50 Places to Visit in Ladakh, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Ladakh, situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, shares its borders with Lahaul, Tibet and Spiti in the South. The picturesque Kashmir Valleys towards the east also make for a breathtaking view.

Often considered as the Land of passes, it also flaunts a large number of springs and lakes. Ladakh is situated between Himalayan Mountains in the south and the Kunlun range of mountains in the northern direction. Situated in one of the strategic locations in the country, it is constantly under the control of the Indian Army.

The entire region is dotted with snow clad mountain peaks, meandering rivers and clear blue skies which attract a large number of tourists. This land is a hot spot for the mountaineering and trekking fanatics. The rugged terrain of the mountains provide a picturesque view of the landscape that can truly be considered an abode of serenity.

Amongst the various interesting towns to visit, Sankoo, a small town surrounded by mesmerising mountains; Drass which is a valley town, Padum which houses a monastery at the top of the hill; Suru Valley which is one of the most beautiful spots in this region; Alchi which is a gompa situated on the Indus River banks; Zanskar valley which is the isolated valley located in the region and Hemis which is the wealthiest monastery are worth visiting.

Ladakh is well connected with Manali, Shimla and Leh with a well-maintained system of roads. The region is open for tourists all round the year. However, a few connecting roads,  may remain closed due to snowfall during the month of May and February.

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The Pangong Lake or the Pangong Tso is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world and is famed for its colour changing water, from blue to red and green. From camping to lakeside bonfire, a wide variety of activities can be enjoyed here. During the winter months, the lake can be seen completely frozen, which is a delightful sight in itself.

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Nubra valley, also known as Dumra is one of the most famous and most beautiful destinations in Leh, Ladakh. From hot springs to river streams and from age-old monasteries to remote villages, Nubra Valley has everything which an explorer seeks. Being a high altitude destination, the valley has many double humped camels, riding which can be a delight.

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Gateway to the Shyok and Nubra Valley, the Khardungla Pass is strategically a very important landmass for the country. Famous for being the highest motorable pass with an elevation of 5359 metres, the pass is a favourite spot among the bike riders and adventure lovers. The pass has mighty mountains on both of its sides, which further offer the most dramatic views one can imagine.

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Located in Changthang Plateau in Ladakh in Northern India, Tso Moriri is also known as the Mountain Lake. The Lake covers an area of 120 KM sq. and is located at an elevation of 4522 metres. Famous for birdwatching and taking in the beauty of nature, the lake is the perfect place to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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The famous Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is a cyclops hill, a place where vehicles seem to have defied the force of gravity and move upwards when parked at a particular marked location here. Located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway, this place remains a mystery even today, as many tourists are awestruck to witness the magical experience.

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Tucked amidst the breath-taking landscapes of Ladakh is the Alchi Monastery, which is amongst the most sacred places for Buddhists. Dating back to at least 1000 years, the monastery is also the oldest Buddhist Learning Centre in the region. Detailed carvings on the walls, along with the age-old wall paintings are some of the major attractions of Alchi Monastery.

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A nine storey high building that displays the influence of Potala Palace in Lhasa is the famed Royal Leh Palace. It stands with its head high on a cliff top overlooking the ravishing Leh town. Leh Palace has now been converted into a museum which features ancient paintings and relics of Buddha along with cutlery used by the Royal family.

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Perched atop a hillock by the Indus River, Spituk Monastery prides itself as one of Ladakh’s most significant monastery complexes. The Gompa is home to Tsongkhapa Order of Tibetan Buddhist monks, housing around 125 resident monks. The monastery complex houses a massive statue of the Hindu deity Kali along with several small shrines, some dating back to 900 years and.

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The Hall of Fame in Leh is a museum that was constructed by the Indian Army in memory of the brave Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives trying to protect their motherland in the Indo-Pakistan wars. Located on the Leh-Kargil Road, the museum is a great place to see photos of the soldiers, their training camps, the different war relics and a lot more. 

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With the word Chadar meaning a blanket, the Chadar Trek depicts a trail over the frozen Zanskar River, on which people travel for several kilometers to reach the final destination. Unlike other trekking expeditions in India, this one does not require you to pass through forests or rock formations, but instead lets you walk over frozen water, which once was a gushing river. 


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Home to a 30-feet-tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the Mulbekh Monastery is one of the most popular monasteries in the Ladakh region. Offering stunning views of the Srinagar-Leh Highway, the monastery also boasts of beautiful ancient relics and frescoes, along with a huge prayer wheel, which adds to the serene ambience of this place.

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Nestled in the Rapshu region of southern Ladakh, the Tso Kar Lake stands out in its beauty. Forming a part of a complex wetland network, Tso Kar is recognized as one of India’s most prominent Ramsar sites. The lake attracts a lot of birds and small wildlife as well such as the Tibetan Gazelle, the Kiang and the deep-necked crane.

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Established in the 16th century, the Stakna Monastery has a long lasting legacy in Ladakh. The monastery’s position atop a hillock grants it access to some of the best views in the city. Home to a stunning array of paintings, murals, and statues the Gompa is also renowned for its excellent art and architecture.

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The mighty Chang La pass, which reaches a staggering elevation of 17,586 ft or 5360 m above sea level, is the third highest mountain pass in the whole world. Connecting Leh to the Shyok River valley, this pass offers awe-inspiring scenic beauty, accompanied by a rush of adrenaline experienced by the travelers who scale Chang La pass.

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Dating back to the 17th century, the Chemrey Monastery is predominantly known for three things, namely a majestic statue of Guru Padmasambhava, along with a stunning location, and an extensive collection of 29 volumes of sacred scriptures on solver, written entirely in gold. The monastery belongs to the Drugpa sect of Buddhism and was founded by Lama Tagsang Raschen.

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Established in the 17th century, the Shey Monastery once served as the summer residence of the Ladakh royalty. The Monastery is best known to house a statue of Shakyamani Buddha. Owing to its fantastic location and the scenic route that leads the way, it is a popular hiking spot. Shey Monastery also conducts several important Buddhist festivals throughout the year

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Amongst the most beautiful and mysterious places in the country, Ladakh’s Kongka La Pass is a highly restricted mountain pass that falls in the Chang-Chenmo region and has many UFO theories associated with it. With an altitude of 5171 metres above sea level, the Kongka La Pass in Ladakh is situated in the Line of Control between India and China.

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Pay a visit to Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, located a mere 25 kilometres from Leh, dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev. The Patthar Sahib Gurudwara is considered to be of immense religious significance among Sikhs, since it is home to a rock that resembles the back of Guru Nanak. According to the local tales, it is believed that Guru Nanak had defeated a demon here. 

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Also known as the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, the Namgyal Monastery is one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Ladakh and features a three-Storey-high statue of Maitreya Buddha. Built during the early 15th century, it was named after King Tashi Namgyal, who built the monastery as a means to guard his dynasty and the valley from evil spirits.

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Nestled about 3500 meters above the sea, Sakti village is far removed from the busy tourist life that permeates Leh. With mostly Tibetan inhabitants, the village is often referred to as the Little Tibet of India. Sakti village is known as the home of Takthok monastery, one of the oldest Buddhist gompas in Ladakh dating back to the 16th century.

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Jispa

Jispa is a small town located in Himachal Pradesh, and is often marked as an essential halt on a Leh-Manali trip. This quaint village has many features that allures travelers to stop here, including a famous Monastery, a small folk museum, and a helipad with a post office. Surrounded by Himalayan backdrop, the place is perfect for a city detox.

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Upshi

Nestled amidst the snow-clad mountains of Ladakh is the village of Upshi, also known for being one of the highest civilised settlements in the country. A part of an important trade route in the past, Upshi is also quite a popular place for cycling and trekking. Its vigorous terrains and scenic beauty all around has captured the hearts of many.



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Take a plunge to the Zanskar River in Tsogsti village at Ladakh Bungee Jumping, known as the highest bungee jumping venue in the world. Awaken the adrenaline in you as you jump from a height of 190 feet all the way to the river down below, whilst enjoying sights of the snow-clad mountains around you. 

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Also fondly referred to as Ladakh’s wintry paradise, the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is every wildlife lover’s go-to haunt. Sprawling across 16,000 massive feet, the sanctuary is home to some of the best and rarest animals, plants and birds in the Ladakh region. A smattering of alpine lakes, monasteries and temples can be found scattered throughout the sanctuary premises, adding to its breathtaking beauty. 

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Karu

Karu is a beautiful small town situated on the entrance of Leh-Manali highway. Explore the diverse hues of land, surrounded by mighty mountains and small streams of Sindhu river, passing through the town. The place offers picturesque views during your ride via Chang La pass, as it is situated in the center of many Leh attractions, such as Hemis Monastery.

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Known as the “Desert Wonder of Leh,” Hunder Village is nothing less than a stunning oasis tucked amidst the cold desert of the Nubra Valley in Ladakh. Home to the exotic double-humped Bactrian camels, majestic grey sand dunes and immense natural beauty, the village, located at an altitude of 4,000 metres above the sea level, is a magical paradise.

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Adventure lovers always had an affection to Markha Valley and still it fulfills the dreams of a trekker or adventure seeker with the unrivalled collection of natural spectacle. Long day trekking tours are offered by a lot of tour providers all over India which promise a journey through the most scenic locations and villages. The awesomely exciting feature of this trek is that it will let the trekker cross two high altitude passes in Ladakh; Gandala La at 4980 meters and Kongmaru La at 5276 meters.

 Being one of the diverse treks in Ladakh region, Markha Valley trek offers a lot of adventurous moments throughout. The barren land of Ladakh and the Buddhist temples found throughout the journey make the trek special. The route winds past the Ladakhi villages and it goes to Hemis National Park where the chances to spot some rare wildlife species are comparably high. The nomadic groups of people will be a unique picture to keep in heart. The symbols of Buddhism like ‘chortens’, stupas, multi colored prayer flags and numerous monasteries narrate the story of Buddhist culture embraced Markha centuries ago. Another interesting fact heard about Markha Valley trek is that it is also called ‘tea house trek’ due to the accommodation provided in parachute tents in most of the villages during the tour.

Maximum altitude: 15000 feet is the maximum altitude the trek will cover.

Location: In most of the cases, the trek starts from Leh. The trail usually goes through Chilling, Skyu and then to Markha. From Markha it would take the trekker to reach Hankar and Nimaling and finally return to Leh. The ideal trekking distance is 75 kms and it would be graded as difficult.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August, September and October are recommended as the best time to do Markha Valley trek.

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Kargil War Memorial is a major tourist attraction, where one pays their respect to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect their country from enemies. The place is a memorial commemorating the martyrs of the infamous Kargil War that was held in 1999. Explore the war-museum that showcases the story of war from a soldier's point of view.

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One of the least explored places in the country, Zanskar Valley is a hidden gem located near Leh, Ladakh which offers sublime scenic views of the snow-laced Himalayan range with sparkling blue river flowing at their foothill. It even provides an exotic experience of trekking, ‘Chadar Trek’, on a thick sheet of Ice on a river during the winter season.

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Basgo Monastery, also known as Basgo Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery in Leh District. The monastery was established in 1680 for the Namgyal lords, which consists of Basgo Citadel and three temples. The monastery sits on a hill overlooking the ancient town's ruins, and is known for the colossal Buddha statue and artwork adorning the inner walls here.

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Known as Tharpa Ling, or “The Place of Freedom,” Lamayuru Monastery is the oldest monastery in Ladakh. Considered to be amongst the largest monasteries in the region, Lamayuru Monastery is known for its peaceful and spiritual ambience. Tucked amidst Ladakh’s lunar landscape, the monastery is also the site of the festival of Yuru Kabgyat. 

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Dah Hanu, also known as Dah and Hanu, are the last Aryan villages in the country, in addition to being the only place in India where you can meet the Aryan tribe. Home to the Brokpa community, Dah Hanu is where you can learn a lot about the Indo-Aryan history, cultures and traditions.

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A significant symbol of the pride and glory of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Thiksey Gompa is located on a hilltop at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level. It is the largest monastery in Ladakh, towering 12 stories high, that is surrounded by the dreamlike beauty of the snow-capped mountains and panoramic views of Indus Valley.


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Nestled in southern Ladakh, Nyoma is a small, fairly unexplored village with breathtaking beauty. Owing to its largely untrodden nature, the little village boasts of fantastic desert mountainscapes. Nyoma Leh is best known as the home of the eponymous monastery. However, the prospect of trekking and camping along the Indus River forms a great part of the village’s allure

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Tanglang La is a high mountain pass, the glorious pride of Ladakh, the favourite tourist spot for bikers and trekkers. 5328 meters above the sea level is the dream like height of this pass which happily poses some threatening adventure to those who try to climb up the top. The road leading to the pass on Leh-Manali highway, from Upshi to Tanglang La is completely paved. A 500 meter long section of the road is the only part which is unpaved. Tanglang La is also beautifully paved to the make the climb easier. 

There are a lot of confusions existing regarding the position of Tanglang La in the list of world’s highest motorable passes and the world believes it to be the second highest which is proven to be wrong. The local sign on the top of the pass shows the altitude of the pass is 17582 feet or 5359 meters. But now, it is said that the sign board gives a wrong impression but the original height of the pass is 5328 meters. The pass is made beautiful by the innumerous Buddhist prayer flags despite the fact the road is tough to conquer and any type of traveler will fall for the scenery at the pass and adventure lovers would love to try their energy level by climbing up to the top. But remember, the oxygen level will be decreased as you cover the altitude and reaches to the half of what you feel at sea level.

Height: 5328 meters of 1248 feet

Best time to visit: May to October

How to reach: The pass is close to Leh-Manali highway and can be reached via 21 Gata loops

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A flamboyant marketplace located at the center of Leh, serves as a perfect destination for tourists to get their hands on well crafted woolen clothes and Kashmiri rugs & carpets along with multiple other things. You will get to explore the culture of Leh, which is just as vibrant as the marketplace itself, at Leh market from a local’s perspective.

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A magnificent white-domed Buddhist monument, the Shanti Stupa in Leh is home to the relics of Buddha, and offers some of the most surreal views of Leh and the nearby village of Changspa. It is also one of the seven grand Buddhist Shanti Stupas in the world, boasting a life-sized figure of Gautam Buddha.

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Marking the beginning of a new year, Losar is celebrated with great zeal as per the Tibetan calendar in the northern parts of India. You can be a part of a prominent socio-religious event with various ceremonies that continue for 15 days if you visit Ladakh during this festival. Losar is a very special festival which draws people together.

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Sprawling along the Shyok river, the Shyok Valley is home to some of Ladakh’s most beautiful villages and sights. The picturesque villages of Diskit, Hundur and Turtuk lie along the valley, offering plenty of adventure and tourism spots to travelers. The picturesque Valley is rife with adventure opportunities; while hiking along the river bank can be extremely thrilling, several mountain bikers choose to bike through the Shyok river valley as well.

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Established in the 19th century by General Zorawar Singh, the Zorawar Fort is one of the most historically important attractions in Leh. The Zorawar Fort, with its museums and its galleries showcasing priceless relics from Kashmir’s war-torn past. Weapons, documents and articles spell out the history within the Museum’s walls. The Zorawar Fort is also known for its fantasti light and sound show, which displays the historical events of Zorawar.

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The Central Asian Museum preserves ancient relics paying homage to the superb cultural past of Central Asia in its simple and profound structure. Manuscripts, items of regular household use and valuable trinkets from ancient times can be found lined up in the exhibition spaces of the museum. The Museum grounds are also home to the oldest mosque in Ladakh.

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Head to the mesmerising Puga Valley in Ladakh, a hotspot of geothermal activities and scenic beauty. Considered a bird watcher’s paradise, the valley serves as the abode of a wide array of migratory birds. You can also find several hot sulphur springs at Puga Valley, which are known to have medicinal properties, tucked amidst the lush verdant landscapes.

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Located an hour’s walk away from the Hemis Monastery, the Shang Gompa is a small, quaint monastery known for the tranquil beauty that surrounds this monastery. Apart from its striking location, the monastery is renowned for its artwork, depicting images of several deities adorned with diamonds, lotuses and other ornamentations.

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Alternatively known as the “village divided by a border,” the Turtuk Village in Ladakh is located in a tiny corner of Baltistan. It is also India’s last village, situated right on the Indo-Pak border, with magnificent snow-clad mountains surrounding it. Other than being the gateway to the Siachen Glacier, Turtuk is also famous for producing a variety of fruits, including Apricots.

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The Hundur Monastery is an ancient Buddhist gompa nestled in the Nubra Valley of Leh. Apart from its simplistic architectural styles, the monastery stands out for its prime location, which commands some of the best views of the mountainscape. Hundur Monastery marks the end of terrain accessible to tourists, as they are not allowed to venture beyond this point.

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Tucked away in the folds of the Himalayan peaks, the Yarab Tso is one of Ladakh’s most secluded spots and is also famous in the name of “The Secret Lake”. The lake stands out with its stunning bright aquamarine waters, clashing in contrast against the green-brown peaks that rise behind it in the summers.

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Hanle

Hanle is one of the largest villages in Ladakh region, known predominantly as the place which is home to the Hanle Monastery. Located along the Hanle River, this hamlet lies on the old branch of the ancient Ladakh-Tibet trade route. You can also find the Indian Astronomical Observatory which has the third highest optical telescope in the world on your visit to Hanle.

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Located just off the Srinagar Leh Highway, Sangam is the point where the rivers Indus and Zanskar join together. With the green hues of Indus clashing with the muddy blue stream of Zanskar, the Sangam Point confluence is a truly bewitching spectacle. Sangam Point is also known for its fast rapids, which are quite popular for rafting adventures.

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A mountain pass located in Ladakh, Umling La Pass is the highest motorable road in the world, located at an elevation of 19,024 feet above the sea level. It was constructed as part of “Project Himank” by the Border Road Organization. Surrounded by scintillating mountains and high-altitude attractions, the Umling La Pass offers an experience unlike any other.

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Wanla Gompa is the oldest and the holiest of monasteries in Ladakh, with history that dates back to the very 1st century. Although simple in architecture, the monastery features a fantastic array of artwork depicting images of Buddha, Bodhisattva and mandalas. The monastery grounds are also home to a 12th century castle built by the founding lama, Lama Rinchen Zangpo

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"the experience was awesome. The whole thing organized by Thrillophilia was great. Our tour operator Jigmet sir and the whole crew were 1 no. SHAMAAASS. Julley.
11 July 2019
Excellent
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.