I love to travel, and over the last few years, I have been travelling extensively all over the country. I always wanted to visit Leh Ladakh for a long time, and finally, this June my wishes came true. I got the opportunity to take a road trip to Ladakh, and it was nothing less than a dream come true.
I got in touch with a travel agent from Go2Ladakh.in, and they were extremely helpful in answering all my queries and helping me with an itinerary for 10 days Ladakh road trip. Ladakh is the land of high passes, and the area is vast including Tibets and Pakistanis too. It was extremely overwhelming to plan a road trip for a destination I have been longing to go since ages. My travel agent had arranged for several good hotels and homestays for stay, including a guide who helped me understand the culture and history of Ladakh. I was so intrigued to know more about the Buddhist culture and history. They also arranged a trek for me along with excursions to visit different monasteries, temples, gurudwara, saltwater lake Pangong Tso built on a higher altitude on the Tibetan border.
If you are visiting Ladakh for the first time, then let me tell you that it is one of the most breath-taking places in the world. It is one of the best places when it comes to cleanliness. It is noteworthy that the ladakhi people maintain discipline when it comes to keeping their city clean. They believe in sustainability and recycling waste, and hence every little garbage or litter is converted into something useful. Therefore, there is no waste or garbage on the streets leaving the city sparkling clean.
The people of Ladakh are creative minded and carry a social responsibility to keep their city and surroundings clear and clean.
The lakes and rivers are also well taken care of as water is extremely precious for them. In high altitude deserted area, sometimes there is a shortage of water supply. Hence, they make sure they have natural and clean drinking water from available resources. Unlike other cities where rivers and lakes become a dumping ground of waste, here it’s completely opposite. Ladakh also has a filter station for boiling water where you can refill your bottle with boiled UV treated water. It is half the price of the standard plastic bottles that you can buy from the market. Plastic is wholly banned in Ladakh; hence they don’t encourage the tourist to use plastic bottles or cans while travelling on the road. There are public trash bins kept in every village sorted separately for paper, plastics, metal, grass, compost, waste etc. These sorting bins are set up by high school local authorities and are being used by all villagers in Leh. Surprisingly in other cities of India, its difficult to even find a dustbin nearby.
The public transport system in Ladakh is also very budget friendly. If you want to save money due to less budget, you can consider travelling by public transport too. In a group of more than two people, it will be more advisable to hire a car and a driver. The time of travel will be more by bus than by a private vehicle.
There are several places in Ladakh which cannot be missed out if you are going for the first time.
Some of the famous places are
- Zanskar Valley
- Pangong Tso Lake
- Khardung-la Pass
- Nubra Valley
- Hemis Monastery
- Hemis National Park
- Magnetic Hill
- Spituk Gompa
- Shanti Stupa Royal Leh Palace
- Tso Moriri Lake
- Chadar Trek
- Thiksey Gompa
- Diskit Monastery
- Likir Monastery
- Stok Palace
- Hall Of Fame
It was an incredible journey to travel to all these beautiful places to visit in ladakh. Some of the most memorable are the Pangong Tso, Shanti Stupa, Lamayuru Gompa, Alchi and Hemis Monastery and driving to Zanskar valley via Khardungla pass which is the highest motorable pass in the world. The monasteries are very well maintained housing beautiful paintings, statues and artefacts. Visiting these places is tiring but worth it. Find splendid views of the mountains, colour changing lakes, astonishing Lord Buddha statues, intricate monasteries and ethnic culture while in Ladakh. You will get a taste of everything while you are on this trip.
The hotels that we stayed in were immaculate and hygienic with attached bathroom. The rooms were lit with natural light, and the family who owned the house was very friendly and served delicious homemade food. All in all, it was a great trip during which we made unforgettable memories.
Finally, as traveller, I would say to travel light and plan a budget before you venture on this life-changing journey. According to your interest in the Ladakh architecture and history, you can decide if you want to spend on hiring the local guide or not. Hiring a local guide can be incredibly useful, and you might get some great insights which can further enrich your experience. Tourism is one of the significant factor to boost the economy of Ladakh and hence it is always a great feeling to return to people who are so generous themselves.