A place which could be easily mistaken for a land out of nowhere, Ladakh is the foremost preference and utter delight for adventure tourists. At a height level ranging from 2750-7672 m above sea level, this little isolated retreat from city life offers everything any tourist would look for. From religious explorings (numerous stupas, monasteries) to a culture enthusiast (the distinct culture and practices of locals) to those seeking adrenaline rush (trekking, biking); this one place satiates it all.
The place is blessed with valleys, mountain range, uninhabited passes, mountain glaciers and unbelievably beautiful natural scenery around, much to the delight of visitors. While every option you pick here is a treat in itself, Ladakh is particularly popular for its spell-binding trek routes and biking options.
While trekking options are unlimited, ranging from day-long walks to fairly hard trek involving a little less than a month, the results are pretty rewarding. You find popular tourist destinations, monastic settlements and untouched virgin beauty of the mountains during these treks. You’ll require from little to all-equipped training beforehand depending upon what trek you choose. Every year thousands of tourists land in Ladakh especially to attempt one of the popular treks to have that once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Mountain biking, on the other hand, is one of those recent trends that have fast become extremely popular among all set of tourists. High on the adrenaline rush and rustic adventures, the biking routes make you witness to some of the most unforgiving roads around. The altitudes are unbelievable and the conditions often not the best. But there is an instant gratification you get after finishing this route with much pride.
Here is a list of some of the most interesting treks and biking routes:
The trek begins from Lamayuru monastery, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ladakh and ends at Chilling, a place which is popular for its copper production. On its way, it covers a number of mountain ranges on the route such as Karakoram, Zanskar and those from the Great Himalayas.
This is easily one of the most exciting treks in Ladakh and attracts a fair number of tourists every season who crave for scenic views and culture exposure. There are a number of local settlements that fall in the route, thus making for an interesting trekking option.
The best months to embark upon this trek are July and August when the valley is at its full bloom and bestows quite a sight with flowers everywhere. An absolute treat for bird-watchers!
Lamayuru to Alchi
This easily comes up as one of the most favoured treks because of the number of tourist destinations it covers on its route. Some of them include Leh, Lamayuru, Hemis, Wanla, Shey, Base of Tarla and Thiksey.
For those who dig exploring the local culture and distinct traditions can check out various monasteries and small villages that fall on the way. Having said that, this trek is not for the faint-hearted and requires prior experience in trekking.
Lamayuru Stok Kangri
This is a high altitude trek that is fairly easy to accomplish while managing the pace. The trek is particularly famous due to one of its stopovers which also happen to be a major tourist destination, Stok Kangri. The trek can be taken up by beginners as well and offers some of the most spectacular views around.
Chadar- The Frozen Lake
Easily one of the most breathtaking experiences in Ladakh, the trek on the frozen lake is nothing less than an accomplishment only few manage to acquire. During winters, the Chadar lake freezes to thin ice-like sheets when the temperature drops down below zero. At a high altitude of 3850 m above sea level, the trek offers stunning views, majestic glaciers and frozen streams on its route. One would easily need to spend a fortnight to a little less than a month in order to finish the trek.
Stok Kangri Climb
This is not a trek for anyone and everyone. Being one of the highest altitude treks with around 6000 m above sea level, this trek is suggested only for professional trekkers. The trek route is rough and requires strength, skills and around 11-12 days to finish it. However, the ending spot more than makes up for it with the stunning view of K2 Mountain once you’ve reached the peak ofStok Kangri.
Biking in Ladakh
One of the latest trends in Ladakh tourism, biking is an adventurer’s delight in Ladakh. The rough routes, the high altitude, the rustic surroundings and the uncertainty of the trip make it for a perfect adrenaline rush.
One can either get their heavy duty bike or easily hire one on rent here for Ladakh trip. The most popular of routes for mountain biking is Manali to Leh one which involves covering distance of over 10,000 m and crossing over three different passes of varying altitude. The trip easily requires around two weeks reaching the final spot.
It is always a good idea to prepare well before embarking on a mountain biking trip. Ladakh is an isolated space and can get tricky to handle without the appropriate gear and complete information beforehand. For those who are either short on time or want to get a taste of the wild, camping and jeep safaris are also organized at Zanskar.