Ladakh is a union territory situated in North India, whose capital is Leh. Ladakh is a place that you can visit anytime throughout the year.
HOW TO REACH
A good thing about the Leh Ladak trip is, depending on your preference you can choose to either go by flight or get a little adventurous. There are two options if you are getting there by bike which is also an adventurous one. The first one is getting Leh by Manali Leh Highway and the other is by Srinagar Leh Highway. Srinagar Leh highway is about 420km and opens from around March/ April to November/December, for the rest of the months, it remains covered in snow.
As for Manali, Leh Highway opens from around May/June to September/October. After the Atal tunnel, the overall distance of the Manali Leh Highway has come down from 470 to 425km. And obviously, a Leh Ladak road trip is not complete without a bike. Over the years, a bike trip without your friends has become quite popular on this route. Between Srinagar- Leh, and Manali- Leh Highway, Manali Leh Highway is more adventurous and scenic, So you might want to take that. And do not that, if you are not traveling by a state-run bus then you would need a Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit to travel from Manali to Leh. This permit can be obtained online. You need a different permit to travel, once you are in Ladakh. A lot of adventure enthusiasts travel from Manali to Leh on a bicycle.
PLACES TO VISIT
Ladakh has a lot of beautiful places to visit;
It is considered to be one of the highest motorable passes in the world. This essentially means that you will not get an opportunity to ride or drive at a higher altitude than this. One can find snow here all year round, which makes for awesome views.
It is situated in Nubra Valley in the Diskit Village. It is popular for its 106ft Maitreya Buddha Statue. In general, the monastery is known for its peaceful experience, so you should definitely visit this place.
This is also situated in the Nubra Village. Here, the sand dunes and double-humped camels are a sight to enjoy.
This is the last village on the Indo-Pak border. You will find some out-of-the-world vibes and views here. Your Ladakh tour is incomplete without a trip to this place.
Pangong Tso or Pangong lake has undoubtedly become the highlight for everyone’s Ladakh trip. And given the time of day, and Sun’s reflection, it seems as if the lake is changing its color. So, you should definitely visit this place to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
Hemis Monastery is quite well built. You will witness quite a colorful experience here. The Stupas, murals, and paintings present here can teach you a lot about Buddhist culture.
Magnetic Hill is a place that you wouldn’t believe exists until you witness the phenomenon first-hand. If you leave your vehicle in neutral in a certain area, it seems as if your vehicle is going uphill by itself.
Leh Palace was built in the 16th century. You can see the entire Leh village from here with the splendid mountains in the background. The view here is quite surreal indeed.
To visit places like Turtuk Village, Hunder Village, Diskit Monastery and Khardung La, you need an Inner Line Permit. You can apply the same online.
WHERE TO STAY
It all depends on your Ladakh Itinerary. There will be homestays, tents, hotels etc.
WHERE TO EAT
This can be divided into two parts: One when you are in Leh, and the other when you are on the road. When you are in Leh, then you should definitely try Il Forno Restaurant for its delicious Italian cuisine. If you want to go for a vegan option, then Bodhi Greens is your best bet. And if you want to have the local cuisine, then you should go to the Tibetan Kitchen or the Lamayuru Restaurant. However, when you are on the road, there aren’t many options. You will either be eating where you are staying or at some small joints on your way to whatever location you are visiting.
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND
i) Rent a Bike
The most popular bike that is used is Royal Enfield Classic and Standard, which costs around INR1800 and 1600 respectively. However, there are other options that you can choose from according to your budget and convenience. You can rent a bike from the Leh Main Market, or take help from the staff where you are staying
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As for network coverage, only postpaid sims of Airtel and BSNL works here. As well as locally bought pre-paid sims from Ladakh. But in general, you will have network issues in a lot of places in Ladakh, so be prepared for it.