Leh, The Internet is flooded with stories in and around the place from every possible dimension, there’s barely anyone who’s unaware of the beauty. I had been planning since last year to get here and I even bought a bike in November last year just to ride to the place; As I was told that the road im gonna ride on, is the most beautiful road as per Lifehack.org .
Unfortunately I could not go in summers due to my busy schedule but it was like something was pricking from inside and when I finally got time in October, I planned my trip for a week. I couldn’t opt for the road as most of the roads were closed or were somewhere there, so my only option was taking a flight, which I thought would be boring but the none the less would get me to the desired place.
I boarded the flight with a heavy heart on an early October morning, the flying time was only 80 minutes and barely after 50 minutes I could see the beautiful blue sky from the window, The region of Ladakh is simply majestic and i was awestruck to see a sky so blue and clear. Soon my flight landed and I was freezing away in glory, a straight shift from 35 degree to 7 degree. The sky was clearer than expected and beautiful beyond imagination. It was as if God painted just the right shade of blue when it came to Ladakh. Although the Leh district is the second biggest area (across India) when it comes to size but the real inhabited town is barely 5 kms stretch where everyone lives in complete harmony. This was infact the oldest inhabited place in world, remember the Indus valley civilisation?
What to See: Well, the place is magically diverse and harmonious and that’s what is depicted in the vast land with numerous monasteries like Sankar Gompa, Jo-Khang Gompa, Hemis Gompa. Of which Hemis is the biggest in all of Ladakh region and they are planning to conduct a mass meeting in 2016 which is open to general public, must be a sight to see. There is a war memorial dedicated to the numerous soldiers who have fought for our land and lost their lives in complete honour. There is Shanti Stupa which is a beautiful relic of Gautam Buddha in Chandspa area and is the apt spot to see the complete Leh city from a vantage point.
What to Eat: Numerous small cafe at Fort road and Changspa road but I suggest trying Gespo at Fort road for its Yak cheese and great chunky cookies. It’s best if you can broker a deal with a local and eat their local meal of Khambir, Kholak and Butter tea.
Where to Crash: With more than 500 hotel stay ranging from cheapest to biggest and more comforting ones, there is really a darth of all these, but I would still recommend if you can take a home stay, eat locally and remember to respect the humble people in their way of doing things. For my stay, I took a hotel named Himalyan Retreat near circuit house, which has sauve service and massive rooms with a size of international swimming pool and great view, you can budge in local food over too with a kind request and a very small amount.
How to get there: Only 2 ways to get there either by road which or by flight, There are 3 flights every morning to Leh (IXL) airport and that’s all for the day.
For the brave souls the road routes are as follow– There are 2 routes, I recomend the first one when climbing up and second one while returning –
Delhi>Chandigarh>Manali>Rohtang pass>Keylong>Jispa (acclimatisation recommended)>Sarchu>Leh.
- Do not forget to acclimatize for a day atleast if you are taking a flight, you would feel your breathe running out and maybe even experience dizziness and nausea. Stay around in the market there is ample to see and eat, don’t act like Hulk jumping across borders.
- Carry your own medicine, Diamox is recommended if you can’t find that a normal paracetemol would get you there halfway by thinning your blood.
- The main season is June to August, post that is fall which gives you major discount and it’s still beautiful but you might experience sub-zero temperatures so beware (only recommended for flyers).
- Take a home stay, eat local food, try local fruits like Chulli and Lehberry, carry a pair of boots and warm clothes that block chilly air.