Plan your Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Leh-Ladakh.What is your reaction whenever you hear these words? Does a chill run down your spine? or You feel the dire need of feeding your adventure pangs? Well, in both cases you should not give any second thought for your next road trip destination. It has definitely got to be Leh-Ladakh road trip. Don’t fret and beat the chill that runs down your spine this time and on the other hand, for the thrill-seekers feed the wanderlust in you. No turning back this time
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Routes for Leh Ladakh road trip
“Leh Ladakh” is truly a heaven on earth. It is also known as the adventure capital of the country with the top 3 highest mountain passes in the world. It is the only destination that can tempt anyone to ditch the rest of the world. Leh Ladakh has a strong connection with Buddhism and Tibetan culture. This is the reason behind the presence of monasteries on the top of the hills which also adds to the beauty of Leh Ladakh.
If you are carved out of wanderlust then will plan a road trip to Leh Ladakh – a paradise of Indian Himalayas can Satine all your cravings. Here we present the perfect Leh Ladakh Holiday Package for the thrill-seekers who are yearning for the best fun and excitement. Everything about Leh Ladakh is exhilarating, from architecture to cuisine, the city has an eastern outlook. Leh Ladakh Tour is must have one because of its alluring landscape, lakes, skies, culture and roughly set monasteries on hills.
Road trip to Leh Ladakh is a boon for every traveler who gets the opportunity to travel to this part of the earth. You can opt from any of the routes of your choice to reach Leh. Basically, the main difference lies in the terrain. Manali to Leh Ladakh is tougher and is at higher altitudes as compared to Srinagar to Leh Highway. So if you are a first-timer and are not used to the road trip thing or you do not find comfortable riding in such treacherous terrains then opt for Srinagar to Leh Highway rather than Manali to Leh Highway.
Route 1: Srinagar to Leh Ladakh
On your way to Leh Ladakh from Srinagar, you will come across a lot of beautiful places. All these places like monasteries, Gurudwara, war memorial, beautiful small villages, breathtakingly appealing Himalayan Valleys enhance the beauty of Srinagar. Now that you have traveled so far why not spend a day or two more and explore these spectacular places in Srinagar.
You certainly get to fill your soul and sight with the lush green fields of Sonamgarh on your way. Traveling up till here on two wheels and getting to witness such picturesque landscapes and stunning Himalayan peaks is definitely a realized wild fantasy for any traveler.
Route: Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh
Route 2: Manali to Leh Ladakh
This route (490 km) is 60 km more as compared to Srinagar to Leh (434 km) route and also the journey from this route has many hidden adventures for you. If you are a first-timer for this road trip thing then prefer to go from Srinagar to Leh Highway. As here you will come across narrow mountain passes, treacherous terrain, and steep slopes.
But one thing which both the routes have in common to offer you is a mindblowing and enchanting scenic beauty. In this way also you will get to witness villages, monasteries and many more adventures are awaiting you.
Route: Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi – Karu – Leh
Petrol Pumps on Srinagar Leh Highway
On commencing your journey from Srinagar to Leh Ladakh, what bothers you the most is the availability of petrol pump stations on your way. Don’t get anxious we’ve got you covered. Below mentioned is a list of all the petrol pumps that will come on your way:
Situated at about 32 km from Srinagar, this is the first filling station.
The next station that comes on your way is Sonamarg and is 48km ahead of Mangan.
This is the third filling station that you will come across and is far ahead from Sonamarg. Make sure you refuel your bikes at Sonamarg as this pump is situated at around 124km from Sonamarg or roughly 200 km from Srinagar.
Petrol Pump at Mulbekh is around 40 km from Kargil. On your way ahead towards Leh Ladakh you will find some fuel stations in Wakha and Khaltsi today.
Petrol Pumps on Manali-Leh Highway
The availability of fuel stations has always been of great concern. On this route i.e Manali to Leh Ladakh, you will encounter these petrol pumps.
You can find many petrol pumps in Manali. So before embarking on your journey, make sure you’ve got your tanks filled. You can find a total of 6 petrol pumps in this resort town.
Next petrol pump you will find at about 110km from Manali.
Now, this is a significant distance between the two stations i.e 345 Kms from Tandi. Make sure you are refueling your tanks and keeping track of how much fuel is left in your tanks.
You can find many petrol pumps in Leh, so make it a point to refill your petrol tanks.
ATMs on Srinagar Leh Highway
Worried about finding ATMs on your Road trip to Leh Ladakh? Relax, this route has 3 locations wherein you can have the chance to withdraw some cash for yourself. But due to the scarcity of ATMs in this region, you can expect quite a rush. On your Leh Ladakh road trip via Srinagar-Leh Highway, you can find ATMs in Ganderbal, Drass, and Kargil. Make sure that you are carrying some cash with you to avoid any sort of situation.
ATMs on Manali Leh Highway
On this incredible Leh Ladakh road trip finding ATMs is quite a task. But don’t panic. Keeping some cash with you always is a great choice as there are many places where cards are not acceptable. This route i.e Manali to Leh Ladakh has a shortage of ATMs.You will find only one ATM in Keylong after that the next ATM which you will find will be directly in Leh district.
Mechanics on Srinagar Leh Highway
Before undertaking your Leh Ladakh road trip, you should always ensure that you’ve checked on the performance of your Bike. But, a little wear and tear of a bike is a very normal situation when you are travelling through such precarious terrain. You can easily find mechanic shops for your aid in Ganderbal, Sonamarg, and Kargil. Covering quite a significant distance from Kargil you will find only a few puncture shops and not mechanic shops. These puncture shops can be found in Lamayuru, Mulbekh, and Nimmu.
Mechanics on Manali Leh Highway
One must ensure the performance of their vehicle well beforehand to avoid any unwanted situations. But unexpected breakdowns might occur and to deal with them, Manali-Leh Highway has mechanic shops in Marhi, Khoksar, Keylong, Darcha, Sarchu, and Upshi.
Best time for a road trip to Leh Ladakh
Getting to explore such a soul-filling and astounding place on Earth is a treat to the wanderer’s soul. The ecstatic and euphoric look that adventure travel enthusiasts have on witnessing the spellbinding beauty of Leh Ladakh is priceless.
Stating the best time to visit Leh Ladakh would be an understatement to such an awe-inspiring place as the beauty of this place keeps on multiplying with the passing time. But still, an unbiased opinion is that summertime is the best time to go and adore the beauty of Leh Ladakh. On the contrary, for thrill-seekers, wintertime is the best time to go, as they can experience the beautiful stretches of Leh Ladakh in its authentic self.
Road trip to Leh Ladakh in Summer (April-June)
Leh Ladakh is by a long shot the most excellent to take a gander at throughout the late spring season and furthermore the busiest. From around April, voyagers start flocking in to appreciate the most recent couple of long periods of spring in the fresh climate, as the cold blurs and snow begin to soften step by step. The temperature during this time is still very cold, around 5°C-7°C. Around the second week of May, the magnificent Srinagar-Leh Highway is also made accessible, therefore opening the conduit for the whirlwind of travelers to go to Leh Ladakh.
For budget travelers, the spring-early season is ideal for travel as the pinnacle season is yet to begin and the hotels offer good discounts to lure the guests. Also, simultaneously, on your way to Leh via Manali you can see a decent portion of ice and snow, chiefly in the Khardung La and Chang La passes. Late April sees the softening of the lakes, and a spread of splendid hues all around. By the start of June, the Manali-Leh Highway alongside Rohtang Pass opens up too. Temperature goes further up and floats around 15°C-30°C. In spite of the fact that the streets can now be slippery, because of the ice meltdown, a road trip to this place probably offers the most lovely sights you have ever come across.
Road trip to Leh Ladakh in Monsoon (July-August)
Monsoon season is definitely neither the right nor the safe time for your Leh Ladakh road trip. During these months there is very heavy rainfall in most of the places near Leh Ladakh. The downpour makes the streets extremely unsafe to drive bikes and at times to walk also. Landslides and snow slides might also take place during this season. There can be frequent road blockages hindering the flow of your Leh Ladakh bike trip. So, a road trip to Leh Ladakh during Monsoon is a big no.
Road trip to Leh Ladakh in Autumn/Early Winter (September-October)
For the people who wish to enjoy Leh Ladakh freely, away from the hustle and bustle of summertime voyagers, this is the best time for you to go to Leh Ladakh. Autumn season has certainly got to offer some exhilarating experiences and some brilliant hues all around. The weather is pleasant, with the right amount of humidity in the air, making it fit for the travellers to experience the blissful screenplay of Mother Nature.
Road trip to Leh Ladakh in Winter (November-February)
Winters begin to set in around November and a road trip to Leh Ladakh during wintertime is only for the ones adventurous at heart and are ready to take challenges in their stride. Leh Ladakh is freezing with cold during this time and all the places over 14000ft above sea level experience sub-zero temperatures during this period. The roads also get slippery, but it’s a children’s play for the daredevils. They have the courage to take adventures and beat the chilling cold in Leh Ladakh. The two topmost rated attractions, that are a must-visit for any traveller who has travelled so far are Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri Lakes. Witnessing the changing hues of these Lakes is a treat to both sight and soul.
Lakes Adorning Leh Ladakh
The beauty of Leh Ladakh lies in its jaw-dropping landscapes, picturesque valleys and spectacular lakes that are a feast for the eyes. There are a lot of beautiful lakes in Leh Ladakh with a perfect backdrop of snow-capped mountains and gleaming blue skies. Lakes are referred to as ‘Tso’ in Ladakhi language. Below is a list of lakes emblazoning Ladakh that one must visit on a road trip to Leh Ladakh.
- Pangong Tso
- Yarab Tso
- Mirpal Tso
- Lang Tso & Stat Tso
- Kiagar Tso
- Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso
- Chagar Tso
Things to carry on Leh Ladakh road trip
Before embarking on your journey, make sure you’ve packed all the essentials mentioned below for the easy flow of your trip. Unfold the adventures awaiting you on your road trip to Leh Ladakh, and make sure to follow this extensive guide of all the essentials, one needs to carry on their Leh Ladakh road trip.
Sufficient and necessary clothes
- Cotton T Shirts
- Jeans & Trousers
- Woolen Socks and Gloves
- Wind-Waterproof Jacket
- 1 light jacket
- 2 Pairs of thermal inners
- Hats or Beanies
- Heavy woolen clothing (if traveling in winter)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Cold Cream
- Lip Balm
- Sunscreen lotion
- Tissue rolls
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- Comb & Mirror
- Toilet Soap
- Face Wash
- Shaving Kit
Don’t forget to carry your medicines as at times, it happens people fall ill because of high altitudes and extreme weather conditions. Travelers also tend to get severe headaches, vomiting, nausea, and weakness because of acute mountain sickness, One thing which is to be kept at the top of your mind is to carry a first-aid kit, because god forbid if you happen to meet with a road accident, a first aid kit will keep you safe.
- Inner line permit (multiple copies)
- Print out of your itinerary
- Phone numbers and addresses are written in a paper of your family and friends
- Passport size photographs
- Medical Insurance if you have any
- Route details printout
- Woolen and Leather Gloves
- Multiplug extension cords
- Mufflers or balaclava
- BackPack Or Carry bag
- Nylon rope and bungee cords for bikers
- Flashlight or Torch lights
- Water bottle
- Candles, Lighter and Match Boxes
- Power Bank
- Swiss Knife
- Bag locks
- Safety Pins
- Wrist Watch
- Hand Sanitizer
- Books to read
You can carry light snacks with you like dry fruits, toffees, and chocolates. Also, along with that, if you cannot control your hunger pangs carry instant noodles mix. Fruits are available on the way, so you can buy and have them. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated, as being hydrated is of the utmost importance when you are traveling at such high altitudes. Never consume alcohol, drugs or tobacco as it might lead you to bad health conditions and ruin all the fun of your trip to such a beautiful place on Earth.
- Mobile Connectivity
Below mentioned is the photography gear you need to carry if taking your camera along for capturing the most mesmerizing views:
- Phone, Watch, Power banks, and Camera Chargers
- Extra Batteries
- Extra Memory cards
- Lamps for night photography
Best Restaurants on Leh Ladakh road trip
Baffled about finding good places to eat while on your Leh Ladakh road Trip? Take a sigh of relief as we’ve got your back. You will find many places to eat on your way to Leh-Ladakh serving the most delectable delicacies.
At Rohtang Pass, you will find many beverage and food stalls. Now, that you’ve travelled so far trying the local cuisine of the place should be on your to-do list whether you are a foodie or not. Try the momos, thukpa, and sabagleb, if you really want to experience what tickling of taste buds mean and we assure you that this taste is surely going to linger in your mouth for long.
Keylong is a hub of restaurants providing many options for you to eat. Zing zing Bar is the only place where you will find both food and accommodation options in one place. Below we’ve listed some popular cafes and best eateries based on the choice of cuisine one can go and relish the delicious food when on a road trip to Leh Ladakh
- The Tibetan Kitchen
- Lamayuru Restaurant
- Sky Wok Ladakh
- Chopsticks Noodle Bar
- Bon Appetit
- Chopsticks Noodle Bar
- Bodhi Greens
- Lamayuru Restaurant
- Sky Wok Ladakh
- Alchi Kitchen
- Kc Garden Restaurant
- The Turnip-Pan Indian Restaurant
- Cafe Aroma
- Bon Appetit
- The Tibetan Kitchen
- Sorisso Pizza and Meal Mastiyaan
- Ladakh Waffle House
- Bon Appetit
- Yum Yum Food and Cafe
- Namza Cafe and Designer Store
- Red Sauce
- Amigo Korean Restaurant
- Ladakh Waffle House
- K.H Garden Restaurant
- Chopsticks Noodle Bar
- Sky Wok Ladakh
- Red Sauce
- Soul Curry
- Chopsticks Noodle Bar
- The Tibetan Kitchen
- Sky Wok Ladakh
- Ecletic Kitchen
- Dreamland Restaurant
- Sorriso Pizza and Meal Mastiyaan
- II Forno
- La Piazzetta
- Pizza Hut
- Sky Wok Ladakh
- Ladakh Biker Cafe and Restaurant
- Bon Appetit
- Bob’s Cafe
- Coffee Culture
- Namza Cafe and Designer Store
- Lehvenda Cafe
- Cafe TBQ
- Ladakh Fine Foods
- Yum Yum Food N Cafe
- World Garden Cafe
- The Metta Cafe
Best Camping Sites on your road trip to Leh Ladakh
Being in the lap of nature and surviving the toughest weather conditions, takes a heart of a daredevil to go through it. Camping in Leh Ladakh is every wanderer’s ultimate desire. Endure a sojourn in the mountains amidst the majestic Himalayan Ranges and coveted tropical blue skies. Sleep under a sky full of stars and wake up to the stupendous views of Ladakh. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and introspect yourself.
Camping Sites at Pangong Tso:
- Pangong Retreat Camp
- Nature’s Nest Camp
- Nomad Camp Pangong
Camping Sites at Nubra Valley:
- Nubra Ethnic Camp
Camping Sites at Tso Moriri:
- Tsomoriri Camp and Resort
Other Camping Sites in Leh Ladakh:
- Camp Redstart
- Camp Martsemik La
- Tsermang Eco Camp
All these Camping Sites at the ’Land of High Passes’ offer you a unique and captivating experience and also a magical endurance of finding your inner self and attaining peace of mind.
Self camping on Road trip to Leh Ladakh
Self Camping on your Leh Ladakh Bike Trip is an exhilarating experience for anyone who is yearning to camp beneath the glorious skies of Ladakh. If you wish to self camp on your Leh Ladakh road trip then you will have to take proper care of yourself and your surroundings, where you plan to stay. Follow the below-listed measures to ensure your safety if you wish to self camp:
- Don’t camp on restricted areas or wetlands.
- Choose a good campsite which is close to a lake, water stream, a Dhaba or village so that you find people around you. Some campsite owners may also allow you to pitch your camp nearby their campsites in exchange for a small amount and in return might allow you to use their washrooms.
- Keep one thing at the top of your mind, never camp too close to the lake like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri as it is not safe and also it is forbidden by law.
- Keep yourself warm and well hydrated while being out in the wild because falling for acute mountain sickness at such high altitudes is very common if appropriate healthcare measures are not taken.
- If you happen to build a bonfire, make sure you put it off completely and no amber are left behind.
- Do not harm wildlife or the local culture in any way.
- Do not pollute the region, air or water and leave behind any waste. What you can leave behind is only the footprints of the miraculous experience you had while camping on your Leh Ladakh road expedition.
- Beware of aggressive dogs in Leh Ladakh as they are not used to of ṣeeing bikes and strangers in the villages.
Top 10 Places to during road trip to Leh Ladakh
Heaven Descended! Yes, you got it right. Ladakh is indeed a heaven on Earth. The beauty of this ethereal place may take away anyone who gets to witness it. Riding to the Highland Roads and experiencing a soul-filling ride on your beast is certainly a feast to your soul. So, make it a point to explore all the below mentioned vivid yet picturesque places festooning Ladakh on your road trip to Leh Ladakh.
Magnetic Hill-The phenomenon that defies gravity. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes create the appearance of a hill. This place is bound to have some magnetic energy that can pull the cars uphill. These hills tend to have a property of optical illusion. It is a downhill road, but to an observer, it might appear that all the vehicles on the road are rolling uphill. A visit to Magnetic Hill should be on your list whenever you visit Ladakh to witness the natural wonders of nature.
Nubra Valley is renowned for its breathtakingly marvelous scenic beauty. ṣIt is very famous amongst tourists. Almost every tourist makes it a point to visit this place on their trip to Ladakh. Don’t forget to pamper yourself with a fascinating experience of camping at Nubra Valley. Nubra Valley is 50km north of Leh and is bound to give everlasting memories that you can cherish for a lifetime. The beautiful panoramic scenes, humongous mountain faces, and the Shyak stream flowing in the middle of the valley will leave you awestruck by its beauty.
Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa and was built by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura in 1991. For all the riders, on their Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip, a visit to this shrine to oversee the relics at its base revered by the 14th Dalai Lama himself is a must. It has become a tourist attraction not only because of its religious significance but for the panoramic views this place offers. Summer is the best time to visit this place with bright sun and gleaming blue skies. The motive behind building Stupa was to promote peace and also it symbolizes the love between the people of Japan and Ladakh.
Hall of Fame
While you are on your Leh Ladakh road trip, this place is a must-visit. The Hall of Fame is situated close to the Leh Airfield and is an exhibition hall developed and kept up by the Indian Army in the memory of the great Indian warriors who had lost their lives at the time of Indo-Pak wars defending their motherland. It symbolizes the great sacrifices made by our soldiers to ensure the safety and security of our country.
Hemis National Park
For all the nature and animal lovers, a visit to Hemis National Park place is a must, whenever you go to Ladakh to witness its vivid wildlife. The National Park is known for some unusual species like barhal and snow panther and includes the catchments of Markha, Rumbak and Sumdah nalas.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
On your Delhi to Ladakh road trip, there is another place that you will come across i.e Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. It is located 25 miles from Leh in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir. Despite the major population of Buddhists, Guru Nanak Ji is adored by the Tibetan Buddhists as Guru Gompka Maharaj and as Nanak Lama.
Royal Leh Palace
While you embark on your journey to Leh Ladakh, one more place which you would definitely not like to miss is the ancient Royal Leh Palace built in the 17th century during the reign of Sengge Namgyal. This place is one of the most popular tourist attractions and is one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine stories and made with sand, stones, mud, and wood. The place also has a monastery nearby and the statue of Lord Buddha complements the beauty of the place.
Khardungla Pass is on the priority list of people visiting Leh-Ladakh by road. Until very recently, Khardung La is the world’s highest motorable road at a height of 17600 ft. It an essential door to Nubra and Shyok Valley and also Siachen Glacier.
As the name suggests Sangam means ‘confluence’. At, Sangam Point, the two rivers i.e Indus and Zanskar meet and hence the name ‘Sangam Point’. For the onlookers, it becomes an amazing sight for the eyes. The twist and turns of the river make Ladakh white water rafting an enthralling experience for all the travelers up for adventures.
Do we even need to give a second thought about visiting Zanskar Valley? It takes the heart of a daredevil to visit and experience the beauty of such places in Leh-Ladakh. The tributaries of the Zanskar River are famous for white water rafting. The best time to visit this place is from June-September when Leh experiences moderate temperatures and are clear of snow. For a significant time of the year, it’s closed because of the extreme weather conditions of the place during that time.
Monasteries in Leh Ladakh
Coming up until here and not visiting monasteries? That’s not possibleṣ. Every traveller makes it a point to pay a visit to the monastery in Ladakh. These intricately built monasteries still stand strong housing the monastic communities with different sects of Buddhism. These monasteries preach their way of life and spread it to the world. Each and every monastery in Ladakh is beautiful in its own stature and draws tourists from all over the world to witness the beauty of their Buddhist Culture. Some of the most renowned monasteries in Ladakh are:
Hemis Monastery is one of the most famous and largest monasteries in Ladakh belonging to Drukpa or Dragon order. It is 45 Km towards the southeast of Leh. The monastery houses a stunning accumulation of the well-established relics, for example, the icon of Lord Buddha made up of copper gilt, gold and silver stupas, and revered thangkas, making it probably the most extravagant monastery in Ladakh.
Being a magnificent monastery attracts tourists from all over the world predominantly during the time of the Hemis Festival. This is a very big and lavish celebration marking the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. This festival is celebrated on the 9th and 10th day of the fifth month according to the Tibetan Calendar and it is such an astounding sight to the eyes as monks celebrate it by dressing very colorfully and putting up various dance performances.
Thiksey Monastery is one of the best and most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh situated at a distance of about 17Kms south of Leh. There are many holy shrines in this monastery and the most famous one is Lakhang Nyerma, dedicated to the Goddess Dorje Chenmo. The monastery is now referred to as ‘Mini Potala’ of India as it resembles the Potala Palace of Lhasa.
The Thiksey Gustor Festival is held here during the tenth month of the Tibetan Calendar during the long stretches of October – November when the Cham dances of sacred masks are performed by occupant priests and nuns as a piece of custom. Around 80 Monks live here at present, spreading the atmosphere of harmony and profound Buddhism convictions to local people there.
Diskit Monastery is the oldest and largest in the Nubra Valley. It lies 15 km north-west off the Khalsar-Panamik route, at the edge of the desert in Shyok valley. The milky white monastery stands tall amidst the barren and austere lands of Nubra. Visit this place during February to see the tourists enjoying the Dosmoche festivals while on their Leh Ladakh Bike Trip.
Here you can wonder about the rich accumulations of Lord Buddha idols, the stupendous insides and engineering structures combined with the religious environment which is a treat to the eyes. For an enriching experience trek to the monastery for an amazing perspective on Ladakh and try to be available there in the morning when you can observe the renowned Morning Prayer function.
Shey, originally the capital of Ladakh was built by the King of Ladakh ‘Deldon Namgyal’ in 1655 and is situated 16 Km from the city of Leh. Hemis and Thiksey Monastery come on the way while we travel to Shey Monastery. The monastery houses the largest Buddha statue made of gilded copper known as ‘Shakyamuni Buddha’ and covers three floors of the building.
In front of the statue resides a big wax bowl, with a flame that is lit for a year after which it is replaced. The burning flame signifies integrity and spirituality to the tourists visiting the monastery.
The lower chapel of the building is believed to have the largest collection of thangkas in Ladakh. As you approach the monastery, you’ll likewise run over five Buddhas cut out of rock along the roadside. Near the monastery is the Druk Padma Karpo Institute, presently renamed Rancho School after its component in the Hindi motion picture 3 Idiots.
Matho Monastery is situated at a distance of 20kms south of Leh on the banks of the Indus River. It is the only monastery that follows the Sakya Sect of Buddhism. This monastery was founded in 1410 by Lama Dugpa Dorje. Backpackers on their road trip to Ladakh, witness the Nagrang Festival which is held in the 14th and 15th day according to the Tibetan Calendar. Other festivals are also organized at this monastery apart from Nagrang Festival where we get to enjoy the Cham Dance and acts of oracles.
Built around 500 years ago, the monastery has a brilliant gathering of old Thangas, walls decorated with depictions, statues of Maitreya, Sakyamuni, the gift Buddha and a thousand-armed statue of Avalokitesvara.
Stakna means ’tiger’s nose’, that is also the shape of the hill on which the monastery is built. Belonging to the Drugpa Sect of Buddhism, this monastery in Ladakh portrays an image of the religious and cultural heritage of India and Buddhism.
Out of the few icons of the monasteryṣ, the biggest one is that of Arya Avalokiteshvara from Assam’s Kamrup area. To the outrageous right of the patio, there’s seven feet tall silver Chorten which highlights the statue of Lord Buddha with some prayerṣ notes. The wall inverse to the passageway of the Assembly Hall is painted with three pictures, of a Bodhisattva, Padmasambhava, and Tshong-san-Gompo. Statues of Sakyamuni (Past Buddha), the Present Buddha and Maitreya (Future Buddha) are additionally found in the hall. The monastery has various sister monasteries, three of which are in Zanskar-Bardan, Stakrimo, and Sani. The best piece of this monastery is the striking perspective on the Indus River Valley from its rooftop.
Things to do on your Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Over the years Ladakh has emerged out to be one of the most popular destinations amongst tourists. Apart from its mesmerizing and spellbinding beauty, Ladakh has got to offer many interesting and adventurous things that intrigue you to escape and explore the city. So, what are you waiting for pack your bags and go wild for a while, as a lot of adventure awaits?
Trek to Markha Valley
Markha Valley Trek has fixed departures in the months of June, July, August, and September. A trek to Markha Valley is filled with full adventure and hidden ventures. If you have time and can extend your trip, keep few days for Markha Valley Trek in your Leh Ladakh Itinerary.
Spot the Snow Leopard
Spot Snow Leopard in the Hemis National Park. There is a 50 % chance that you might find a Leopard. Hemis National Park is famous amongst tourists as they love to spot majestic yet furious Snow Leopard amidst the white snow of the Jungle.
Indus River Rafting
If you are seeking tremendous pumping of adrenaline, then you can definitely not take a chance to miss rafting in the white waters of Indus River. The difficulty level varies in different sections and the river has rapids of mainly Grade I and Grade II but at a few points, it has rapids of Grade III as well. Apart from just feeding your hunger for adventure, you also get to see the beautiful and astonishing panoramic views of the ‘Heaven on Earth’.
Now is the time for some real adventure. Skiing in steep slopes of the Trans Himalayan Mountain Ranges is certainly going to be one hell of an experience you could have not even imagined. It is a must for a person who likes to ski, to do skiing in Ladakh as well.
Camel Safari Tours have also gained popularity amongst the tourists of Ladakh. Back in the bygone era camels were used for trading in this region. But in some parts like Nubra Valley, camels are still a mode of transportation for the purpose of trade to cover distances from Hundar to Diskit.
Go on a Yak Safari
Yak or Dong being the natural-born animals of this place are used to of onerousness of such safari pretty easily. Just get on the back of a yak and admire the mighty snow-clad mountains, blue skies, sprawling green valleys and lakes of Ladakh.
Shopping in Leh Market
You should definitely interact with the locals when in Ladakh and experience their walk of life. Get down on the streets of Leh Market and buy a memento or souvenir for yourself.
Along with being attributed as the ‘land of lamas’ and ’land of passes’, Ladakh is also attributed as the ‘land of colorful festivals’.In order to understand the way of life of the native people of Ladakh, you must make it a point to interact with the locals, visit monasteries, participate in the various festivals celebrated by the monks according to their Buddhist Calendar throughout the year. The main festivals that are celebrated here are:
- Hemis Festival – held in the month of June or July
- Losar Festival – celebrated in the 11th month as per Tibetan calendar which is 2 months ahead of New year.
- Ladakh Festival – celebrated during the initial weeks of September.
Soul Search with Vipassana
For those seeking inner peace and tranquility, visit Vipassana Centre is a must. Meditate in the lap of nature and cut yourself from the enraging mess around and dive into yourself. Dhamma Laddha Vipassana Meditation Centre, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre and several other Vipassana Centres around Ladakh offer courses that vary from 3 to 10 days.
Relax and Experience the calmness at Chumthang Springs
Relax and experience hot sulfur springs at Chumthang Village. It is very relieving for your mind, body, and soul and also if you have mountain sickness.
Highest Cafeteria in the World
The highest Cafeteria in the World is at Khardungla Pass (highest motorable road) and it is a must-visit when in Leh. The Rinchen Cafeteria serves a soupy Maggi, which you will love having after a rough, hectic and patchy journey. Don’t forget to get a picture clicked there with the board that says ‘Khardung La-World’s Highest Motorable Road’.
Have local Butter Tea and Chang
Sip on the butter tea available in Ladakh and also if you are a tea lover you will love to try Chang i.e the local blend of Ladakh.
General Travel Tips for your Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Apart from revering the beauty of the ’Land of High Passes’, you’ve got to take care of a few more important things to ensure that you’re safe and smooth travels. The following tips will guide you in getting around with the ‘Heaven Descended on Earth-Ladakh’ easily:
- Special Permits need to be taken to visit the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regions.
- To avoid acute mountain sickness, make sure your body has acclimatized pretty well.
- Check the weather conditions of the place whenever you are planning to visit the place and make sure you carry a sufficient amount of woolen clothes with you because even in summers, Ladakh experiences low temperatures.
- Trekkers should keep themselves hydrated at all times at such high altitudes. Ensure that you’ve enough stock of drinking water.
- Don’t forget to carry the First-Aid box and medicines.
- Photography is restricted in few areas of Ladakh, so before taking any snaps make sure you’ve looked out for any sign board saying no photography.
- Carry enough cash with you as credit cards are not accepted at most of the shops.
- ATMs are available only in Leh and Kargil.
- Good medical facilities are only available in Kargil, rest you will find dispensaries on your way.
- Leh, the capital city is the only place where you will find internet facilities. Nowhere in Ladakh, you will get to access the internet.
- Try to interact with the mild-hearted locals of the place, as they might fill you with useful information about the place.
- Also, do not pollute the environment and make sure you are doing your every bit to maintain the cleanliness and serenity of the place.
For all the adventure junkies, a Road trip to Ladakh is a must at least once in your lifetime. Let go of all the worries and tensions as Ladakh has got to offer you many spellbinding experiences, that you will definitely cherish forever. So what are you waiting for, book the best Ladakh Bikeṣ Tour Package with us and let the fun times roll in? Happy Lehning.