It is the Time to go to Ladakh. This blog has been celebrating Ladakh and Kashmir for last few weeks. We will continue with another post on most enchanting place in India.
You would have already planned your trip to Ladakh by now. Your itinerary would include visiting Thiksey Monastery, Palace, Posing like Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor on Pangong Tso..... everything packed and planned for you by your tour operator on what to do in Ladakh.
There is more to Ladakh than these typical touristy places. Here is our list of what you should do which others might not have done before. Things that will enhance your Ladakh experience.
1 Stay with a Ladakhi family
If you want to have a true Ladakhi experience, then you have to stay in a Ladakhi home stay. Friendly people, they make you comfortable. You will enjoy best Tibetan cuisine. You will be accompanied by family members for walks in the nearby hills if you wish to!
|Enjoying a meal in a Homestay (Photo Courtesy - Aimeebell)|
For a list of Homestays in Ladakh, you may look at this link below.
Ladakh Home Stays
2 Go for Treks
You don't have to be mountaineer to climb a hill in Ladakh. It is easier to climb small hills and trek in the lovely valleys if you are well acclimatised. Climbing small hills and going for day treks locally is easier if you are staying in a Home stay. If you have time, plan for longer treks. It is worth the experience.
There are many agencies specialising in trekking in Ladakh. Here are few
3. Watch a High Altitude Football match
Ladakh and Football? Yes. Though not as popular as Polo and Archery, Football is slowly getting a fan following in Ladakh and Ladakhis are fond of the sport. You can watch local clubs fighting it out at 11,000 feet above sea level! You may join them for a game if you are well acclimatised. Else enjoy the match as a spectator.
4 Talk to a Monk
|A football match in Leh ( Photo Courtesy - T R Dastidar)|
This is something we did in Mcleodganj and it was a enriching experience. Monks in the numerous monasteries in Ladakh are pleasant lot and you can definitely spend time talking to them and understand their spiritual life in Tibetan monasteries. You can know more about Tibetan form of Buddhism from them.
5 Attend a ceremony in a monastery
|A monk at his work table ( Photo Courtesy - Mihir Inamdar)|
This will be something special which you should do. For this, you need to contact the monastery in advance and find out the timings. When we were there in Leh, the monasteries were deserted as His Holiness Dalai Lama had come to Nubra and all monks had gone there. You can watch chanting and other rituals which would be a memorable experience. You can also attend the festivals which will be held in many monasteries between May - September.
|A ceremony in Lamayuru monastery ( Photo Courtesy - Nityanand Shankar)|
For a list of festivals in Ladakh, please click the link below
Calendar of Ladakh Festivals
Here is our experience of visiting monasteries and palaces in Leh town
Ladakh Diaries 3 - Leh, Sights of a Mountain town!
6 Visit a remote lake
Forget Pangong Tso. Everyone goes there now. Go to Tso Kar or Tso Moriri or even further to Tso Yaye. Thanks to Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, Pangong Tso gets crowded during season. Head to other remote lakes to enjoy the serenity. You can either drive yourself or hire a Jeep in Leh.
Not only the lakes are spellbinding, the drive to them is an experience in itself.
|Yaye Tso (Photo Courtesy - Romesh Bhattacharji)|
7 Drive along Indus
You don't have time to do Manali - Leh road trip? But want to experience a bit of it? No problem. Hire a cab and drive along Indus river beyond Upshi for 100 KMs......May be upto Tanglang La. Leave early and do it as a day trip. You will love every minute of the experience.
|Lovely Landscape on the way to Manali from Leh|
You may check out our drive from Manali to Leh here in this blog.
Ladakh Diaries 1 - Manali to Leh, day One
Ladakh Diaries 2 - Manali to Leh, Day two
8 Sky watching in Nubra
Don't miss carrying a Binocular when you go to Ladakh. We would say carry a telescope. Ladakh is the best place to do sky watching. World's second highest observatory is located in Hanle near Nubra. Crystal clear skies at Nubra or Pangong Tso or anywhere in the region gives you an opportunity to spot the stars.
9 Go to Lamayuru.
|A night sky over Leh! (Photo Courtesy - Puneet Vikram Singh)|
We can't go to Moon. Can we experience moonscape? Yes, you can. In Lamayuru. Plan a day trip or stay overnight there to experience surreal moonscapes!
10 Drink Ladakhi Rice beer - Chhaang!
|Moonscape!! (Photo Courtesy - Sandeepan Chetan)|
We kept this as last item. But don't miss it. Light and tangy, the home brewed rice beer is a good drink. Should be drank freshly brewed. If you are staying in a home stay it becomes easier to get a drink.
|The Bubbly! (Photo Courtesy - John Steedman)|
Did we miss out any? Do you have more to add? You are welcome to expand the list!
For other related posts on Ladakh in this blog, please click the link below.
Ladakh taken care of. Let us go off track here.......If you are a Goa buff like us, you would like this similar post below.
12 Things to do in Goa you haven't done before!
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