You don’t need a visa to visit this paradise but you certainly need to prep right. Barren valleys, deep blue skies and a multitude of stars amidst snow-capped peaks, thy name is Ladakh.
Check out the quintessential Bragpacking guide to Ladakh.
What to Pack
- Deuter Aircontact 55 lit– Your bag is your best friend in a terrain like Ladakh. This durable backpack will sort you for the long treks.
- Wide Angle Lens– Oh my the landscapes! It is a pity if you don’t capture your very own star trek and stunning landscapes. And to capture the vast expanse of this land, this lens will come in handy.
- Tripod– Since you are working with high-end and often bulky cameras a tripod is a must in your packing gear to Ladakh. Imagine going all the way to Pangong and coming home to find out your hazy face in front of the lake.
- Car Safety Kit– Road trips and Leh have nearly become synonymous. Safety comes first and this is the first thing you must pack, even before booking that 5-seater jeep.
What to Eat
- Chhupri– A wonder you may never be able to try outside of Ladakhi hill, the yak cheese is a must-try. “Chhupri” as the locals call it is cheese made from Yak’s milk and quite a staple in the Ladakhi diet.
- Thukpa– A Tibetan speciality the dish is popular in Bhutan, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and other regions of India. Basically a noodle soup, it is prepared with chicken or vegetables.
- Skyu – This is a traditional Dish of Leh Ladakh and almost eaten daily by the locals in the region. Prepared using wheat flour, dough balls are cooked with adequate amount of water with vegetable or meat to go along.
- Momos– While the streets of Delhi and Mumbai are brimming with the un real version, get your hands on the authentic Tibetan momos while in Ladakh. Even the vegeterian ones are to die for.
What to See
- Nubra valley– A tri-armed valley towards the northeast of Ladakh, the sand dunes of the Nubra Valley will take you back to Arabian Nights tales.
- The Milky Way– The sky is so clear and the town of Leh itself is at such a height, this might be your only chance to spot the Milky Way galaxy even with the naked eye.
- Snow Leopard– There is nothing as breathtaking as looking at a Snow Leopard seen in only a few places in the entire world. Spot the beautiful animal on the snow leopard trek in the Hemis National Park, said to be home to more than 200 snow leopards. However, they are easily spotted mostly in winters.
- Pangong Lake– The azure blue from 3 Idiots maybe seem overrated but a lakes that shares borders with two of the world’s largest countries must be something.
What to Do
- Kardung-la Pass– As popular as it may seem, the highest road in the world is something you must do when in Ladakh. Hire a Royal Enfield and drive up this tricky road. Be extremely careful of your health as you are dealing with extremely low temperatures and scarce oxygen in the air.
- Tibetan Monastery– Ladakh is dotted with beautiful monasteries, but this time visit it like a devotee and not just a tourist. Attend an early morning prayer session and soak in the spirituality and serenity of the region.
- Nubra River – A ride on the double humped Bactrian Camels along the breathtakingly beautiful Shyok and Nubra River is a good way to relive the experience of caravans that used to travel on this ancient trade route.
- Tibetan Market– Antiques, kufris, precious stones and winter wear the Tibetan market in Leh pack a lot more than your regular flea markets in the cities. Hunt for that long lost treasure from the Chengis Khan era.