The topography of Ladakh is best described by its snow-clad mountains, cold deserts, serene lakes, and hillocks. It is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations and as the name suggests it is the land of not few but several high mountainous passes. The Ladakh Tour resonates in memories as travelers visit the serene Pangong Lake with its crystal clear blue water. A Ladakh Bike Trip becomes more adventurous and enthralling as the bikers ride through Khardung La Pass located at a height of nearly 18,300 feet. Great sense of achievement sets in as soon as you read the signboard of “Khardungla Top -highest motorable road in the world.”
Constructed in the seventeenth century the historical Royal Palace was a residence to the royal family. It also has a museum that is filled with antiques, historical paintings, and extraordinary artifacts. Visit the Shanti stupa if you are in search of a spiritual experience. As it is a symbol of peace that was built by Japanese Buddhists. An adventure written all over it is the Chadar Trek a winter trek over the Zanskar river best enjoyed in February as the river remains frozen that time.
Feel the magic of the Ladakh Tour as you visit Magnetic Hill. It is about thirty kilometres away from the city of Leh and the road is believed to have some strange anti-gravitational magnetic abilities. The layout and the surrounding slopes create an optical illusion of some sort as the road which goes downhill seems as if it goes uphill. Each year travelers come to witness and record this phenomenon as when the car is parked in neutral gear it starts to move up the slope by itself at a speed of 20 kilometers.
Diskit Gompa Monastery
The fluttering prayer flags guide the Ladakh Bike Trip towards the serenity of being in a Buddhist Temple as you visit the Diskit Monastery. The monastery was built around the fourteenth century and is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery located in the Nubra Valley. It lures travelers mainly because of the huge one hundred and eight feet high Maitreya Buddha statue on top of it. It took nearly six years to complete and was inaugurated by HH Dalai Lama. The statue is a symbol of peace and protection. Diskit is famous for its festival of Dosmoche meaning the festival of scapegoat where masked performances of monks express the power of good over evil and it is believed dance form eradicates bad luck.
Bactrian Camel Ride
A unique experience to enjoy with the Ladakh Tour is the famous Bactrian Camel Safari in Nubra Valley the highest desert in the world which serves as the open canvas for these two humped camels to leave their footprints. These hundur camels are not the usual ones that are found in Rajasthan but have two humps and were a major mode of transport to travel the silk route. The best time to enjoy a Bactrian camel ride in Nubra Valley is from July to September as these camels can carry two to three people at a time. Camel safari is not only fun, but it is also adventurous and entertaining. These camels have a shaggy coat of thick hair and are believed to have originated from Central Asia.
Travelling to Ladakh has changed over the years but the charm continues with the Ladakh Bike Trip. The palace was the summer home of the royal family of Ladakh who were the descendants of King Sengge Namgyal. Built-in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal was opened for public visitations by Dalai Lama in 1980. The palace is now transformed into a heritage hotel and also houses a museum and a temple. The heritage hotel is a four-storeyed building and has corridors and courtyards which lead the visitors to colorful spaces and brings forth the scenic view of the Indus River.
Stok Palace Temple traditionally known as Lhakchung is the temple dedicated to Buddha. It is situated on the topmost level of the palace. The monks not only perform regular prayer sessions but also make personalized good luck charms with handwritten wishes. The museum has a collection of paintings of Buddhist Deities dating to over four hundred years. The main attraction of the museum is the Yub Jhur which is the queen’s crown along with ancient jewels. Another artifact is the king’s sword bent in a knot by the king’s oracle.
Rafting in Zanskar River
One of the most thrilling experiences to endeavor with the Ladakh Trip is river rafting. The best places to enjoy river rafting in Ladakh are its two popular rivers-Indus and Zanskar. They have rapids ranging from grade one to grade five. The range of the rapid grade indicates that this river adventure can be enjoyed by beginners as well as experienced ones alike. The wonderful landscape adds to the delight of rafting.
The colorful monasteries, towering mountains, and canyons formed by the river along with chilly winds and freezing waters make rafting in Ladakh an experience that does not wane from the memory easily. Zanskar River is the north-flowing tributary of the Indus River making it perfect for river rafting in Ladakh. Zanskar is also famous for its frozen Chadar Trek and the adventure-laden route stretches up to the confluence of Zanskar and Indus.
Visit the Highest Cafeteria at Khardung La
The Ladakh Bike Trip becomes a unique experience as you visit the Maggi Point which is the highest cafeteria in the world. Savour the two-minute noodle overlooking the Himalayan ranges at the Khardung La Pass with a cup of pipping hot tea and thukpa. The road is one of the world’s highest motorable roads at an elevation of 5,359 meters above sea level.
Traversing the route in itself is an exciting and thrilling experience as it features on the wishlist of every biker and traveler. The wind might numb your fingers temporarily as you will get used to it. Do not exert yourself much but let the cameras go wild and click pictures for a sweet memory. Before you hit the roads make sure you have the Inner Line Permit to pass through Khardung La as it is issued by the District Commissioner’s office in Leh.