TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

PARADISE ON EARTH- LADAKH

Konark Bansal, Travel Writer, India

17 February 2018

Ladakh “The land of high passes” holds special attraction for its tourist’s. Its dramatic mountains and beautiful landscapes make an unforgettable experience to its travelers. In short, it’s a Paradise on earth. This beautiful region in state of Jammu and Kashmir always surprises its visitors with its amazing towering peaks, snowcapped Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and lush green valleys.

The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. Leh is the land of pure atmosphere, which is popularly known as snow desert. It’s a dream destination of many pax. Leh is at an altitude of 3,524 meters (11,562 ft), and is connected via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh- Manali Highway. Leh is heaven for adventure lovers with numerous trekking trails, valleys and picturesque lakes. Leh is also known as land of Monks and Monasteries. It is one of the largest districts in the country.

Leh Palace

One of the major attractions of Leh is its former Royal palace. The Place was built by King Senegge Namgyal in the 17th century AD.

It was modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. This beautifully constructed palace was abandoned when the Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century and forced the royal family to move to Stoke palace. Later the palace was restored by the Archaeological survey of India. The palace museum has huge collection of Jewelry, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. The palace is now open to the public. The roof of palace provides stunning views of Leh and its nearby surroundings.

Land of colorful festivals

Ladakh festivals are all about traditional dancing, singing and colorful masks. The strong influence of Buddhism can be seen in its fairs and festivals.

People who are curious about Ladakh’s culture and way of life, it is great opportunity to be part of these festivals and experience the rich and unique culture of Ladakh. Most of these festivals take place in winters. They usually take place in forms of dance and drama. Lamas robed in colorful garments and wearing masks performs Mimes representing various aspects of Buddhist Religion. Some of its famous festivals are Losar festival, Ladakh festival, Hemins Tsechu festival, Sindhu Darshan festival.

Magnetic Hills of Ladakh

Magnet Hill is a “gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh, India.

The layout of the area and surrounding slopes creates an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road. Objects and cars on the hill may appear to roll “uphill” in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill.

Breathtaking Scenic beauty

Ladakh is known for its breathtaking scenic beauty and stunning views Nestled between Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges.

Its beauty lies in its snow-capped mountains, serene lakes with crystal clear water, green patches of land, bright blue skies and unimaginable terrains. It’s a place that can make you forget the rest of the world. The entire landscape of Ladakh presents the feeling of being part of another world. It shows how colorful a rocky mountain surface could be and how fascinating an arid valley could look. It mesmerizes its visitors by its panoramic views.

Pan gong lake

Pan gong lake is the highest Salt Lake in India. Pan gong Tso lake is situated at a height of about 14,270 feet from sea level.

It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet.60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. Despite being salt water lake, in winter it freezes completely. The lake acts as breeding ground for variety of birds including many migratory birds. This fact about the pan gong lake is the most amazing fact about Leh – Ladakh region.

Highest Astronomical Observatory

The Indian Astronomical center (I.A.O) located near Leh in Ladakh.

India, has one of the world’s highest sites for optical, in framed and Gamma Ray Telescopes the Indian Astronomical Observatory stands on Mt. Saraswati, Digpa-ratsa Ri, Henle, in south-eastern Ladakh. It is operated by Indian institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It is currently the third highest Optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters. It is a must visit place for science enthusiasts. During the daytime you can visit inside the observatory.

Highest Motor able road

Anyone who loves to ride powder will have Alaska on their bucket list, and if you want to ski this isolated US state then look no further than the resort of Alyeska.

This pass on the Ladakh range lies north of Leh and is gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 meters. One can enjoy the stunning views of Ladakh surroundings while going through this road. It makes a memorable experience. It also makes a challenge able ride indeed.

Yummy and tasty Food

Ladakh along with its scenic beauty also offers delicious and mouthwatering food. The lifestyle and food culture of this place is heavily inspired by Tibetan culture.

The Ladakhi cuisine has its own unique taste and flavor. Thupka is the most favorite dish of Ladakhi people. This delicious dish is a noodle soup with boiled vegetables, chunks of chicken, pork etc. Butter tea was one of the signature dish of Ladakh. This pink color tea has unique taste and fragrance. It is made up of tea leaves, butter, salt and water. Momos are yummiest food of Ladakh. Momos are made with a simple flour and water dough. Minced meat, vegetables or cheese are stuffed in flour dough’s and dumplings are made. In Momos we can stuff any ingredients of our choice. Momos can be veg or non-veg. depending on our preference. After stuffing Momos can be steamed or fried.