Asia Wanderlust

INDIA BUCKET LIST SERIES: LADAKH

When the new year rolled in we wrote a list of goals we wanted to achieve within 2017. One of these goals was to visit 3 countries that have been at the very top of our bucket list for quite awhile now: Phillipines, Japan & India.

So far we have yet to tick any of these countries off the list, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t started planning. With a trip to Japan happening in late May, we think it’s now time to start making the next trip into a reality – India! To get the ball rolling we have decided to start this little series where we choose our top places we are dying to visit in India and share with you all what we want to see & do while we are there.

First stop on the list: Ladakh

Ladakh, also known as Land of High Passes, is a spectacularly mountainous Buddhist ex-kingdom. Tibetan monasteries are scattered atop the rocky outcrops with colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. This is a very magical place to visit during a trip to India.

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How To Get There

You can fly to Leh via Delhi, however once you arrive you will have to spend a few days acclimatising to the altitude.

The best option to getting here would be to drive in and fly out. For the drive you will start in Sringar. The road is open from the beginning of May up until December, depending on snowfall. Taking this route means you will have well maintained roads, a gradual ascent (reducing your risk of mountain sickness) and there are beautiful sights and villages to see along the way. The drive is 415km, and if preferred you can stop overnight at either Dras or Kargil, both situated around the halfway mark.

Where To Stay

$ Ladakh Himalayan Retreat

$$ Hotel Namgyal Palace

$$$ The Zen Ladakh

What To Do

Go on a group tour: We think one of the best ways to explore India is with a group. There are a number of Leh Ladakh tour packages to choose from depending on your style of travel.

Watch the sunrise by the lake: Watching the sun come up from behind the mountains at Pangong Tso is a sight worth seeing.

Go camping in the mountains: A popular spot to go camping is in Sarchu. It will be a very chilly night so make sure you rug up! On your way to Sarchu we recommend stopping at one of the many lakes along the way to get a snapshot of the Himalayas reflection in the crystal clear lakes.

Visit Royal Leh Palace: Built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, the Royal Palace is 9 stories high offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the town of Leh.

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Be amazed by Magnetic Hill: Also known as gravity hill, this curious natural phenomenon pulls any vehicle up its steep slope with the ignition of the vehicle turned off!

Spend your nights star gazing: With no light pollution you will get to see the night sky like you have never seen it before.

Visit Zanskar Valley: Zanskar valley is one of the most isolated places to visit in Ladakah, with only 14,000 people living there comprising mainly of Buddhists. The valley is sandwiched between the Great Himalayan ranges and the Zanskar mountain ranges, giving it a very beautiful landscape.

Visit Lamayuru Monastery: Situated at a height of 3510m, it is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in the world.

Take in the beauty of Sangam Point: This is one of the most famous spots in Ladakh, the meeting point of Indus River and Zanskar River – Sangnam Point. What makes it so popular is that the water of the Indus River is very warm and Zanskar is frozen, this becomes an amazing sight to see!

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Where in India do you recommend we visit next?

A big thank you to Kashmir Tours for supporting Flying the Nest and sponsoring this post.

READ NEXT: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO MYANMAR

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