35 Places to Visit in Leh, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Situated at a height of nearly 9,000 meters, Leh is often considered as one of the most visited hill stations of India. It is located in the northernmost corner of the country closer to Indus valley in Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, the city is also called ‘Little Tibet’ due to the heavy influence of Buddhism.

The breezy weather and scenic landscape act as a backdrop and also provide a mystical experience to all. Adventure is smitten with the soul of this city as adventure sporting activities like mountaineering, rafting, and polo are also conducted here. The most enticing part of the adventure here is trekking, rafting  and mountaineering. In fact, most treks usually start from Leh such as the Nubra valley trek and the zanskar valley trek.

Some of the most famous attractions of leh include the numerous  buddhist monasteries, Shanti Stupa, and Leh Palace. The intricate architecture of the monasteries and monuments also deserve notable mention.

The city of Leh has a well knit transportation system. It is connected by air from Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi. There are highways which also connect the city but they remain closed for a period of six months due to excessive snowfall. A rented vehicle is the best travel option here.

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Hemis National Park is the largest national park in South Asia, and is located in the eastern section of Ladakh. The park covers 4400 square kilometres and is home to 16 species of mammals, 73 bird species, and around 200 snow leopards. The National Park is famous for the huge population of snow leopards throughout the world and is considered to be the only protected area where these wild cats can be found in such abundance.

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Hemis Monastery is the largest monastery in North India and a must-see destination in Ladakh. More than 1,000 monks reside in the Hemis Monastery, which is located in the foothills of the Indus River. It belongs to the Buddhist order of the red sect Brokpa. Here, young Lamas are prepared to enter the royal monasteries of Shey, Leh, and Basgo.

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Since the land resembles that of moon, Moon land near Lamayuru in Ladakh region is fondly called like that. A unique geographical feature appearing here attracts thousands of visitors every year. A traveler comes to Lamayuru will not miss the surprising land. There is also a saying that during full moon, the land becomes exotic and it would be an enchanting sight to behold and rare too. Lamayuru’s fame was dashingly enhanced because of this landscape carved in to the Greater Himalayan ranges. Interested travelers will come to Lamayuru which is located at a distance of 100 kms from Leh on the famous Leh-Srinagar Higway

To watch the glimpses of the moon land so clear and closer, you can climb up to the Meditation Hill in Lamayuru. The monks from Lamayuru gompa are living in this hill, at a greater height. The rough, uneven landscape of Moon land will be an amusing sight from the top of the Meditation Hill. The entire Lamayuru becomes visible from the top. One will come to know why Lamayuru and Moonland are heard as synonyms for each other and the natives here find Moon land as an inevitable part of their lives also.

Location: The NH 1-D or the popular Leh-Srinagar Highway is where the Moon land in Lamayuru located. Around 100 kms from Leh is the site. You can reach the destination by bus or jeep. Bikers would get some exciting sightseeing option throughout the journey.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the best time to reach Moon land.

Checkout & Book: Tour Package to Ladakh

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The white colour buildings modified by the presence of red roof are a scintillating view from a distance and Likir Monastery is the subject of discussion here. One of the oldest and well maintained monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir, Likir Monastery is in Likir village which had been in existence from the 11th century onward. What makes Likir so special is the serenity is shows from the height and a 75 feet tall statue of Buddha.

History

Likir Monastery was known as or its original name is Klu-kkhyil gompa. The word Likir means Naga encircled. There is a belief that two serpents, Nanda and Taksako have guarded the monastery. Being the oldest and most visited monasteries, Likir gompa has numerous stories of its origin and existence. The Yellow Hat Sect or the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism is the guardians of Likir gompa and it is scripted that Tsongkhapa was the founder of this monastery in 15th century.

Structure of the monastery

Flanked by the wall paintings, stone relics, murals and art crafts, Likir monastery is a perfect display of Buddhist heritage, the principles and culture. Inside the monastery, there is a school as well. It is run by the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies and also a library open to the public where visitors can read old manuscripts and details of Buddhism. The gompa has two assembly halls, a central courtyard with six rows of seats for the lamas and a throne for the head Lama. There is a Gonkhang room that is dedicated to the divinities guarded the monastery.

Location: The monastery is located 6 km north of Leh-Srinagar highway before the village of Saspol. From Leh, the distance is 62 km to the west of the town.

Timings: It is open on all days from 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Entry fee: INR 5-10 per person

Highlights: The annual event Dosmochey is held in the monastery from the 27th to 29th day of 12th month of Tibetan Calendar.

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Stowed away within the folds of the Himalayan mountains, the Phugtal Gompa is among the most secluded monasteries anywhere in the world. The monastery is quite literally sprawling among mountain caves with its units spread through them. A complete monastery complex, including prayer halls and shrines, can be found here where a number of festivals are celebrated throughout the year. 

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Belonging to Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Deskit or Diskit Monastery is the largest and oldest in Nubra Valley. Hence a visit to the monastery is an inevitable part of any kind of Ladakh tour. The significant fact related to the monastery is that it runs a school with the help of a Non-Governmental Organization to teach science subjects in English to the Tibetan children of the region. The fourteenth century monastery is a favourite tourist destination as well.

History

The history of the gompa dates back to the fourteenth century. It came into existence with the help of Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khopa. He was the founder of Gelukpa sect in the region.

Structure of the monastery

The hilltop where the monastery is perched on will offer the visitors mind blowing pictures of the surrounding valleys, the villages and the mountain terrains. The rocky steps leading to the monastery would let you see first the prayer hall beautified by the statue of Maitreya Buddha. The huge drums and several images of the guardian deities are some other factors that enhance the outlook of the monastery. It features an elevated cupola with a fresco that displays the Tashilhunpo Monastery famous in Tibet. In the storehouse of the monastery, the texts of Mongolian and Tibetan texts are kept.

Location: At a height of 3144 meters above the flood plains of Shyok River, in Diskit Village in Nubra Valley is the monastery. You can reach the village from Leh via Khardung La Pass.

Timings: The gompa is open on all days from 07:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 02:00 pm to 07:00 pm

Entry fee: INR 30 per person

Highlights: The major highlight is the festival named Desmochhey or Dosmoche which is popular as the festival of the scapegoat. It is a prayer festival.


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Given the climatic conditions and the exceptional scenic surrounding, Ripchar Valley Trek is one of the most wonderful adventure activities done in Ladakh region. The trails throughout the trek keep the trekker intrigued about the sights coming their way. The onset point of the trek comes near the famous monastery in the region that is Lamayuru Monastery. Nestled amidst an assemblage of the lofty mountain ranges such as Zanskar, Karakoram and the Great Himalayas, Ripchar maintains the level of excitement high always. If you take part in the trek, you will come across numerous small villages, green meadows and pasture lands. 

The regions turns unrecognizable in the months of July and August as the whole area would be blanketed by rare Himalayan flowers and birds. Nature lovers flood to Ripchar during this period to capture the exotic moments in their camera. Moreover, the irrigated vegetation in the ranges are another important section to be visited on your trek; the well maintained crop fields offer a breathtaking view. Usually, the trek would last any number of days but to enjoy every nook and corner of Ripchar you would be ready to spend minimum 5 to 6 days. Chilling, a renowned spot for the production of copper is the last point of Ripchar Trek. The everlasting, untamed beauty of Ripchar is a must visit. Eventually you will reach the point of rejuvenation and bliss.

Maximum altitude: With Ripchar Trek, the maximum altitude you would cover is 4300 meters.

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate is the range of challenge a trekker would experience at Ripchar.

Best time to go: Ripchar Valley Trek happens mostly during the month of June, July, August and September since the climate would be highly favorable during this period.

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One of the high altitude post offices in India is Leh Post Office situated at an altitude of 3500 meters above the sea level. Perhaps, this is the only post office which works even the climatic conditions are unpredictably fluctuating and the roads are not in the proper conditions depending upon the seasons. Leh Post Office belong to Jammu and Kashmir circle and also under Srinagar headquarters region and Leh division.

However, the tourists of Leh, come to the post office to buy picture postcards. The post office in Leh comes under the category of head post office as there are three major categories such as Head Post Office, Sub Post Office and Brach Post Office. Despite the rigid climatic conditions, all the postal services are available at Leh Post Office as well such as delivery of mails and parcels, money transfer, banking etc. There are many other post offices in Ladakh like Alchi, Keylong etc but Leh head post office is the most easily accessible post office in the region and easy to found also.

Height: The post office is located about 3500 meters above the sea level in Leh town.

Timings: It is open from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm.

Location: The post office is very close to the town, hardly 500 meters from the main city.

Pin Code: 194101

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The hard lives of donkeys are read by the public with complete negligence and the reason behind that attitude is unknown. Once, donkeys were a usual member in households in the villages but now they are abandoned and thus they face some critical problems to live. Donkey Sanctuary in Leh is a unique idea executed by Stany and Joanne. After seeing the pitiable situation of the stray donkeys, they decided to find a shelter for them and hence the proper guardians for those stray donkeys have come to India. A native of Ladakh, Sonam Angchuk is now taking care of the donkeys now as his own, feeding them and makes sure that they are getting proper medication and care always. 

They get wheat and grass to eat on time and one doctor from the Government Veterinary Hospital will visit and check the donkeys monthly. Now they are looking forward to make the sanctuary bigger to have 40 donkeys at a time and for that they are expecting funds from well-wishers and animal lovers. To rescue the animals wandering on the road and meet with accidents often, this shelter is a real blessing and the people behind the shelter are really focused to make their services widened. The name of the sanctuary is Home for Helpless Donkeys. They accommodate the injured donkeys and after they get healed, they will be freed to look after on their own.

Location: The sanctuary is situated on Korean Temple Road in Khakshal Village, Leh Ladakh. It is only 3 kms from the main city to reach the sanctuary.

Best time to visit: Any time round the year is suitable to visit the sanctuary.

Entry fee: No entry fee is required to visit the sanctuary

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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 splendor 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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Yuma Changchubling is the more fascinating name of one of the famous monasteries in Ladakh region that is Rizong Monastery. To the west of Alchi on the road to Lamayuru is the location of Rizong gompa. Lined by the beautiful mountainous terrains, Rizong Monastery is perched on a rocky hill top north of Indus River.

History

The history says that before the establishment of the monastery in the year of 1831, there was a hermitage for teaching the Buddhist religion to the monks. Lama Tsultim Nima was the person behind the construction of the hermitage and in the later stage as the number of monks was increased, he started the construction of the current monastery, much bigger and expansive. Now, the monastery belongs to the powerful sect of Buddhism, Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect.

Structure of the monastery

At the centre of the monastery there is a relic shrine which has another name as Sku- Gdung that preserves the relics of the founder of the monastery. The frescoes of Dharmaraja and other deities are all around the shrine. Shakyamuni Buddha’s statue is the main attraction of the assembly hall as well as the idols of other deities give the hall a complete sacred atmosphere. The sacred chamber, Thin-Chen shrine etc have many other idols and all together create the harmonic serenity inside the monastery.

Location: It is located at a distance of 73 Km from Leh. You can reach by bus or jeep.

Timings:The gompa is open on all days from the month of June to September

Entry fee: The entry to the monastery is free

Highlight: A name that should be read in association with Rizong Monastery is Chulichan Nunnery under the administration of Rizong gompa. 20 nuns are residing there. People visit this nunnery also during the tour.

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There is a time when the cold deserts of Ladakh wake up to complete entertainment and vibrant moments of the year that is during the renowned Hemis Festival. It is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava or popularly known as Guru Rinpoche. The Dance Festival is world famous representing the reincarnation of Buddha.

On the birth day of Rinpoche that is on the 10th day of the fifth month in the Monkey year, the festival happens and that day is the most prestigious and precious one for the people in Hemis Monastery. With an early morning ritual, the festival begins, the echoed sound of the drums, the cymbals and the pipes make the declaration. The monks in the monastery believe that following the festival yearly would help them given more spiritual strength and health.

The wide rectangular courtyard in front of the main door of the monastery is the witness of the complete festival. There are two raised square platforms which are of three feet height along with a sacred pole at the exact centre. An elevated dais where a cushioned seat will be placed with a small table that has the ceremonial items like holy water, uncooked rice, tormas made of dough and butter and some incense sticks. As the rituals progress, a number of musicians will play the traditional music with cymbals, large pan drums, trumpets and wind instruments. Next to them, you can see the space provided for the current lamas to be seated.

The Cham Dance, the major event is a slow paced dance and has grotesque expressions aplenty. The dancers wear multihued masks which presents the unusual image of the myth existing.

Location: It happens at Hemis Monastery, 40 kms away from Leh town.

When to go: After the tough winter the festivities start and the dates would be fluctuating every year. But usually it falls somewhere in the month between June and August.

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Monastery Festivals

Annually, there are some events happening in Ladakh related to the hundreds of monasteries in the region. The natives will eagerly wait for this time of the year when all the monasteries will be decorated and long days of festivities take place. Almost all the festivals are celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the monastery or the birth anniversary of the saint or patron of the monastery. Major events of the monastery are fixed according to the Tibetan Calendar. The locals believe these festivals are a moment of gathering, a moment of equality and happiness unlimited.

Though there will be a number of events, the dance-dramas known as Chhams are the attraction of any festival for that matter. The choreography of the dance is awesomely done by Chham Spon. The coloured masks using in the dance enhances the overall beauty of it.

The rites and rituals which are specially designed for the festivals will be conducted by the Rimpoche or the head lama. In the courtyard, the throne for the lama will be arranged and he sits on that high throne and leads the rituals. The other lamas in the monastery and the monk musicians will attend the festival wearing the ceremonial attire. The accompaniment of traditional music by using trumpets, large drums, wind instruments and cymbals will add on more beauty to the colourful festival.

Spituk Gustor, Dosmochey, Yargon Tungshak, Stok Guru Tsechu, Hemis Tsechu, Korzok Gustor, Karsha Gustor etc are some of the famous monastery festivals. All of them have unique reason and the dates of each festival fall on different months depending upon the Tibetan Calendar. The bright colours, the special items used for the rituals, the dance and music and the themes of each festival are together playing an important role in the lives of Ladakhis.

Location: Any monastery in Ladakh will have their own festival annually.

When to go: The time and date of each festival are depending on the Tibetan Calendar.

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As every Ladakh lover will know, Hemis festival celebrated at Hemis Monastery has a large number of admirers. It falls onto the month of July usually but the dates would be changing according to the calendar followed by the Buddhist monks. Yuru Kabgyat Festival is a two day festival at Lamayuru Monastery in the month of July. In this one as well, there is a mask dance and similar rituals followed in other major monasteries in the region. Ladakh festival is celebrated in the month of September every year in Leh and its villages. Filled with music, dance, traditional art forms, cultural representations, this festival will last for six beautiful days. Deskit Gustor festival at Deskit Monastery, Thiskey Gustor Festival at Thiskey Monastery, Losar Festival, Saka Dawa Festival and Karsha Gustor Festival at Karsha Monastery are some of the major festivals that give the visitors colourful memories of Ladakh and its life.

One major similarity in these festivals is the presence of dance and music. Each festival includes dance and music for different but unique reasons. The mask dance is seen in almost all the festivals. Also, the music played by using the wide drums, small trumpets, cymbals, large wind instruments and large pipes is believed to be one of the inevitable part of every festival of Ladakhis.

Location: There are plenty of monasteries in Ladakh, some are really close to Leh town and some are quite far. You can reach the monasteries via bus, bike or jeep.

When to go: Mostly, the festivals happen after the winter season. According to the lunisolar calendar followed by the monasteries only, the dates of festival will be declared. But on a usual note, the dates of almost all the festivals fall in between the months of June and October.

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Sankar monastery is renowned for its exquisite architecture and artwork, home to an impressive range of religious sculptures and paintings. A subsidiary of the larger Spituk Monastery, the Sankar Gompa is also a prominent religious spot in Leh. The Gompa is situated just 6 kilometers outside the main city, and can be reached on foot.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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05 October 2017
Excellent
First, I would like to say thank you to shyam@thrillophilia.com for their coordination and cooperation by writing my thrillophilia reviews.The trip was well planned and executed extremely well by the tour operators, I am very happy with the services provided by thrillophilia during this trek. 1) Our trek leaders Salman and Stenzin are really a wonderful Guys, they were very helpful and supportive all the time during trekking.Other staff members were also supportive and helpful. 2) Food quality and quantity was good. 3) Accommodation was good, camps were in good shape, neat and clean and quite spacious. Let's review the Trek about which I had read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. No doubt Stok trek was awesome as well as difficult. It would not be correct if I will say Stok trek is the most beautiful trek ???? but there is something which makes this trek different from all other treks and which is the main reason to attract tourist from every corner of the word, that is its height. At 20,500 feet Stok Kangri is the highest trekkable summit in India (6,153 m), what google says but when I googled it bit more and try to find if there is any other trek exist in this word which is above Stok, I did not get any information so I assume this is the highest trekkable summit in world ???? Highlights of this Trek 1) Trekking till base camp is not very tiring, which itself a big achievement as you would be able to achieve the height of 16300 feet ???? and the best part what I found in this trek is “you don’t need to walk too many hours to reach base camp” 2-4 hours walk a day is max you will walk. 2) Leh treks are totally different from Himachal and Uttrakhand treks in terms of scenic beauty, it’s a different experience, you would be able to see some splendid views of the Stok mountain ranges. 3) The last day “Summit day” will give you a totally different experience. You start your trek at night time which generally don’t happen in other treks. Moreover, you will get a chance to do snow trekking in summers as well “Only in summit Day”. Here is a great saying "the best view comes after the hardest climb" Very True!!! Preparation: I should say this is not a trek for first time trekkers but still if someone wants to give a try, Start your preparation at least 2 months before this trek as last day “Summit Day” is really a challenging one, compare to other days where you have to just walk 2-4 hours max here on final day you have to walk for a 12 – 14 hours and Trekking at night on Snow is bit tricky task and it becomes more challenging when you have to walk by putting Crampons on your shoes as rightly suggested by many people at thrillophilia reviews. a) Aim for 5 km running in 30 minutes b) Do breathing exercise which helps you a lot during this trek especially. c) Drink as much as water you can.
It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. We were walking on ice, we were drinking those ice (of-course the boiled one), but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme condition. Thank to these amazing group of people I was travelling with. The support staff, the organiser and each and every people related to this trip were an amazing host. They made us feel at home, they fulfilled almost all our demands. I had done 2 treks before with other organizations, but these people were the best. The fun we had is quite vivid with this picture, but trust me nothing can be explained in words, you just have to feel it. Keep yourself fit and go for it . It will change the way you see nature , it will change your perception towards people and many more things. Stay happy and keep trekking
12 February 2019
Excellent
Being a fauji kid i always dreamt to do something adventurous and so i chose the most dangerous most exciting chadar trek as my first trek. After reaching the hotel in LEH i was welcomed by Satya sir and guess what we both shared common backgrounds i.e. fauj. After having breakfast i went to the room and slept for an hour or two. In the evening we were briefed by Satya sir and Shashank sir about the trek which actually helped me during the trek. We were a group of 14 among which 8 came solo just like me. At night we introduced each other and slept. Next morning we went for sightseeing and explored beautiful Shey palace and monasteries and by that time we all knew each other names. On day 3 we all went for medical checkups and every member from our group was fit for the trek. In the meantime we went to LEH market for some shopping. We were again briefed by Satya sir , Shashank sir and Sonam Sir and guess what we slept in the tents with our sleeping bags. Next day we started our journey from LEH to Chilling . After reaching chilling we were all set to step our foots on chadar for the first time and that feel was amazing. We walked for 3 hours and reached our first campsite. After having a lovely dinner by our porters we sang songs and went to sleep. Next morning i experienced first snowfall of my life and everything all around us appeared to be white and ahhh what an amazing feel i had that time. By God's grace we all successfully made it to Nerak on day 6 and saw that frozen waterfall for the first time. The josh and the deshbhakti inside me came out, i removed my jackets and stuff, wrapped myself in INDIAN FLAG and waved it at NERAK. I cannot describe that feeling until you experience chadar trek, we spent two hours at Nerak. Alright we made it to Nerak so easily and we all were like wow that was easy but nah something was about to come. After having lunch at Tibb caves we started our journey , after an hour there was a patch when our trek leader Dorge sir saw that chadar is weak ahead and went solo upto 50-80 meters & came back and said we cannot go from here, so we climbed up the hill carefully as it was all covered with snow. And again after this we saw the same thing but this time we couldn't go through the hills as those were standing hills. And at this point we all thought one thing that we all made it to nerak so easily, this has to be happened. Dorge sir again went solo up to 50 meters to check the chadar and suddenly his legs went inside the chadar upto knee. Being an experienced trekker he immediately came out and changed his socks. We didnt have any option so we started walking on the chadar. I being second last in my group saw my group mates how carefully they were walking on chadar, I heard the satisfying sound of crushing the chadar when my right foot went inside the chadar and my gumboots was filled by water. Ah i didn't went mad but stayed calm, my friend Dev behind me shouted Dorge sir come here, and he within 30 seconds came back to me removed my gumboots and helped me to change the socks. We successfully made it to our tents that day and the rest of the journey. All I want to say is we were a group of motivators, we became a family and from day 1 to day 9 we all were positive and supported each other. Much thanks to all the porters who made such yummy foods for us. Thank you to dorge sir & Sonam Sir who always said we will go to Nerak. Thank you to Satya sir and Shashank sir who's briefings really helped me during the trek. I wish again to be with this group because we became a family. Thankyou Thrillophilia for such a wonderful journey on chadar. I will be uploading my chadar trek journey on youtube soon i.e. PUNEET VLOGS. Peace
12 February 2020
Excellent
Hi My name is Hemendra Kateja, I live in Jaipur, Rajasthan. My Chadar Trek was one of the unimaginable and most memorable trek. I went with my friend Nikhlesh for this incredible trekking adventure in February 2020. We both were very excited for this trek as we already mesmerised with chadar trek footage that we saw in several vlogs on youtube. We invested a lot of money in trekking gears and in other stuff because we were very keen to see the Chadar. I have heard a lot about the beauty of the Zanskar River but when I reached there it was much more amazing and I fell in love with the mesmerizing views of Zanskar Valley. We leave from Jaipur to Delhi on 31st Jan 2020, and reached delhi around 3:30 AM on 1st Feb 2020, Our flight was at 6:20 AM from IGI Airport Delhi. We both already pre booked our window seats to experience the aerial view of Magnificent Himalaya Peaks. After experiencing aerial view of Magnificent Himalaya Peaks we landed on the land of LAMA. Pilot announced that the current temperature of leh is -16, and we were eager to experience that kind of cold temperature, so we put out a woolen cap and gloves before getting out of the plane. From 10 degrees (Delhi) to -16 degrees (Leh) was teeth chattering cold. Reaching on a Leh Airport we took our luggage and moved towards the exit. Our tour operators were waiting outside with placards and welcoming gestures. We met Mr. Dorjay. He drove us to the guest house which was situated in STOK which was 15-20 Km away from Leh. We met Rovit Singla. He also came here for the Chadar trek and he was part of our Trekkers group. We reached our Guest House “Skitsal Guest House”. Staff gave us a warm welcome as we were first to arrive from the group. There was a Dog “Shadow”, he also came to us and started sniffing, so now we were now officially roam around out of fear. Arrangements were very good which were made for us by the team. We met Mr. Tenzing and other staff too. After a couple of hours we met with 3 other trekkers of the group (Bittu, Shishank & Shubham) at Skitsal Guest House After an hour Abdul & Vikash also joined the group as a trekker. The Trip coordinators “Kavish Rathore” and “The Bearded Traveller” Visited to the Guest house and started the introduction session and also briefed us about chadar trek and do’s and dont’s during the trekk. They told us not to exert ourselves on the first day as we were already feeling heavy while breathing because we were still not acclimatized to the leh environment. Second Day, Tenzing took us for a small trek around the village and Buddha Stupa which was around 3 km from the Guest House. We enjoyed Kids dance Performances also which was happening in school nearby. Then we went to have authentic Laddakhi local food. We had Kahwa, Butter Tea, Ladakhi Bread, Fried Momo & steamed momo with Pasta. We also tried a local Wine called “Chaang”. After an exciting visit to a village four people have decided to visit Ice Stupa & Shanti Stupa, So we asked Tanzing to arrange a Taxi for four of us so we can visit these places. We Visited visit Ice Stupa & Shanti Stupa and came back around 8PM. We had Dinner and and slept early as tomorrow was our Health checkup and Chadar trek Registration. Tonight we asked to sleep in the camps rather than rooms. Next Day we left for the Health checkup and Chadar Trek Registration and all of the group members passed the health test and we got a green flag to go on chadar trek. From Leh Market we brought Gumboots & Trekking Pole. Some of our group members also brought some hot jackets and gloves. Tonight again we asked to sleep in the camps rather than rooms. From tomorrow our trek was going to start in the actual manner. Trek Day 1: On the first day of trek, we started with a thrilling ride to Shingra koma (Starting point of Chadar trek) via Tilad Do, Chilling and Nimmu. Passing through the high mountains was a bit scary but we had a wonderful driver with us. We met our 2 guides Hanif and Tundup, they taught us how to walk on different types of ice.The day got colder as we reached Shingra Koma. Our Helpers cooked soupy maggi for us followed by the tea and cookies. It was our first-day of trekking in Zanskar. We had to cover around 5 km today. Be careful while you walk on the ice as it will be very slippery at times. At first, I was a bit nervous to walk on the ice but as we continued I was able to walk but steadily. I fell on ice in the very first hour of chadar trek. Nikhlesh leg slipped twice in cold water on the very first day and the whole shoe got frozen within 5 - 10 minutes. Today almost every one slipped and fell on ice multiple times. We reached our First campsite at Gylapo by evening and porters and cooks were already there and they served us hot tea and snacks followed by Dinner. The campsite was very beautiful and we could see the mountains on all sides. Temperature dropped significantly at night while we were in sleeping bags. Hanif told us that there is a possibility that we might not get permission to move to tibb cave because chadar has been broken before Tibb cave and there are 2 groups stuck at tibb cave and army guys are trying to get them out safely. Trek Day 2: On the second day of trek, we had our morning tea and delicious breakfast, and we were waiting for the update of the trekking association that we can proceed to tibb cave or not. We noticed that many groups decided to move to tibb cave without a backpack because they thought that they have to come back eventually. But our guides Hanif & Tundup decided that we have to take risk and take our backpacks and then go to tibb cave, so if there is any possibility to reach tibb cave we will attempt that and it will save our whole day too. We started our trekking from Gylapo to Tibb Cave. Today was a big day for us as we had to cover around 15 km. We started trekking through the deep ravines of Zanskar, and the day was a bit colder as there was no sunlight at all. We noticed the place where 2 groups got rescued, because there was a rope tide to make a path for trekkers. Chadar breaks and forms very quickly in these cold conditions , so we were very lucky to get a chance to walk on solid ice. We saw many caves and frozen waterfalls. We reached Tibb cave at our camp site. We explored the tibb cave where porters were preparing for the bonfire. We also enjoyed the warmth of the bonfire. We had a wonderful dinner with some roti and a sabji. Before going to bed we noticed that there were very few people reached here for camping, because in morning they decided to stay in the camps in Gyalpo.We were in confusion that could we move to Nerak Village tomorrow or not, But Hanif came to us and gave us a good news that because tomorrow and day after tomorrow there is Chadar Festival at Nerak village ,so officials gave permission to open trekk to nerak. Hanif told us that Chadar condition is very bad so we need to leave early in the morning so we don't experience broken chadar. We took some night mode shots on our camera and went to those suffocating tents and sleeping bags. Trek Day 3: On the third day of trek, Today we had to trek from Tibb cave to Nerak Village. Morning started a bit early for us. The first time on the journey we woke up around 6 and had wakeup tea, and had our breakfast and we left for Nerak Village around 7:30AM. As we started trekking we came across many Junipers and prayer flags tied on a twig. It was such a beautiful sight. Within an hour we faced a broken chadar and our guides helped us and guided us to cross the broken chadar where water was at knee level. We changed our wet socks very fast. We also came across a huge broken waterfall on our way to the camp. We had to walk slowly as few of the paths were a bit slippery.Hanif and Tundup decided to setup camp 5 km before nerak village so we can save our whole day while going back to leh. Just before reaching the camp site I had a great fall on a chadar when I slipped very badly and I hit my shoulder and head on rock solid chadar. I must say i was very lucky that head gears came out as a saviour and they saved my head, but unfortunately i hit my shoulder and now it was very painful to walk with that heavy rucksack backpack. We reached our campsite and had tea and snacks, I applied a fast pain relieving spray on the shoulder and put our bags in the camps and moved towards nerak village.At that particular moment for fraction of second i thought i can't do that and i need rest, but that what i learned in this trip is to push your limit and challenge your body. I started again with that painful shoulder. Now I reduced my speed of walk because somewhere in my mind there was fear of falling again on the chadar. That thought was not going and I tried many times. Beautiful landscapes distracted my mind and I forgot my pain. We saw a hot water spring on the journey of the trek. We took a rest for lunch and from this point we could also see the Narek village and some stupas. Our trek leader Hanif & tundup was really helpful throughout the journey. After having lunch we moved to Nerak Village and we saw the grand canyon of Nerak and the mighty Nerak frozen waterfall. We clicked pictures on the frozen waterfall and then we moved to nerak village where the Chadar festival was happening. We saw the local people wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas. It was such a wonderful view to see how these people have adjusted to the biting cold here Chadar village people welcomed us very warmly, they started traditional dance with traditional songs of nerak, Drums were so in sync with songs and the echo of music in the valley was an epic experience. After Half hour of enjoyment we took our leave and started moving towards our camp. We came across many pug marks of foxes. After reaching our camp, the pain in my shoulder started irritating me and I was not able to do normal work. Today clouds covered the sky and it was too windy, so because of that we were feeling so cold and our hands and palm were getting numb. Here Hot water bag saved us in this horrible situation. Trek Day 4: On the third day of trek, Today we had to trek from Narek camp to Gylapo via Tibb Cave which was basically our return journey. And today we have to go more than 15 km I guess. IN the morning we woke up many times because of the windy weather and stage noise on our tents. After we woke up we found out that it was snowing, and everywhere there was a layer of snow. We had Tea and breakfast and moved towards Gyalpo. After we started our trek within 10 mins snow started falling again and this was the cherry on the cake of the journey, that we experienced trek in snow fall too. The morning was very cold when we started. We reached Tibb cave very fast and then we pushed our speed to reach Gyalpo camp. Everyone was very tired that they wanted to reach leh asap. But we need to spend one more night in the tents. We reached so early to Gylapo that we had enough time to explore nearby places, we took rest in sunshine and then we saw local blue sheeps, did some photography and then moved to the dining area. As this was our stay of trekk, so all the group of trekkers started playing dumb share arts and time flew by, we had great fun , laughs. We became good friends during the course of our journey. Then a hot dinner was served by the helpers and then we were surprised that all the crew members prepared a delicious and beautiful cake. Hanif and Tundup and all our crew came together and shared their experience of the trek, ever one were very emotional and happy at the same moment that they have achieved a milestone. We had a bonfire and sang songs and we danced together. Today's temperature was not that harsh.That night was the best night of the whole trek. We went to our sleeping bags and tent for the last time. Trek Day 5 : We were almost coming to an end of our trek. Today we had to trek from Gylapo to Shingra Koma. We started the trek for the last time, and as we know that our group is very fast so everyone expected that in 2 hours we will reach Shingra Koma. But as i previously said that Chadar is unpredictable. Last night it was not that cold, so because of that after 15 mins of trek we saw that there is no chadar present anymore and there is water everywhere, and the mountains were very steep that we cannot walk through. We were in huge confusion as our travellers were already waiting for us at the pickup point as Shingra Koma. We thought adventure was over for us on the last day but wait now we have to climb the 30 Feet mountain and then cross the valley from the mountains. How interesting and it was very dangerous too. Nikhlesh, Abdul and Ashish already climbed and reached on the top of the hill, I started to climb and slowly and steadily everyone climbed that hill. This was so much thrill and fun. We threw rope and the remaining group climbed the hill very soon. Thanks to Hanif Bhai and Tundup for making our trek such an awesome one. We were the first group who reached nerak from thrillophilia this season. We reached our pickup point and took a sigh of relief. We Stopped at Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib Ji and thanked god for the success of the Chadar trek and then we had langar prasad and moved towards leh city. We checked in our guesthouse Palam Hills Guest House. We took a bath after a week and then we went to leh market, and brought souvenirs for my friends and family. We enjoyed a bonfire with drinks and then we had dinner together and started packing our bags as we all have early morning flights. Today was our last day at Leh, we were ready for our return journey. We took our flight back home. We had the best time doing this incredible trek, a must do trek for all the adventure seekers, you will just love everything about this trek. Just remember to wear thermals and wear gumboots during the trek. You can buy them at Leh on your first day itself. We click a lot of pictures to cherish these memories. Huge thanks to team Thrillophilia and Kavish and The bearded Traveller. Thanks to all crew members and especially Hanif & Tundup, Keep rocking guys. Special thanks to my Team Nikhlesh, Abdul, Ashish, Bittu, Viskash, Rovit, Shubham and Shishank.
Amazing trek.. Thanks a lot to THRILLOPHILIA. Life changing experience. This is the master of all the treks. I am marathon runner, always wanted to go for a trek. Finalized to go for Chadar trek with little hesitation. But, THRILLOPHILIA cleared all the mental blocks and made me confident. Hats off THRILLOPHILIA. What an experience... People tells Swizz mountains. Guys come to Leh and go for Chadar trek. Then compare :) Again thanks a ton to THRILLOPHILIA
06 February 2021
Excellent
After skimming through numerous tour providers, I bumped into thrillophilia. Although quite skeptical initially, I decided to go through them for the Chadar trek; couldn’t have made a better choice! The pre-arrivals and registration team, especially Devanshu did a great job at providing detailed information concerning travel, accommodation, trek and miscellaneous. Super safe for Solo travelers, absolutely nothing to worry about. The trek group is a conflux of people from various age-groups and backgrounds with similar interests, meticulously put together. Extremely hospitable hosts, super-hard working porters made sure our trip was incredibly amazing!!! The ground operations lead SATHYA was constantly on his toes making sure every trekker’s need was tended to. His delightful rapport with the staff and fellow trekkers is truly commendable!!! SATHYA was a savior in disguise, helped us get through any glitches we had during acclimatization period and also made the post-trek celebrations an unforgettable experience!!! Great food, mesmerizing views, genial, super-responsive staff and a bunch of like-minded trekkers, all these made my trip freaking aweeeeeesome!!! #THINKTHRILLOPHILIA for your next adventure!!! They are tremendous!!!!
06 February 2021
indu chakraborty Chadar Trek
Excellent
When I have received this link for sharing my story with thrillophilia uphorians, I indeed thought once really am I worthy enough for this column!! Then I thought no, if I don't put my bit through here,it will be a non-justice towards those blossomoed flowers who actually could made my story...... They are Satya right from thrillophilia ground team at Leh, Jimmy the Mithun chakraborty of our team who ensured safe dispatch of every individual in trip in one piece from leh...or even Mr Nimoh,.... Who ensured knocking every individual during the trek for keeping them safe.... Yes I of course did trekking of Sandakaphu or Pindari Glacier earlier.... But they were much earlier almost about 30+ years back ... So again this CHADAR trek was a bit challenge kind of trek to me to prove the actual worthyness of a 50+ mota (fat) aadmi all through..... Still it could become possible only because of never ending support of thrillophilia ground tean along with real time management... This is not a bid adieu to you all. ... it's just a break...I will be back definitely again amongst you all buddies....
06 February 2021
Excellent
Trip with thrillophilia is so amazing.. Arrangements and all the staff are so good....it's a life time experience for me....every one should visit ones. Akash Agrawal
Completed Chadar trek with Thrillophilia last week it was one of the finest trip of my life. Starting from the booking to execution every thing was planned well. We were well briefed by Satya regarding trek and we'll organised local operator.
05 February 2021
Excellent
Had a recent trekk to Chadar Lake. It was planned with add ons by thrillophilla in a very professional manner. We had a date change as well due personal reasons and they accommodated our request. All communication were well handled from office side and local operator were very helpfull. The trekk team and porters were very supportive and helpful. The ground representative of thrillophilla based in Leh could do better in way of a more professional briefing and feedbank about trekk in general and fine tuning. Rest was very nice.

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