Ladakh has an abundance of attractions; happy and smiling people, gompas, villages, mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes. Tourism is one of the most important economic contributor to the union territory of Ladakh in Northern India. After your acclimitasion rest, you can start your Ladakh trip by visiting the monasteries (called gompas throughout Himalayas), savouring the local cuisines like thukpas, momos and other delicacies. Ladakhi festivals are very popular amongst tourists with dances from different parts of Ladakh and the Chham Dance by the monks.
Ladakh Cultural Heritage
The beauty of Ladakh cannot be expressed in words. Nature has blessed Ladakh with its bounty. There is pristine exquisite beauty of nature all around. Ladakh has unique characteristic of its own which is blend of Indian, Tibetan, Muslim cultures. It has been at the cultural crossroads since centuries and thus the diversity. There is so much to see, Do and enjoy in Ladakh.
Places of Interest in Ladakh
Ladakh has so much to offer to the tourists. Mountains, rivers, lakes, monasteries, villages. Among some of the places of tourist interest popular ones are Leh, Drass valley, Razi khar (Chiktan Khar), Suru valley, Kargil, Zangskar, Zangla, Rangdum, Padum, Phuktal Monastery, Sani Monastery, Shayok Valley, Sankhoo and Salt Valley.
Ladakh Place for Adventure Seekers
Ladakh is the right place for adventure seeklers and is popular trekking destination. Some of the famous trekking destinatinos are treks to Nubra valley, Pangong tso, Tso moriri, the Indus valley, Markha valley, Ladakh monastery trek, South Zangskar, Trans-Zangskar Expedition. The adjoining state of Himachal Pradesh also offers abundance of trekking destinations. Spiti to Ladakh trek, Spiti to Hemis trek, Rupshu, the Great Salt lakes, Chadar Trek, Padum-Phuktal, Padam to Darcha, Lamayuru-Martselang, Lamayuru – Alchi, Kala Pattar trek and so many more.
Special Permit for Indian Tourists
No special permit for Indian Tourists is required to visit most of the places in Ladakh. However, permits are required for all tourists to visit the “Inner Line” areas, viz Nubra Valley; Pangong Lake and the Durbuk Block (which lies to North of the Changla Pass); Tso-Moriri and Tsokar Lakes and the area along the Indus River East of Upshi and Dha-Hanu areas and the Indus River northwest of Khalatse.
Special Permit for Foreign Tourists
Ladakh is very popular tourist destination for foreigners. There are some areas for which special permits for foreign tourists are not available, especially areas close to the border/Line of Control with Pakistan and China. Foreigners can go to the Panggong Lake and Maan and Merak villages, but not along the edges of it to Phobrang or Chushul villages. They are also not allowed to proceed East up the Indus from the Mahe Bridge and in Nubra Valley. They can only go as far as Panamik to the north and Turtuk to the west.
Ecotourism in Ladakh
What is ecotourism? A dictionary defines it as “tourism directed towards unspoilt natural environments and intended to support conservation efforts”. Tourism results in social, as well as environmental impacts, and a responsible tourist needs to be aware of this. Due to the strain that tourism causes on local resources, the concept of ecotourism has been introduced in Ladakh by non-governmental organizations and individuals like Helena Norberg-Hodge and Thinlas Chorol.
Wild Life in Ladakh
If you want to get the best of Ladakh sightseeing, visit the Hemis National Park. It has the distinction of being the largest national park in South Asia. The park is protected home for endangered mammals like leopards, Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear, and the red fox. For nature lovers and bird watchers, this has to be on your list of places to see in Ladakh. Pollution free environment and noise free surroundings make bird watching a joyful experience. Your Ladakh trip experience stays incomplete without this one in the itinerary.
Buddhist tourism in Ladakh
Buddhism in Ladakh is ancient and widespread and a popular theme for cultural tours in Ladakh. The population of Ladakh is predominantly Buddhist and Ladakh has been deeply influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which follows the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools. There are about 35 Buddhist monasteries spread across the region which thrives on donations made by tourists and the local people of the region but now the government plans to develop these monasteries. The state government also plans to hire experts for landscaping of the barren regions and such a move was possible only after the Centre released funds.
Best Season to Visit Ladakh
The tourist season in Ladakh start from end April to September. During this time the temperature in Ladakh remains moderate and the roads from Manali or from Srinagar are open to commute. The travelers can explore most of the places to visit in Leh Ladakh during this time.