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Ladakh – India’s Little Tibet

Photo credit: McKay Savage
Ladakh – India’s Little Tibet
  • (worth a trip)
  • 3-5 km
  • Moderate
  • Average
  • 2-3 days
  • 3 3

Ladakh is also known as "Little Tibet" and is India's best kept secret

Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir India
The cuisine in Ladakh is mainly influenced by Indian, Tibetan, and Continental food. Some of the must try dishes in Leh and Ladakh are momos and thukpa. Skyu is the traditional dish of Leh which is a dough made of wheat flour cut into small pieces and cooked with vegetables or meat. Paba and Tangtur is the staple food of Ladakh. Khambir - a heart shaped bread, and butter tea is mostly common in mornings or evenings. Chang is the local brew.
People from all over India and worldwide gather in summers to take a road trip or bike trip to Ladakh from nearby cities such as Delhi and Manali. It is believed and it as been proven that a road trip to Ladakh is one of the best road trip experiences that the country provides.

Often known as “Little Tibet” (because of Tibet’s proximity and influence over the city), Ladakh is definitely one of the best-kept secrets of India. The city is amongst the top 10 summer destinations in India for both Indians and international tourists. In fact, road tripping to Ladakh from nearby cities such as Delhi and Manali is considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience and rightly so.


Imagine miles and miles of snow-clad mountain peaks, barren valleys, twisty and unpredictable roads, picture-perfect lakes, and colorful and bright prayer flags at almost every turn! Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Once you are there, it would feel like it too.


The weather in Ladakh is known to be extreme in summers as well as winters, which, in a way, is what attracts most tourists.


Spotting hoards of motorcycles in and around Ladakh is a common sight since people from all over the world gather in nearby cities to gear up for an adventure of a lifetime that is the mountain biking experience through the valleys of Ladakh. Another exhilarating experience are the numerous trekking options that the region provide: Chadar Trek is one of the most famous treks of those which includes trekking over a frozen lake to get to the villages of Leh and Ladakh where life comes to a standstill because of extreme winters and snowfall.


Biking, trekking, or simply walking, Ladakh is a landscape to see and to behold every step of the way. One moment you will be looking at a magnificent monastery covered beneath thousands of prayer flags and another moment you will find yourself taking in the beauty of a picturesque lake.


Some of the must see attractions in Ladakh include –

  • Magnetic Hill (if you leave your bikes unlocked at the base of the hill, they will move uphill gradually
  • Zanskar and Ladakh Mountain ranges (every point here is kind of an echo point so if you find yourself in solitude you may as well try to shout your name and hear the mountains repeat it for you)
  • Pangong Tso Lake (those who have seen Bollywood movie 3 idiots will relate to it instantly)
  • Khardungla Pass (the highest civilian motor road in the world)
  • Nubra Valley (a desert amidst the snow clad peaks of Ladakh)
  • Hemis Monastery or Hemis Gompa (the biggest monastery in Ladakh which attracts large number of tourists during the Hemis Festival held in July each year)


If you are a luxury traveller and can’t travel without being checked into a Taj or a Leela Kempinski, then get out of here! The city has no 5-star hotels, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have decent accommodation. In fact, Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso offers many luxury tents and deluxe accommodation options. Grand Dragon in Leh offers a very opulent stay.


Opening hours

Best time to visit - June to September

How to get there

The main airport of Leh is well connected with major cities in India. You can take a flight from Delhi to Leh and then hire a taxi to reach your destination point.

The nearest railhead is Kalka. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to Manali. From Manali, reaching Leh and Ladakh is an easy affair as there are regular buses and taxis.

If you wish to be a part of an awesome adventure, take a road trip from Delhi to Leh. This, in itself, is what attracts major tourists from all over the globe. However, keep in mind that the roads into Ladakh from Manali and Srinagar are closed altogether between October/November to May so flights could be your only option.