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Stok Kangri, Ladakh is one of the most popular places for high altitude trekking in India. Although the beauty of Ladakh draws in innumerable tourists and trekkers from all over the country and the world, the Stok Kangri trek isn’t really suited for anyone and everyone.
It is advisable that only experienced trekkers set out on this expedition as the climatic and geographical conditions of the place may not suit novice or amateur trekkers. Nonetheless, Stok Kangri is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the country. It is for this reason that the Stok Kangri trek forms an inevitable experience while trekking in India.
The trek begins from Leh, which is noted for its natural beauty as well as the warm and hospitable people. During the first couple of days of the trek, you can move around Leh, go sightseeing and get acclimatized to the weather of the region. These couple of days will prepare you for the trek ahead. You will next be taken to Chang Ma via Stok Village by road.
The journey from Leh to Stok Village takes you to witness the amiable yet fictional setting which includes lush greenery, glistening snow peaks and scenic splendour of the region in this stretch. On reaching Chang Ma, you reach a snow covered region, and begin trekking. You will need to climb on for about three hours. From here you will head on to Manokorma, which is at an elevation of 14200 feet.
During the trek, you will be able to view some very beautiful peaks such as the Gulap Kangri, Parcha Kangri, etc. The base camp of the trek is at an elevation of 16, 300 feet. From here, the journey continues till you reach the Stok Kangri. The rewarding scenery from the top is what draws trekkers from all over the world to high altitude trekking in India. The trek back to Leh is a bit arduous and you may need to be careful while climbing down the mountainous terrain.
Best Season: June - October
Difficulty Level: Medium
Max. Elevation: 5000 m
Number of days: Maximum 10 days of trek can be done here
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Traveller Tales from Ladakh
27 November 2015
The beauty of the landscapes of this destination is something that blew my mind the second I landed. Coupled with the chill climate this was the perfect trip! The people I met were amazing and the guid...
26 September 2015
Great trip! The rooms were good and so was our food. We covered all the places as mentioned in the package. We also visited some of the monasteries which revived us all at once. The sight of Nubra vall...
25 August 2018
"amazing experience with Thrillophillia, Jigmet, Aditya were very helpful. The trip was a dream trip and these guys made sure it goes smooth"
26 April 2018
"We 5 had an awesome time. We got snow. We got sun and we got crystal clear water flowing down the valleys. We will be back LEH! The grass was greener. The light was brighter with friends surrounded! T...
06 March 2017
It was one of the best and the most memorable trip I ever had. I always wanted to visit Ladakh and so this time I booked this package. Like they say the adventure begins it was indeed one hell of an ad...
14 July 2018
One of the best travel experiences of my life and the credit goes to Thrillophilia! A very well organized trip! Versus the various experiences we'd heard, ours was a very smooth and mesmerising trip. W...
11 May 2014
There is some magic in leh that drives many visitors. i loved to discover the ever flowing rivers and straight mountains.The elegant Tsarap River , Rupshu plateau and the Baralacha Pass was worth visit
29 August 2018
It was an Amazing Experience, entire team was amazing and very helpful.
18 October 2015
woooooI just fall in love with this place, it absolutely the paradise of trekkers. The trails are not so though so anyone with some guidance can reach up to the destination easily. Talking about Padum,...
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What You Should Know More About Sightseeing in Ladakh
Overland – The terrestrial approach to Ladakh from the valley of Kashmir via Kargil is approx. 434 Km that remains open for traffic from the month of June to the month of November. The most ecstatic yet dramatic bit this road journey boasts of is the ascent up the 11,500 feet 3,505 m high Zoji-La. This pass within the August Himalayan Wall serves to be the entrance to Ladakh. Varied groups can rent transport for Leh, Padum (Zangskar) or Kargil from the J & K State Road Transport Corporation at Srinagar or use its regular and deluxe bus services between Srinagar and Leh with a night long halt at Kargil to flock to the paradise on Earth.
Since 1989, the 473 km. Manali-Leh road has been serving to be the second overland approach to Ladakh. This route is open for traffic from around mid-June to early October. This high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho, where the altitude ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. A variety of high passes falls in the way. Among these the greatest one is called Taklang-La is world's second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet/5,235m.
Himachal Pradesh tourism, HRTC, and J & K SRTC operate daily Deluxe and normal bus services between Manali and Leh. With a night long halt in camps at Serchu or Pang, the bus journey between Leh and Manali takes around nineteen two days or nineteen hours without a halt. Maruti Gypsy and auto taxis are obtainable as well, at Manali as well as Leh at quite affordable rates.
You should carry Sunscreen to prevent skin damages as there’s scorching heat at high altitudes. Also, one must carry sports shoes as there are many pleasant places to walk by. To avoid dehydration, you should drink lots of fluid. Your clothes must be of light cotton material. The temperature drop at night, so, do pack winter clothing even when travelling in summers.
You can visit Ladakh during winters. During this time of the year, it is all covered in snow, and views are magnificent. It is an offseason, but you shall enjoy the place more when there are fewer tourists around you. Also, some famous treks are carried out during this time including the famous Chadar Trek. It is an extraordinary trek on the frozen Zanskar river. Not an easy trek at all though, this experience is bound to make you feel like a real adventurer and traveller. From the spell-binding beauty of the landscape to the grandeur this ultimate location inherits, this trek would leave you awe-struck and motivated for life.
Ladakh is heaven on earth. And any number of days in the heaven-like destination is less and unsatisfying. A Ten day trip to Ladakh sounds good. You will be able to cover all the important places of interest.
The average travel during each day, when you are visiting Leh and Ladakh region varies between 50 – 80 Km. Owing to the landscape of the region, travelling is very slow. Moreover, after the sun sets, it becomes very difficult to drive fast. Thus, the travel duration ranges from 4 – 6 hours per day. Most of the lakes and monasteries are located outside the Ladakh city, and that’s why, tourists need to travel a lot to visit these beautiful places
For all those women who are refraining from their dream solo trip just because of security concerns, here is an assurance. Many women only tours can be joined by the travelers where the drivers as well as the other staff involved are trustworthy. If a case of emergency is reported, a team is bound to reach out to you at your aid
Yes, there are several women-only tours available. We offer many such tour packages exclusively for women who want to travel. You can get in touch with us in order to get maximum information about our journey packages, meals, transportation, accommodation etc. Always be mindful of the itinerary schedule and specific things you need to carry for making your trip a comfortable and safe one. In the case of any queries, we are happy to help and guide you through your preparation.
Visiting Leh and Ladakh gives you an enthralling experience. There is a lot to see in Leh and Ladakh including mesmerizing natural beauty of the place, ancient monasteries, various gompas, the mountain peaks, wildlife safaries and much more. The best tourist places which you can visit in Manali and Leh-Ladakh city include:
You can visit the popular mountaineering peaks in Ladakh, including: Sasser Kangri 7627 mts in Karakoram range Nun 7135 mts Kun 7085 mts in Zanskar range Kang-yatse 6400 mts Stok Kangri 6150 mts in Ladakh range.
Be it for the arid landscape or the mighty Himalayas or the ancient monasteries or the turquoise lakes, Ladakh is inevitably on the top of every traveller’s wish list.
Dive into the tranquillity of the magnificent Pangong Lake
Remember the last scene in 3 Idiots where the idiots and Piya reunite. Remember the picture-perfect lake that was more charismatic than any other thing going on on the screen. That lake is the Pangong Lake! Situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft, this long and narrow lake extends from India to Tibet and is just 160 kilometers away from Ladakh. It boasts of being one of the largest salt-water lakes in Asia. What adds to the beauty of the lake is that it is landlocked and during winters the blue hue of the water turns white, as the lake freezes. The solidified lake then becomes the venue for an ice skating festival, visited by skaters from all around the globe. The drive to Pangong lake itself is a visual treat. Don’t forget to capture some of the best sceneries you’ll ever see.
Magnetic Hill will always attract you
Magnetic Hill is a "gravity hill" located in Ladakh. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes creates an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road. Cars and the other objects on hill could give the impression of rolling "uphill" defying the gravity while they, in fact, roll down the hill. Amazing isn’t it. People from all over the world are attracted to this place to experience this unique phenomenon of nature.
For some “Inner-Shanti” Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed sacred shrine which is situated on a hilltop in Chanspa in Leh. It holds the relics of the Buddha at its base. Not only the religious significance of the Stupa makes it a tourist attraction but also its location which provides the mesmerizing panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. It was built as a monument to celebrate 2500 years of Buddhism and sure sets an impression on its visitors’ minds.
Visit to Drass Valley
The Drass Valley is the second coldest inhabited destination around the world. Don’t forget to pack your woollens before you visit this chilling place. Discover the beauty in barren brown mountains. Spend the night at Kargil Kargil lies near the LOC facing the Pakistan-administered region of Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Jammu and Kashmir divisions to the west. Visit the Drass War Memorial, which is a small monument that commemorates the historic success of Kargil War of 1999. Spend some time here remembering the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to prevent us from intruders. Also, you can visit the Sani, Rangdum and Phutkal monasteries. It is also a perfect place for camping at night before moving forward your journey to explore other attractive places around Leh.
Camel Safari for the child in you
Safari on a double-humped camel in Ladakh is an absolute adventure. The shabby double-humped Bactrian camels, in olden days were the main mode of transport on the Ladakh-Yarkhand (Turkmanistan) trade and even now you can enjoy this as a treat. The Safari goes along the soft white sandy deserts with rolling sand dunes.
Go mountain climbing, ice skiing and trekking Talking about adventure activities in Leh and Ladakh
You can’t afford to miss these three. -Go trekking on the rocky and arduous slopes of the Himalayan ranges surrounded by thick dense forests. -Climbing the mountains is always fascinating for adventure seekers and when it is in the Himalayas, it is pure ecstasy. The beauty of nature around you is enough to keep you going on and on discovering ways. Don’t forget to hire a local guide. -Ice skiing is real fun and you get a chance to enjoy it to the fullest on the snow clad Himalayas.
Hire a motorbike
This is a sheer pleasure for people who love riding the bike! Motorbike journey to Ladakh is an unprecedented chance to experience the charm of the region. You get a chance to cross the world's highest motorable passes, camp at high altitude lakes and spend time in valleys which are 12,000 ft above mean sea level. Enough to give adrenaline a rush. Ladakh, also known as “Little Tibet” is the place to be. You will get solitude and venture, both in a well-balanced package. You will cherish this experience forever To add to this, there are many monasteries where you can experience Buddhism at its core
While mostly it is about our discretion and mannerism that goes along while visiting any religious place, here are a few things that should be kept in mind while on a visit to the monasteries and temples in Ladakh. A decent dress code is a mandate and also, one is required to ask permission before entering the main prayer hall. There are a few monasteries that do not allow women to enter the prayer area so seeking permission would save you from embarrassment. Drinking, smoking and drugs are a big no and such practices are not entertained by the inmates of the monasteries in any case. Prevention is better than cure and so one must keep in mind what activities should be avoided according to one’s own intellect.
There are many items that can be bought from Ladakh like Pashmina shawls, Tibetan Silver jewelry, Buddhist masks, Thangka paintings, prayer wheels and apricots. But there is one thing you cannot leave Ladakh without- Tibetan prayer flags. The ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ flags are a good omen to be received as gifts which make them the perfect souvenirs for you and your loved ones. These flags carry the prayers through the wind and are not meant to be still. These colorful wings are sure to bring wellbeing in your life thus proving to be the best souvenir a place can offer.
Perhaps, the festive season is the best time to visit Ladakh. The entire city comes alive during the festivals, and one can see colours all around. It’s the time when people from different corners of Ladakh, congregate in one place and become a part of the festive spirit. It’s the best time to explore the Ladakhi culture too. Most of the festivals are celebrated from late June to early July.
Following are the festivals which are celebrated in Ladakh:
A lot of hotels having rooms ranging from average to high class are available. Various resorts are also available for stay. Tents are also available for the night stay or you can bring your own tents too. But the most economical and welcoming stay you can anticipate while in Ladakh is in monasteries. Many monasteries these days have opened up to welcoming tourists as their inmates. There one can soak in the tradition and culture of the monks and nuns while maybe digging in to learn more about Buddhism. There can be instances when amenities feel a bit out of place but then the panoramic view of the mountains from your lodging window would calm anybody’s materialistic senses down.
There is a good fleet of tourist vehicles in Leh and Ladakh region. Primarily, it’s a tourist place, but, being highly mountainous, one cannot find a lot of public transportation like buses or trains. But, tourist vehicles are quite common and can easily be hired to travel to diverse locations and tourist destinations. These include Toyota Qualis, Innova, Mahindra Scorpio, Tata Sumo and many more.
If you are travelling with co-passengers in a shared taxi, tempo or INNOVA, you need to make sure whether your companions have more luggage or less. So, it is advisable to travel only if the luggage of all the passengers can be accommodated comfortably in the vehicle as there will be limited space for adjusting the luggage after providing seats to the travellers.
The driver will be able to understand English. But, you should be ready for the broken English.
The availability of a tour guide or a manager depends majorly on the package you select for your trip. As all of us know, different vendors and packages have different policies and amenities, though, it is always advisable to book a package which includes a tour guide or manager to experience the tranquility of the region the most. Also, the terrain you are looking forward to explore is as scary as it is beautiful. So it would be great if you are able to take along somebody who could enlighten you about every pro and con of the place
Yes, you can take your small kids with you. There are few basic precautions you need to follow. Follow proper medical procedures in order to check whether the child accompanying you is completely healthy or needs some medical attention. In case the child is a dependent one, carry proper medicines and plan itinerary accordingly. Carry a lot of warm clothes and take care of the challenges faced due to weather on high altitudes.
Throughout the trip, bottled water will be available to you, even in the remote locations. Also, there are Dhabas and many Maggi joints on the way. You can easily get tea and biscuits.
Ladakh is a high altitude desert area and called Little Tibet. Tourist season starts from April to the second week of October.
Being a cold desert, Ladakh experiences extreme fluctuations of temperature between day and nights and sometimes within the same day itself. Summer days tend to warm with temperatures ranging between 33-40 degree centigrade but nighttime temperatures even in summer can dip to less single digit numbers. Winter temperatures remain consistently below zero so you need to be padded up at all times to avoid being bitten by the cold winds. While winter packing will require a lot more thermals as well as down jackets to be packed along with insulated socks, summer packing will involve more of multiple layers of clothes.
The choice of clothes also differs according to the kind of trip to take and activities you plan to do. If you plan to bike to Leh, for instance, you need to pack in a lot more of outerwear, down windproof jacket is a must especially if you are crossing high passes like Khardung La, sturdy shoes, preferably gum boots and warm socks so that you can change quickly in case your feet get wet while crossing a water puddle, but if you are planning to fly down to Leh in summer, cotton clothes in plenty and couple of light jackets should be enough.
As the altitude keeps on increasing, the air starts getting thinner. Aerobic fitness is required to cope up with the decreasing level of Oxygen. Endurance training is a must to defy gravity and walking for a long duration on a steep slope with a rucksack/day-pack.
Early symptoms of altitude sickness include Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. Later symptoms include Shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, respiratory failure and cerebral edema. It takes approximately 24 hours to get acclimatze in Ladakh.
Though, one can relish a variety of cuisines in Ladakh, such as Continental, Chinese, Korean and Tibetan, but, the local Ladakhi food, which majorly carries the flavour of nuts and spices is also very famous among the tourists.
Some of the best Ladakhi dishes include
Thukpa, which is a soup that mainly contains vegetables and noodles.
Chang, which is an indigenous brew of Ladakh. Chang is prepared by fermenting the miller with yeast in the cylindrical porcelain pots.
Butter tea is the signature Ladakh tea, which is prepared by adding salt and butter to the boiling milk.
Khambir is the traditional bread of Ladakh which is prepared in the pan shape and is majorly served with the butter tea.
Skyu, which is prepared from the kneaded thumb size dough of wheat flour. It is generally served with vegetables or meat.
The other vegetarian specialities of the Ladakh include korma sag, dum aloo, shaman, veg momos, apricot jam and lotus root, etc.
The non-vegetarian specialties subsume methi korma, marchwangan korma (hot mutton curry), yakhni and tabaq naat (fried ribs dish), rista (rice balls in sauce with les meat and less spices), rogan josh, yaknee (a dish similar to rogan josh), gushtaba (spiced and pounded meat balls) and non-veg momos.
It is strictly advisable to consume carbohydrate rich diet in order to get the requisite amount of nutrients for the body. Intake of ORS water in plenty along with juice, soup, milk, tea and other fluids is helpful in keeping the body hydrated. Consumption of too much of black tea, coffee or plain water should be avoided. In order to maintain a normal level of oxygen in the blood, water should be flavoured with garlic. Consuming plain water on a large scale can cause vomiting or cerebral edema.
At high altitudes, oxygen level decreases, oxygen intake becomes less and rate of breathing becomes higher. Taking alcohol, antidepressant drugs, smoking etc can cause respiratory troubles and several other health hazards. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid drinking and smoking in Ladakh.
Hot water and electricity are easily available at a considerable number of places. You needn’t worry about them most of the time. But at Pangong, you’ll find people surviving on solar energy only. The tapped solar energy is used for heating water and lighting purposes and during the night, you’ll have to survive on starlight if you’re not carrying proper lighting materials along with you there
You need to keep in mind that you carry a postpaid SIM with you since prepaid connections don’t work there. The best you can find in terms of connectivity in Ladakh are Airtel and BSNL services. This too can be anticipated only in the city. You might call yourself very lucky if you get a good network signal outside the city since the network signals outside the city have a really bad reputation. The internet also would be missed because of the low network strength. You better download the maps and take all the notes regarding your trip offline so that you don’t suffer later because of no internet connectivity.
The only compensation to your lost networks that the region has is the Public phones facility in the Leh city. Though the network serves itches in this region, it is purely worth it since it allows you to concentrate more on the beautiful landscape of the region and capture it in your mind than on your Snapchat story
You can find ATMs of SBI Jammu and Kashmir Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. These ATMs can be found in Kargil, Keylong, Leh and Nubra though their functionality is a question mark many times. Also, due to huge demand, there can be many instances when the ATMs are cashless. So it becomes a mandate for you to carry some cash for an emergency since there is a chance that you find these ATMs nonfunctional and failing to serve your purpose. Mostly, credit and debit cards are accepted in the hotels. You’ll be charged a service tax of 2% or 2.5%. But, you must check the availability of this facility before making any transactions.
Yes, currency conversion is available at Leh. You need to get in touch with the locals in order to get your currency converted. Leh has ATMs of SBI, AXIS, HDFC, J&K etc. But it is highly recommended to get the currency converted on arrival at Delhi airport itself and carry sufficient cash with you.
Hospitals are available for various emergencies along with that Air Ambulance facility is also made available by Flying Doctors. The various Air Ambulance Services from Leh are
» Emergency Evacuation Services from Leh
» Ambulance Services from Leh
» Medical Ambulance Services from Leh
» Air Ambulance Charter Services from Leh
» Ground Ambulance Transfer from Leh
» Telephone Support Leh
» Medical Advice at Leh
» Air Ambulance Services from Leh
Public toilets can be hard to find at least outside the city. You can have access to the restrooms and toilets in hotels and resorts. So when you decide to tour around in Ladakh, make sure that you have taken care of your needs before you leave the luxury of your lodging.
Due to political sensitivity, extreme weather and hazardous terrain, there are several areas in Ladakh that are considered dangerous and can be termed high-risk zones. Some of them include:
Due to high political sensitivity, there are several areas in Ladakh where photography is restricted. You need to look at the signboards placed at specific places, particularly inside monuments, in order to get an idea about the photography restricted areas. Elsewhere, you are free to snap the beautiful landscape.