Bucket lists are all the rage these days. Everyone is making a list of places to visit, mountains to climb, forests to explore and new cultures and customs to absorb. Here to help you refine the list, we offer you some of the best that the states of India have to offer.
Today we look at the best that Leh and Ladakh have to offer.
“The Land of High Passes” offers numerous trekking and mountaineering opportunities. Just pick one that suits your ability and have fun.
Bike trips through this rugged terrain is another must-do on any travellers list. Enjoy spectacular scenery, beautiful monasteries and experience the solitude envelope you as you ride along this wonderful landscape.
White water rafting on the Indus River.
Spot an Ibex or Bharal as you trek through this rugged landscape.
If you are lucky, you might spot a couple of Tibetan Ural Sheep or the rarer Tibetan Argali Sheep.
Catch a glimpse of the Tibetan Wild Ass in the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
A few blessed souls will catch a glimpse of the Snow Leopard or the Tibetan Wolves.
Do not miss a chance to visit the retirement home for the donkeys of Leh and Ladakh just off the road leading to Kardung La.
A ride atop a two-humped Bactrian camel, while a lot slower than the ride on a bike, is lot more enjoyable.
Sit back and enjoy a game of polo between local teams played usually every Tuesday and Saturday in Leh during summer.
Bet on a contestant in the archery contests held in the villages. Join up with the locals for some drinks, singing, dancing and discuss the bets lost and won.
Watch the dancers perform wearing colourful facial masks to celebrate one of the many festivals of this beautiful land.
Thukpa - Basically a noodle soup, prepared by mixing noodles with chicken or vegetables
Momos - Dumplings made by stuffing minced vegetables, cheese or meat in a dough made of white flour and water. 'Kothey' is the local name for this Ladakhi dish.
Thenthuk – A common noodle soup, prepared with wheat flour dough, mixed vegetables and pieces of yak meat or mutton.
Khambir and Butter Tea - Khambir is the local bread made of whole wheat and pan shaped. It is served mostly for breakfast with butter tea.
Chang – The local brew of Ladakh, made in porcelain pots by fermenting millets with yeast.
Enjoy fresh baked bread and locally made Apricot jam in one of the many bakeries in Ladakh.
Savour the apricots that grow abundantly in this region.
(Photo from: http://discoverladakh.co.in/monasteries-in-ladakh/)
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
Namgyal Tsemo monastery
Chamba Temple Ladakh
You can enjoy shopping for curios and souvenirs in the bazaars and markets of Leh, while on your tour of Ladakh.
Pashmina shawls, stoles and other Pashmina wool garments are popular with the tourists.
Tibetan handicraft items including prayer wheels, Buddhist masks and Thangka paintings can be purchased in Ladakh.
Tibetan silver jewellery and traditional Ladakhi jewellery with turquoise are also popular with tourists.
Handwoven rugs, carpets and shawls are available cheap to those who know how to haggle.