The Ladakhi Way – Discovering ‘Little Tibet’ on KTM 390 ADV Bikes

The native culture of Ladakh is majorly influenced by Tibetan culture. If you have ever ventured into the land of Tibet, you may spot striking similarities between the two places.

Here’s to hoping that Thrillophilia’s KTM Adventure Biking Trip has a reverse ripple effect on Tibet, now that it’s introduced to the vibrant culture of Ladakh! Imagine riding your KTM in Tibet the way you get to gear it up in Ladakh, that’s an experience we look forward to. Both Ladakh and Tibet have their own share of beauty and charisma to offer, but in our KTM Adventure Tour, we have discovered elements of Tibet natively integrated in Ladakh’s everyday lifestyle!

Despite the unique culture and traditions of Ladakh, you will notice stark similarities in the way Ladakhis and Tibetans dress up, their language, cuisine, and the religion they practice. As you stride your KTM 390 ADV through the lanes of Ladakh with us, you will also observe the similarities in the markets and terrains. Hence, the name “Little Tibet”. Here are some of them listed down for you –

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Traditional Attire

The everyday attire of native Ladakhis is a great example of the influence of Tibetan culture. Goncha (traditional gown), Kos (thick whitish robe), Sulma (flowing robe worn by females), Lokpa (cloak), and Tipi (Ladakhi hat) are worn by the men and women here on an everyday basis. Tibetans are known to dress up in a similar fashion with woolen robes and heavy dresses. While making your way through the high passes, spot the locals in traditional Goncha.  Maybe some traditionally clad person will join you on your journey as you stride by on your KTM 390 ADV with us!

Traditional Jewellery

Jewellery is an essential part of Tibetan culture, and it is considered inauspicious if a woman goes out without a hair ornament or amulet. It’s as if a biker left for a stride on an adventure without wearing their helmet! Similarly, the Ladakhis deem jewellery like headgear and amulets as a significant part of their culture.  Perak is a heavy headdress meticulously inlaid with blue turquoise stones. Jugin (Muslim headdress) is usually worn at the wedding by the bride, Gau or Kau (amulet) popular ones. We are excited for you to explore the jewelry shops on our KTM Adventure Bike Tour and maybe find some good accessory for your bike!

Cuisine of Ladakh

Food is one of the primary sources to explore the culture and history of a place. Ride to the popular restaurants and cafes to savour the local cuisine of Ladakh. In all honesty, bikes reach destinations that will be difficult to reach using other vehicles.


Our KTM 390 Adventure bike tour aims to introduce you to these hidden gems. Some of the must-try dishes of Ladakh’s cuisine that you will get to try are:

Momos (dumpling filled with meat or vegetables)

Thukpa (a soupy noodle dish with assorted vegetables and minced meat)

Skyu (a soup-based traditional dish with vegetables and kneading dough)

-Butter tea (popularly known as gurgur chai, this tea is prepared with butter, milk, and salt)

Chhang (local beer of Ladakh) 

Much like the Tibetan gastronomical scene, the local cuisine of Ladakh goes far beyond just the soupy noodles and mild flavours. Head to famous restaurants like The Tibetan Kitchen, Gesmo Restaurant, and Lamayuru Restaurant to explore further. 

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Religious Similarities

The predominant religion practised in Ladakh is Buddhism, the same as that of Tibet. There are two primary forms of Buddhism dominant in the Ladakh region- Mahayana and Vajrayana. Its four sects are Nyngma, Kagyud, Shakya, and Geluk. Each sect is unique and known for its distinct form of chanting, life cycle rituals, etc.

You would spot several monasteries and gompas in Ladakh that are pretty enticing. Visit Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, and Stok Gompa while enjoying your ride on KTM 390 ADV in Ladakh. Shanti Stupa is the most popular tourist attraction as along with its religious significance, it provides panoramic views of the surroundings.  

Linguistic Tenet

The Ladakhi language is essentially a Tibetic language, similar to classical Tibetan. Although Ladakh’s language is not precisely the same as that of Tibet, it is derived from the classical Tibetan language. It is widely spoken in all regions of Ladakh by people of all communities. Our KTM bikers get an additional benefit of staying longer at desired places and interacting with the locals. However, we all know that adventure is a form of language for all travel enthusiasts, which is another linguistic tenet that shapes up in the land of high passes!

With the factors mentioned above, it is evident that there are several striking similarities between the culture of Ladakh and Tibet, and hence, it is called “Little Tibet”. So what are you still waiting for? Glide the KTM 390 ADV with Thrillophilia experts into the land of high passes. Explore the vibrant culture of Ladakhis and, in this process, also get a glimpse of the traditional Tibetan culture. Like we always say, let the adventure begin! 

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Rekha Jain

I have been travelling across India for a long time and I am using this blog to share my experiences with you so that you can see the tremendous beauty which India has to offer.
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