Srinagar to Leh (450 KM) and Manali to Leh (500KM). Your journey from Manali to Leh will take you through picturesque mountain passes, beautiful valleys, and sharp bends. This route is a god given opportunity for photographers, as it covers some of the most spell binding landscape on earth.
If you take a flight, you will reach Leh in couple of hours and then spend two days resting and acclimatizing. The flight route gives you more time to explore Leh-Ladakh, while the road route allows you to explore as you travel to your destination. The choice is yours.
What to Do in Leh-Ladakh
here are so many things to do and see in Leh-Ladakh that it will be really hard to decide on anitinerary. Therefore, the best thing to do is decide on what you like doing.Do you like adventure, trekking, visiting festivals, or photography? For example, if you love trekking and nature, there are plenty of trekking options during the summer months in Leh-Ladakh. Markha Valley Trek, Henaskut to Wangla Trek, Lamayurn to Padum Trek, and Chader Trek are just some of the trekking options to choose from in Leh-Ladakh.
If you love adventure, you can go on a jeep, horse, yak, or motor bike safari. Or why not take a bike or car ride through some of the high passes in Leh-Ladakh. These passes are known for their scenic beauty, treacherous roads, and high adrenaline journey.
Those who love to explore new cultures, should definitely visit various monasteries and festivals in this region. It is known as the Land of Buddhism, thus there are no shortages of monasteries and palaces here. Leh Palace, built in 1553, should definitely be on your must visit list.
Shanti Stupa, Shey Monastery, MulbekhGompa, Phuktal Monastery, and Karsha Monastery are some of the monasteries and stupas that are located in this mystical land of Bhuddhism.
During the summer months, Sindhu Darshan Festival, Saka Dawa Festival, YuruKabgyat Festival, Hemis Festival, Polo Festival, and StongdayGustor Festival are some of the festivals that showcase the rich culture of this magnificent land.
Your summer trip plan to this land should definitely cover the famous lakes and valleys of this region. There are three lakes here- Pangong Tso Lake, Tsokar Lake, and Tsomoriri Lake. The Pangong Tso Lake is definitely the most beautiful and the unique thing about this lake is that its water changes color every hour. It is a great places for camping, bird watching and just soaking in the amazing nature. Nubra Valley is not to be missed if you want to witness the true beauty of this place.
Cost of the whole trip will play a big factor when you are planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh. Total cost will include transport cost, hotel cost, food cost, shopping, permit fees, and other miscellaneous charges. Your transport cost will depend on whether you are taking the road route or air route to reach Leh.
Once you have reached there, will you be using your own transport or hiring a taxi to reach your various destinations in Leh-Ladakh. If you are using a taxi, will you be travelling solo or in a group? It is always advisable to travel in a group, because it cuts down the overall travel cost and is safer.
As far as accommodation is concerned, there is only one luxury hotel in Leh. However, there are plenty of luxury, deluxe, and budget tents and camps in Leh and Ladakh region. Homestays are also available in most of the places. Eating out options include the local dabas and restaurants. The total cost will also depend on how long your stay is, activities that you will indulge in, and the places that you will be visiting
If you keep in mind the above mentioned points, you will be able to plan a trip that you will never forget. Moreover, your summer trip to Leh-Ladakh will be full of awesome discoveries at every turn.