There comes a time in our life when we wish to issue a challenge to ourselves just to check what our limits are like and as to how far we are willing to go. So if you happen to be one such traveller akin to a wanderer then Ladakh is sure to be one of your famed destinations. Definitely not the one for the faint-hearted, courtesy its stern climatic conditions, but this rough Himalayan region is the cynosure of any biker worth his salt. And why not, for who wouldn’t wish to ride past the glacial mountains with nothing but vast stretches of roads and the never-ending clear sky above you. Makes you want to pack your bags already, doesn’t it? Read on-
TREK OF A LIFETIME
No, not trying to sound fanciful with the choice of words, but a trek through the rocky terrains of Ladakh has to be never-before experience for most trekkers and adventurers. Of most treks of Ladakh, the treks from Spituk to the Markha valley and Lamayuru gompa to Chiling village alongside the Zanskar River are deemed to be the most popular treks in the region.
Treks are open from the June end up to mid-October. Though most trekkers are willing to brace any conditions for a good thrill but when the passes for trekking are as high as 5,000 m in altitude, planning in advance is but necessary hence many trekking agencies in Leh offer trek packages with a guide, packhorses, food and supplies. So when in Ladakh, trek away.
FODDER FOR THE MOTORCYCLIST’S DIARY
As stated earlier, any self-respecting biker would not pass a chance to ride past the awe-inspiring locales that Ladakh has to offer in form of its bewitching mountains and enchanting landscapes. So if biking is your passion, then this place deserves a fair shot at taming the beast inside of you. Logistically speaking, the capital of Ladakh, Leh is well-connected by good motor abled roads to all major places in India. Leh is: 1047 km from Delhi, 434 km from Srinagar, 230 km from Kargil, 494 km from Manali, 380 km from Keylong, 118 km from Deskit (Nubra Valley), 690 km from Jammu.
FOR THE TOURISTY CHARM
Ladakh is not just for the adventure hungry crowd chiefly interested in hiking and biking. If you happen to enjoy your piece of peace and quiet with a dash of the local flavour, then Ladakh sure has something to suit your palate.
Among the popular places of tourist interest include Leh, Drass valley, Razi khar (Chiktan Khar), Suru valley, Kargil, Zangskar, Zangla, Rangdum, Padum, Phukthal, Sani Monastery, Stongdey, Shayok Valley, Sankoo, Salt Valley. Popular treks are Manali to Ladakh, the Nubra valley, Pangong tso, Tso moriri, the Indus valley, Markha valley, Ladakh monastery to name a few.
PERMIT-WISE, BE WISE
Although, no special permit is required to visit most of Ladakh, including Leh and Kargil towns. Permits are required for both domestic and foreign tourists to visit the "Inner Line" areas, i.e. Nubra Valley; Panggong Lake and the Durbuk Block that it lies in (i.e. north of the Changla Pass); Tso-Moriri and Tsokar Lakes and the area along the Indus River east of Upshi; and Dha-hanu and the area along the Indus River northwest of Khalatse. These permits are easily available in Leh town and do not need to be acquired while applying for an Indian visa. Foreigners must get their permits through a travel agent while Indians can get the permit from the authorities in person.
Well with that, you got yourself all you need for a fruitful affair with this feisty, seductress of a place called Ladakh.