Leh Ladakh are on the bucket list of many travellers in India and around the world. Here are 21 things that one should surely do when in the land of yaks and lamas.
1. Leh Ladakh Street food
The town of Leh Ladakh has plenty of street food options from Maggie, momos, bread omlette, parathas, mutton and chicken kebabs sold in the market area are things totally worth a try.
The best way to experience Leh Ladakh is by staying in an authentic home stay, since this is easily the best way to get a real feel of the place and the people. Home stay options are available in nearly all the villages. Leh, Turtuk, Alchi, Hunder and Mulbek are some of the places with the best home stays in Leh Ladakh.
3. War Memorial
Just on the outskirts of the town of Leh Ladakh is the war memorial build in honour of the many brave hearts who lost their lives trying to safeguard our country. The war memorial is more of a museum which has plenty of relics and stories of numerous Indian soldiers.
4. House Boat
If your starting or ending your Ladakh road trip in Srinagar then a night stay in one of the houseboats on Dal Lake is an absolute must. The houseboats are stationed in one place and make a perfect place to start or end the trip to Leh Ladakh.
5. Yak cheese pizza
A must try for everyone who travels to Leh is the Yak cheese pizza which is easily available in all the restaurants and cafes which serve pizza. The Yak cheese is imported from Nepal and something worth trying and to tick off from your bucket list.
6. Ladakhi breakfast
Ladakh is home to people who survive on very basic food. A must try is their Ladakhi breakfast which includes Ladakhi bread which is a made of wheat and more like a puffed up roti served with butter and jam. This coupled with Kawaa (Ladakhi Chai) is the perfect way to start your day in the morning.
The town of Leh has a huge market area with plenty of things to shop. From T-shirts, Tibetan handicraft, prayer flags and woollen wear the shops in Leh have plenty to keep the shoppers glued. Bargaining is a skill which will come very handy while shopping in the village.
8. Send a Postcard
With cell phone network virtually non-existent in Ladakh, the best way to send something meaningful to your loved ones is by rewinding the clock and sending a humble postcard.
In Ladakh, one has camping options near Pangong Tso and in Nubra Valley. Both these places provide basic as well as luxury camping options.
10. Selfie at Drass
With the selfie rage bigger than ever, the town of Drass which is the second coldest inhabited town in the world is an ideal place to click a selfie with the huge J&K tourism sign board boasting of the same.
If adventure is what you seek then rafting in the mighty Zanskar River is something totally worth a try. The rafting starts at Chilling and ends at the confluence of Indus and Zanskar and covers roughly around 30 kms through bone-chilling cold water and rapids that will send shivers down your spine. With the barren Trans-Himalayas wedged on either side of the river, the rafting is an experience like no other.
12. Butter chicken at Kargil
While in Kargil the best thing to do is hit one of the authentic Mughlai restaurants and feast on some mouth-watering butter chicken and rotis or jeera rice. The chicken or mutton biryani also served here is worth a try.
13. Talk to a monk
Leh Ladakh is world famous for its monasteries and while paying your respect to one of the many monasteries befriending a monk is something which will leave a lasting effect and surely change a few worldly things about you.
14. Spot K2
In the village of Turtuk on the border of Indian and Pakistan from the village Gompa travellers can get a glimpse of Mt K2 the second highest peak in the world after Mount Everest.
15. Stargaze at Nubra
While in the famous desert region of Nubra Valley spend a few hours just sitting out in the open and star gazing and one will easily spot a couple of shooting stars if not more. The village of Turtuk and Hunder are ideal places to star gaze.
16. Zanskar Valley
A road trip to the village of Padum in the Zanskar Valley is challenging but will surely leave you with memories for a lifetime. Driving to absolute wilderness one passes through unpaved roads with glaciers on either side, horses running wild and tiny villages along the way. A trip to Zanskar Valley is like none other in the entire Himalayan region.
17. Local bus to Leh
There are multiple ways to get to Leh Ladakh some ride their bikes, hire an SUV and some fly into Leh. But taking the local bus to Leh Ladakh from either Srinagar or Manali is an experience like none other. Sitting in the bus with locals, foreigners and the bus being driven by some of the finest drivers from both J&K and Himachal Pradesh. The ride is an experience of a life time.
18. Witness a Ladakhi festival
Each monastery in Leh Ladakh has its own annual festival which is a mega event of two to four days and involves lamas wearing masks and dancing and singing and attracts crowd from all over the region. Experiencing a Ladakhi festival is something totally worth it.
19. Pluck apricots in Turtuk
The village of Turtuk produces the best apricots in the world and during the months of July and August one can spend all day plucking and eating ripe apricots from the countless trees in the village.
20. Himalayan Marmot
The Himalayas are home to numerous animals which are distinct from other regions and the Himalayan marmot is one such animal. Found in the grassy pastures leading to the famous Pangong Tso lake and along the road to Zanskar Valley, the Himalayan marmot is the giant cousin of the beaver.
21. Hot bath at Panamik
In the lesser known region of Nubra Valley, in the village of Panamik lies a hot sulphur spring which is an ideal place for travellers to take a dip in the hot spring enclosed jacuzzi.
There are many other things that travellers can do in Leh Ladakh but these are the ones that should not be missed.
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