Jammu and Kashmir Travel Guide

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Introducing Leh

The high altitude desert city of Leh is the capital of the Leh Region located in Jammu and Kashmir. A trip here is best accompanied by a trip to the Ladakh Region – together these regions are symbolic of raw, scenic beauty providing the most breath-taking panoramic views in all of India. Some things to look forward to in Leh include travelling through the Zojila Pass, visiting the Shanti Stupa and visiting the picturesque lakes. This cold desert region is extensively jagged with colorful prayer flags fluttering vigorously with high-altitude winds against the dramatic, mountainous landscapes that are dotted with monasteries. It is truly one of those places that only the naked eye can best see and absorb – no pictures or videos do justice to its beauty. Go on a bike or take a road trip – trek or camp – and gear up to be mesmerized. Be warned and ready to face the unexpected, especially roadblocks – as weather can change in the blink of an eye. 

 

Must Know Facts

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the magnificent region of Leh (and Ladakh too) depends on whether you want to brave the cold and be rewarded with dreamy, heaven-like landscapes in winter or rather pick summer when the temperatures are more bearable and the land is buzzing with movement and activity. To summarize, summer sets in in April and this is the most comfortable time to visit – also the peak season for tourists.

By late April, the Ladakhi lakes of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri start to melt and clear skies become backdrops to stupas and monasteries in May. The roads start to open up in June when the Srinagar-Manali-Leh circuit is active. During the months of July and August the temperatures become even more favourable and a lot of festivals like Hemis and Sachukul are celebrated during this time. In September, tourists start to thin out and accommodation prices dip. Slowly, winter sets in in October and cold completely takes over in November – peaking in December and January as everything is covered in snow until February. In March the days become brighter, beckoning sunnier days. 
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History & Culture

It is needless to say that the extreme climate has influenced the lifestyle of Leh greatly. The desert-like, harsh and arid land is characterized by a unique Buddhist as well as Tibetan culture owing to its close proximity to Tibet. The centuries-old monasteries, prayer chants, flags and wheels leave a lasting, peaceful impact on the tourists who crave silence and tranquility. The culture and lifestyle has also shaped in a way to support tourism in the region and help the locals earn a livelihood. While the sparse population and their simple way of life has promoted peace in this region it is their warmth and smiling faces that greet all travelers alike and make one’s trip here an incredible experience. A visit her during the festivals will give you a chance to engage with the people as well as savor local cuisine which is usually Tibetan dishes like tsampo and thukpa.
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Geography

Situated in northern India, the Leh region is home to three parallel ranges of the Himalayas – the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram. In geological terms, the Leh and Ladakh regions are relatively young – formed only a few million years ago by tectonic thrusts of the Indian subcontinent towards the Asian continent’s interior. This is how the land was folded and has taken on the appearance that we see today. This abundance of fascinating topographical features is enhanced furthermore by the three rivers that follow in these ranges, ie, the Shyok, the Indus and the Zanskar. The terrain makes it difficult to be habituated and vast land masses are dotted with tiny villages that are far apart. Trekking, camping, cycling, biking or going on a road trip are ways to unravel the beauty of this region. Doing these things in such high altitudes is a lot more difficult than it sounds but absolutely worth the pain! 
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Places to visit in Leh

 

Things to Do in Leh

Magnetic Hill
Located at a distance of 30 km from Leh city on the Leh-Kargil Highway is a small stretch of road that defies the phenomenon of gravity. The reason is the magnetic hill that pulls stationary vehicles upwards. Famous as the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, it is a major tourist attraction in the valley and a perfect pit-stop for tired riders moving on the highway. The strange world that we live in, there are plenty of theories backing this strange wonder of nature. All of them propose a different logic and are backed by strong reasoning, barring superstitions like ‘the magnetic road is a straightaway to heaven’. Here’s a look at what each of these beliefs and theories have to say.
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Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers
One is a shining blue river. The other is dirty green. Both of them originate in the high Himalayas. While the Indus originates in the Changthang Cold Desert, the Zanskar river originates in the Zanskar ranges. Both these Himalayan rivers join at a scenic setting near the town of Nimmu in Ladakh.
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Go Biking
Leh is home to some of the highest motorable roads in the world, some of the popular ones being- Khardung La and Chang La. While Khardung La is located at a height of 17,582 ft, Chang La is located at 17590 ft. So, if you are an adventure seeker and fond of bikes, you cannot miss out biking on some of the highest roads in Leh which are the highest motorable roads in the world as well.
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Packages & Recommendations

Tour Name
Trip Type
Month/Validity
Included Cities
Price Per Adult
Leh Limelight
6 Nights / 7 Days
Trip Type
Private Van Tour
Flight Not Included
Month/Validity
  • Dec
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
Included Cities
Leh (2N), Nubra Valley (1N), Leh (1N), Pangong Tso Lake (1N), Leh (1N)
... Leh (2N), Nubra Valley (1N), Leh (1N), Pangong Tso Lake (1N), Leh (1N)
Price Per Adult

Onwards
Kashmir To Leh By Road Journey
10 Nights / 11 Days
Trip Type
Private Van Tour
Main Flight Included
Month/Validity
  • Dec
  • Mar
Included Cities
Pahalgam (1N), Srinagar (1N), Srinagar (1N), Kargil (1N), Leh (2N), Nubra Valley (1N), Le
... Pahalgam (1N), Srinagar (1N), Srinagar (1N), Kargil (1N), Leh (2N), Nubra Valley (1N), Leh (1N), Pangong Tso Lake (1N), Leh (1N)
Price Per Adult

Onwards

Recent Leh Articles