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  • Ladakh, a beautiful place in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), lies between Kunlun mountains and the mighty Himalayas; and is known for its mountain beauty and Tibetan culture. It is also one of the most sparsely populated area of J&K. Ladakh has Tibet in the east, Lahaul & Spiti in the south, J&K valley and Baltiul in the west and Karakoram pass in the north. Now about going to Ladakh in winters - Well, winters is the best time to visit Ladakh as the valley and mountains get covered with snow. Temperature goes down drastically due to heavy snowfall and one needs at least a week to 10 days for acclimatization seeing the weather of Ladakh in winters.

    Ladakh in winters gives you a sight of amazing landscapes, scintillating mountains and trees covered with snow, frozen lakes, frozen waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites at the entrance of rocky caves. It all looks like a dreamland and one feels thrilled and excited to see such unbelievable sights.  Located at a height of 14,000 meters above sea level, Ladakh becomes a perfect tourist destination in winters, especially for hikers, trekkers, mountaineers and bikers who love climbing and riding.  

    Most of the people think that travelling to Ladakh in winters is not a good idea, but that actually is a wrong notion. Winters is the best time to visit Ladakh and one must not shrug away from this fact. This is because there isn’t much crowd and so, one can enjoy all the exquisite places that have existed over centuries in this wonderland. Just be careful at night as temperature might drop down to as low as -30℃. As far as your stay is concerned, there’s no need to worry. Ladakh has many guesthouses and local people also allow homestays at affordable prices during winters. The best ones are located near Fort Road and Changspa Road.

  • 01How to reach Ladakh in winter

    Image Credit : Wikimedia

    Winters start from November and continues till March in Ladakh. If you are a regular traveller who loves road trips, then the best way to travel to Ladakh is by road. But the roads remain open only till November end, and get closed after that due to heavy snowfall. If you want to travel in December-January then the best and only way is by air. Flights are available from Delhi to Leh every day. You can choose Air India, Jet Airways and Go Air as these are the only 3 companies that operate on this route. You can travel by bus or taxi after landing down at Leh airport. You can also take your own car if you go there before November ends.   

    There are many winter packages that offer stay in hotels and guesthouses, as well as homestays in Ladakh. These include photography tour, trips to Leh and Suru Valleys, etc. You must travel through tour operating companies and inform and the airlines of your choice, at least 1 week in advance. Companies provide value for money packages for Ladakh trip in winters. You also need single person and/or group permits if you travel with your friends as Leh- Ladakh regions are strategic locations guarded by ITBP and Indian army.

  • Places to visit in Ladakh in winters

  • 02Leh City

    Leh has the Leh Palace, which is based on designs of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet; and was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century. It gets lighted up at night and gives a fascinating view. One can see the whole Leh city from its roof. Leh city has the famous Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, known for its 3-storey high gold statue of Maitreya Buddha, along with ancient manuscripts.

    Then there is Shanti Stupa with its white dome and has relics of Buddha at its base, set there by the 14th Dalai Lama. It provides a panoramic view of the surroundings for which it is famous among tourists. There are also other places like the War Museum, Victory Tower and Sankar Monastery and village. The last one is just half an hour walk away from Leh.
  • 03Frozen Pangong

    Image Credit : Wikimedia
    With heavy clouds in blue sky above it, the Pagong or Pangong Tso Lake is one of the best places to visit in Ladakh in winters. In Tibetan, it means ‘high grassland lake’. The lake is 130 km long and extends from India to China. Indian side has only 40% portion of the lake, still it’s good enough. Its water freezes out in winters and there’s snow all over it. A great huge spot for adventure seekers who like skiing and ice-skating.

    The Pangong Lake is the world’s highest saltwater lake (4250 meters) which gets frozen during winters, thus providing a splendid view with mountains behind it. There aren’t any fishes or any other aquatic life in the lake, except a few small crustaceans due to its saline water. If lucky, you might catch a glimpse of goose and ducks. It takes a 5 hour drive by road to reach Pangong Lake from Leh.
  • 04Nubra Valley

    Image Credit : Wikimedia
    Nubra Valley is another breathtaking spot that looks like a chocolate brown cake with white icing to top it. According to locals, its original name was ‘Ldumra’ which means the valley of flowers. This place appears between Kashmir and Tibet and is 150 km away from Leh towards the North. It’s main town is Diskit, and it’s landmark is a 32 meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is maintained at Diskit monastery. Along the valley are the villages of Sumur, Kyagar, Tirith, Panamik and others.

    River Shyok flows through the Nubra valley. Another important tourist spot is Samstanling monastery that lies between Kyagar and Sumur villages. This valley too, is one of the best places to visit in Ladakh in winters; as it is known for its scenic beauty, Bactrian camels and silent monasteries that have great architecture. You will have to cross the famous Khardung la pass to reach it.
  • 05Lamayuru Monastery

    Image Credit : Wikimedia
    Another must visit tourist destination during winters is the Lamayuru or Yuru monastery. In Tibetan, it means the ‘Eternal’ monastery and is located in Leh region. The monastery is located on Srinagar-Leh Highway at an altitude of 3,510 meters. It is an intriguing place and is considered as one of the largest and oldest monasteries of Ladakh.

    There are many stories and legends related to it. The best-known story cum legend is that a monk travelled to this place and decided to build a monastery here after experiencing the presence of some divine power, about a 1000 years ago.

    Local people who stayed in the last village before this place joined him to build it. Moved by his efforts, the king of this region decided to finance the monastery. Originally, there were 5 buildings but only 1 survives now. The monastery is located on a barren rocky mountain with white snow-covered Himalayas on its left.
  • 06Khardung La Pass

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    Khardung La is a mountain pass that lies in Ladakh region of J&K, India. It lies towards the north of Leh, and is considered as a gateway to Shyok and Nubra valleys. It was built in 1976 and was opened for public and for motor vehicles in 1988. Since then it has been visited by many adventure lovers through car and bike expeditions that usually happen in groups. 

    The pass is maintained by Border Roads Organization (BRO), as it is of strategic importance for India. One must carry sufficient amount of packed food and water as there aren’t any hotels or guesthouses near Khardung La pass. It becomes more important due to traffic jam on the road.

    Khardung La Pass is at a height of 5,359 meters. If you have time then you can go further north of the pass and find some Bactrian camels at a place called Hunder, if you are lucky.

  • 07Tso Moriri Lake

    Tso Moriri or the mountain lake in Tibetan language, is located Changthang plateau of Ladakh in J&K, India. The lake and its surrounding areas are protected as they are part of the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation reserve. The lake is set at an altitude of 4,522 meters and is one of the highest lakes in Ladakh as well as in India. 

    It is about 26 km in length and between 3 and 5 km in breadth. Its water is alkaline by nature, and thus inedible. The lake is fed by springs and snow-fed mountains located nearby. One stream enters the lake from north while the other enters from south-west.

    One can visit the lake during summers if you want to see the 34 bird species that live on and around it; of which 14 are water birds. You can also catch glimpses of Tibetan geese, Lynx, Himalayan blue sheep, Tibetan ass, Tibetan sand fox and Tibetan wolf.

  • 08Thiksey Monastery

    Image Credit : Wikimedia
    The Thiksey Monastery or Thiksey Gompa is another one of the places to visit in Ladakh. It is affiliated to and run by the ‘Gelug sect’ of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of one of the hills in Thiksey village, and is about 19 km east of Leh. It comes under Ladakh region in India.

    This monastery too is similar to Potala style of building of Tibet. It has a separate set of buildings for women monks and as well as tourists. It is a fort style of Tibetan monastery which was built in 15th century or in 1433 by Sherab Zangpo, 1 of the 6 disciples of the Gelug School or the ‘Yellow Hats’. 

    The monastery is built on a sacred hill located about 7 km north from Stagmo village. It is famous for its ‘mask dance’ or ‘Cham dance’ that happens from October to November every year.
  • Things to do in Ladakh in winter

  • 09The Chadar Trek

    The Chadar Trek
    Chadar trek is a winter trail by foot, which appears in Zanskar region of Ladakh in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. During this trail, you will get to see mountain cliffs of up to a height of 600 meters. You will also see Zanskar river, which is a tributary of Indus river which is only 5 meters wide in certain places.

    The total distance of this trek is about 105 km. If you are an average trekker then you won’t be able to cover more than 15 km/per day. The best time to go on the trail of Chadar trek is from January to February, when the temperature drops to -30? at night.

    You must also go for the Chadar trek as it is widely popular among both- national and international adventure tourists. The trail will provide you magnificent views of mountains and surrounding areas, along with glimpses of local birds and wild animals.
    Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2018

    Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2018

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  • 10Snow Leopard Trek

    Image Credit : remotelands
    Snow Leopard Trek is one of the famous winter treks in Ladakh region. It has most inhospitable weather and so only regular trekkers and mountaineers can go for it. The trek goes through Hemis National Park, which stretches out at a height of 4100 meters and covers the whole Rumbak valley.

    The park is home to many wild birds and animals that appear in the Himalayan region. During the trail, you will witness rugged mountains, snow-covered peaks, trees and frozen water bodies. During the trek, you will see many animals such as snow leopard, blue sheep, horned sheep, Eurasian brown bear.

    You will also find several bird species such as golden eagle, vultures, migratory birds and water birds as well. You will also get first-hand experience of cold desert, dry lands, rocky plateaus and local folklore of Rumbak valley. Fresh air and freezing winds will welcome you on the trek.
  • 11Play Ice Hockey

    Image Credit : cntraveller

    Ice hockey is a game first introduced to the world in Northern Europe around 1990, and was developed from field hockey. In the beginning, it was adopted only by countries that have very cold climate, but with its rapidly growing popularity, it spread out to other countries too. In India ice hockey was introduced about a 100 years back in Shimla.

    Ladakh too adopted the sport somewhere around 1990’s, at a time when it was spreading to other parts of the world. Many clubs were opened that taught and played ice hockey in Ladakh but Ladakh Ice Hockey Club is the first and only registered club that was established in 1995. 

    Ladakh has the advantage of snowfall and ice availability to form the ice-rink naturally. Since its equipment are very costly, not many can play it. Currently the game is played in Karzoo, Leh. It attracts many tourists during winters.

  • 12Ladakhi Losar Festival

    Losar is one of the most important festivals of Tibetan Buddhists in Ladakh, as it marks the beginning of New Year. It is celebrated with great zeal and grandeur. Its history dates back to pre-Buddhist Bon era of Tibet. In ancient times, a spiritual ceremony was held every year in winters. Later, keeping its significance in mind, it was developed into a full-fledged festival. 

    Homes, streets and surroundings are decorated with lights, artefacts and decoration items to bring prosperity and good luck. The houses and offices are cleaned from inside and outside, along with roads and surroundings; and all old and unused items are kept out of vicinity. This is done to ward of any kind of evil.

    The Ladakhi Losar Festival begins with the monks of Namgyal monastery by giving religious offerings to goddess Palden Lhamo to bring peace and prosperity to all Buddhists and their kin.

  • 13Spituk Gustor Festival

    Image Credit : Wikimedia

    Spituk Gustor Festival is a two day annual festival that is celebrated in Spituk monastery every year, in the 11th month of Tibetan calendar. It is celebrated as the symbol of victory over evil. Monks and local people start offering prayers 7 days before the two day event. The mask dance is the highlight of this festival. These masks represent certain fiery, kind and pleasant spirits. 

    These masks are painted using natural colours and are polished with gold and silver to give a finishing touch. The dresses of masked dancers are made of silk and brocade; who dance to the tunes of long horns, conch shells, bells and other instruments.

    According to Indian calendar, it takes place on 7th and 8th January every year and is attended by a considerable number of tourists as it falls in winters. The festival ends with the burning of an effigy of evil. Some dances are also performed in pairs while others are performed in groups.
  • 14Experience Wildlife

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    No doubt, Ladakh is considered as one of the unique wildlife destinations across the world. It is home to many exotic breeds of animals and birds, who keep roaming freely in their natural habitats. They are not disturbed by humans and efforts are made to keep them safe from poachers. 

    One can experience and see a variety of flora and fauna in Ladakh on rocky mountains, on dry cold deserts, plateaus, swampy grasslands, with snow covered mountains in the background. You can find yaks, ibex, Tibetan hare, blue sheep, wild ass, bharal, Tibetan antelope, red fox, Tibetan wolf, mountain weasel and many others. 

    You will also find a variety of birds such as Lamagier, wall creeper, Himalayan snow cock, black necked crane, rock bunting, fork tailed swift, Brown Accenture, Robin Accenture, Tibetan snow finch, etc. You can capture all this natural beauty with camera and keep them to share with the world, and as memories of your visit.



Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.


Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the entre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley


Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.


Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.


Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.


The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.


Chadar Trek

For some years, adventure seekers all around the world have been talking about Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Region. Until this year, hundreds of people have experienced the thrill hidden and the mind blowing sights around Chadar frozen river. In fact, Chadar Trek is the most sought after and one of the breathtaking treks in the Himalayas. The winter trek is so special for those who are ready to have adventure at the maximum level. 

The river trek starts from Chilling where the river begins to freeze and mostly, travelers choose February as the best time to cross the frozen river as the ice sheets will be comparatively stable. The precarious snow-flakes would pose severe threats during the trek but in some other time, the challenges would be kind to the trekker. The surrounding of the river are completely vertical cliffs tall up to 600 meters. The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus and is 5 meters long. 

A trekker would have to cover 16 kms per day to complete the Chadar Trek. Usually, people opt for 10-15 days of trek depending on the climatic conditions persisting here. The temperature at Chadar will come to the lowest at -35 degree Celsius during winter and thus Chadar Trek becomes more intimidating. Approximate trekking distance one would have to cover in total is 75 kms.

Maximum altitude: 11123 feet is the height at which Chadar Trek would lead you to.

Location: To take part in Chadar Trek, one should arrive in Leh and from Leh, the journey starts and goes to Chilling, the beginning of the Zanskar River in the frozen state. From Leh it would take about 65-70 kms to reach Tilad via Chilling, the base camp of the trek.

Best time to visit: January end to February is the best time suitable for trekking in the frozen river of Chadar. Quality and safe trekking gears and highly warm clothes are required.


Hemis Monastery

The biggest monastery in the North India is Hemis Monastery, one of the must visit attractions in Ladakh region. Set on the foothills of Indus, Hemis Monastery has 200 branches and over 1000 monks are staying there. It belongs to the red sect Brokpa of Buddhist order. Here the young Lamas are trained for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Basgo.


Hemis Gompa came into existence 17th century and it was built by Chapgon Gyalshas and from then on the gompa was getting the royal patronage of Ladakh till now. But there is a saying that the monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stangsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. After the missing of the head Lama in 1956, a young 12 year old boy from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh has been recognized as the head Lama of the gompa.

Structure of the monastery

The biggest monastery in the region has a surprising architecture and the building is quite appreciable. There are a lot of big statues and stupas decorated with stones and also the splendid collection of thankas. The collection of thankas is believed to be the largest and it would be shown to the public once in 11 years.

Location: Hemis Village is located 43 km south of Leh town and it is very easy to reach the monastery by bus or jeep.

Timing: 08:00 am to 01:00 pm and 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Entry fee: INR 100

Highlight: Hemis Festival is the prime attraction at the monastery which celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche. The tenth day of the Tibetan lunar month every 12th year is the date of festival.


Markha Valley Trek

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.


Stok Kongri Trek

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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