The scorching sun is beating down on our heads and summer is surely wearing us out. An escape to a hill station is just what you need to escape your daily routine as well as the heat. In today’s blog, Team Fxkart brings to you a mini guide to the crown jewel of India’s mountains, Ladakh.
Ladakh is India’s most beautiful offering to the worn out mind. This scenery of a place is sure to bring out the photographer, philosopher and poet in you. If you are feeling adventurous and wish to break free from your mundane days then you could get an adrenaline rush from motorcycle ride through the mountain passes. The more words I use to describe this mountainous vision the more my descriptions will seem to fail and fall short when you actually behold this beauty.
One of the most important aspects of traveling to Ladakh is acclimatization. You could go on travel websites and get a package to Ladakh and hop onto a flight to Leh (which is the capital of Ladakh). Before you even get off the plane you can start enjoying your trip.
The plane takes a spiral path to land at the airport. So close your book and remove your eye mask and enjoy the view from your airplane window. You will be seeing a whole lot of angles of the mountain as your flight slowly spirals to the land. Except for the breathtaking view, the spiral land will not affect you as the loop the pilot will take to land is pretty large and not anything like going down a vortex.
Once you have landed in Leh, spend a day there acclimatizing. You don’t need to do anything specific and just let your body adjust naturally to the change in altitude and oxygen saturation of the atmosphere. Over-excitement to begin your hiking adventure and not give a day or two to acclimatizing can pour cold water on your plans if you develop even mild symptoms of mountain sickness which can range of feeling ill, vomiting, nausea, giddiness to full blown unconsciousness.
Other points to keep in mind is to stay hydrated (but not over hydrate as the brain can swell due to overhydration). So let thirst guide the amount of water you drink. Eat a diet high in carbs and stay clear of caffeine and alcohol.
Once you are done unwinding and acclimatizing in Leh then you can travel to Ladakh. Things to do in Ladakh are either going to lull your senses into a state of tranquility or jolt them with a well-deserved dose of adrenaline.
Unwind amidst the snow-capped Karakoram mountain range, hike in the mountain passes, photograph the picture perfection that surrounds you and enjoy meeting with the locals. There are many monasteries to visit too such as the Hemis monastery.
One other must-do activity you must participate in is white water rafting. That is, you must have a shot of adrenaline in the trip. The Zanskar river is untamed fast river where your rafting adventure can begin to end at the calmer waters of Indus.
Mind you the water is bone-chilling quite literally and you will be given an insulated suit to wear while rafting. Also, if you are the little daredevil then go ahead and take a jump into the Zanskar waters but don’t you say I hadn’t warned you!
As I mentioned motorcycle rides through the mountain passes is sure to be a life-changing the experience for anyone adventurous enough to embark upon it. You will be passing through some of the history’s most significant passes which in many ways shaped India’s trade and war history.
The view you will motorcycle through is breathtaking and so is the altitude, quite literally! You will find numerous bike tour packages online and most of them fill out fast as the pass is motorable only for four months when not covered in snow which is in the summers.
Especially for an exhilarating activity like biking you need to set aside 2 days for acclimatization and not rush to your ride. Usually, flights from Delhi to Leh will take you to the destination where you spend the first one or two days letting your body adapt to the altitude and then begin your adventure. It is always advisable to ride from Ladakh to Manali or Delhi rather than vice versa as your body finds it easier to adapt to the descent rather than ascent.
You can hike or bike to the scenic landscapes that Ladakh has to offer. The rugged mountains which support no life but yet have a life and story of their own suddenly make way for green oases and valleys with inhabitants going about their seemingly unremarkable day in this remarkable place.
The lakes look like they have been subjected to CGI and VFX and airbrushed and photoshopped. But the mirror like pristine waters have been touched by God only and are probably made in the reflection of heaven.
Remember the beautiful lake in the climax scene of 3 idiots? That beauty is none other than the Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh. But don’t discriminate because of this lake’s superstar status as there is another lake called the Tso Moriri lake which looks like a painting by a romantic with its hues of green and blue.
Amongst the mountains and lush valleys is a dry desert with double-humped Bactrian camels in the Nubra valley. Yes surprising to find such a terrain and you will need a detailed geography lesson to fathom as to how such a desert came to be amongst the green valleys and snowy mountains. Don’t miss it and be sure to get a selfie with Mr. Camel!
Craving for some human touch too? You will find beautiful monasteries and a chance to get in touch with your spirituality at the Buddhist monasteries. Spituk Gompa is a stunning hilltop monastery and some of the other monasteries to visit would be the Hemis monastery and Likir monastery. The Royal Leh palace has a museum too giving you a peek into the heritage of the place.
Also, be sure to lie beneath stars and enjoy the spectacular night sky as never seen before. Ladakh is virtually pollution free and there will be no smog clouding the night sky. It is a wonderful opportunity for photographers to capture the night sky.
One of the most baffling phenomena of Ladakh is the magnetic valley is the upward slide off your vehicle on the slope of the Magnetic Hill without accelerating. Be sure to capture a potentially viral video of this phenomenon!
So take your significant other and escape into the scenic adventure of a lifetime to bring back a ton load of memories and who knows a positive change to your perspective on life.