A trip to Ladakh is no small event! It's always packed with adventures and dreams! It's the world of rugged valleys, snow-clad mountains, endless hills, and monks and monasteries. A road trip to these spectacular landmarks is the highest motorable road, Khordung La, and some of the highest mountain passes like Zoji La and Tangland La.

Credit to Raveena Singh

Located in the remotest corner of North India, Ladakh is a Union territory of India. Set in the lap of the Himalayas and at an altitude above 3000 meters, the place is a high-altitude cold desert. The extreme topography and climatic conditions make the place inaccessible for tourists from November to April/May.

Apart from the enchanting beauty of the rugged landscape, several interesting spots make the place worth a visit.

A ladakhi man on his way to gompa to meet lama. Credit to Raveena Singh

Pangong Lake: The main attraction of Ladakh is Pangong Lake. Across the frozen blue waters lay the mountains of Tibet. The pristine blue waters, surrounded by the mountains, make the site one of the most popular tourist spots.

Pangong Tso at evening. Credit to Raveena Singh

Hanle Observatory: The Indian Astronomical Observatory, near the Hanle river, is one of the world's highest sites for the infrared, optical, and gamma/ray telescopes, operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Stargazing by the Hanle river is one of the most fulfilling experiences of the trip. But, it requires a special inner line of permits to access Hanle.

Indian astronomical observatory Hanle. Credit to Raveena Singh

Nubra Valley: Lying between Tibet and Kashmir, Nubra Valley is famous for the orchards, picturesque views, Bactrian camels, and Buddhist monasteries. The Tibetan name of Nubra Valley, 'Ldumra,' means 'the valley of flowers.' It is also known as 'Moonland' because of its breathtaking views.

Tso Moriri: Tso Moriri is a high-altitude mountain lake in Ladakh, located at an altitude of 4,522 meters. The highest brackish water lake of India is a protected wetland conservatory, which remains inaccessible for the rest of the year except summer.

Ladakh is dotted with numerous monks and monasteries, which still retain their ancient charm. The Shanti Stupa, Diskit Monastery, Dzongkhul Monastery, Hemis monastery, and Thiksey monastery are some of the popular tourist spots. There are museums and libraries attached to these places, which have some old and rare Buddhist manuscripts. The Hanle Monastery, too, is a 17th-century old historic place belonging to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. 

The festival season kicks with procession, dances, and singing in their traditional songs, and the tribal people and villagers dressing up in the colorful Laddaki attires, floral headgears, traditional silver jewelry. If you want to experience the diverse culture of Ladakh, the Ladakh festival held in September is the best time to visit the place. 

Ladakh traditional dance dancers at halt at a cafe. Credit to Raveena Singh

In 2010, Ladakh was described as a 'constellation of villages.' Each village comprises 50 members, who co-exist with each other as extended families. With an increasing number of tourists flocking to Ladakh every year, the economy of the place is based on tourism. There are numerous guesthouses, homestays and a few luxary hotels available for tourists. However, nature rules Ladakh. It is better to plan a Ladakh trip between April and September to avoid the harsh climate and find a better place to stay.

If you are looking for a soul-enriching adventurous trip, Ladakh should be your ultimate destination.