Ladakh is on the bucket list of several travellers thanks to its picturesque vistas, serene monasteries, diverse topography and not to forget the warm and cheerful locals. With several Bollywood movies shot here, it is a sought-after destination for youngsters looking for some thrill and adventure. Here is our list of top 12 things to do while in Ladakh:
Befriend a local by greeting him with ‘Julley’
Whether it is kids with innocent smiles, elderly with wrinkled faces that have a story to tell or monks in their robes- greet them with a ‘Julley’. That’s how the locals greet and acknowledge each other. The mountains have instilled strength and serenity in them, and they are a happy contended lot with whatever it is that life throws at them.
Go on a camel safari in Hunder Valley
The two-humped Bactrian camels also called Mongolian camels are native to Central Asia including Ladakh. A ride on the Bactrian camels will transport you back in time giving you the feeling that you are part of a caravan on the Ancient Silk Route.
Meditate at a Monastery
After admiring the brightly hued paintings and statues at the monastery (there are several of them) do spend some quiet time trying to connect with your inner self. A few moments in contemplation and meditation will provide solace and peace.
Watch a sunrise at Pangong Lake
The everchanging colours of Pangong Lake from emerald green to azure blue are a sight to behold. Catching a sunrise here as exotic aquatic birds come for a swim is a treat.
Have tea at the Highest Cafeteria in the World
Located on Khardungla pass, the highest motorable road at 5,359 m, is the Rinchen Cafeteria run by the army. Sip on some hot chai and devour a plateful of Maggi which will provide much-needed warmth.
Appreciate the landscape change every few kilometres
Ladakh will bowl you over with its varied landscape. One moment you are on snow clapped mountains, next in a valley with yellow flowers, then a desert with sand dunes. Rivers and confluences, lakes and glaciers Ladakh has them all.
Salute the Martyrs at ‘Hall of Fame’ memorial
It is because of the Martyrs who fought the several Indo-Park wars that we and our children can sleep peacefully and enjoy freedom. Salute these heroes and say a little prayer for their souls.
Shop at the local market
Pick souvenirs for loved ones from a vast array of Tibetan jewellery, to singing bowls or woollens and shawls at the markets. Test your bargaining skills but don’t short-change the locals.
Spin a Prayer Wheel
Chant the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ and spin a prayer wheel. Be mindful as you collect some positive karma and purify negative energies.
Admire the exotic wildlife
Ladakh is home to several wild animals and migratory birds. Watch the yaks, kiangs (wild asses), Changthangi goats and Himalayan marmots in their natural habitat. Migratory birds like Brahminy Ducks, Black-neck Crane, Bar-headed Goose and several others can be spotted on the lakes.
Seek thrills with adventure sport
If you would like an adrenaline rush with some fun and adventure thrown in then do try some of the daredevil sports like rock climbing, paragliding, river rafting and so on. A bike ride in Ladakh à la Sharukh Khan in Bollywood movie ‘Jab Tak Hain Jaan’ will certainly make you feel like a hero.
Observe the stunning topography of Moon land
Imagine a terrain that resembles the surface of the moon with odd geographic formations. This is Lamayuru often referred to as the Moon Land, which was once a lake, but today a rugged terrain.