While summer brings the onset of snow melting season, August commences the monsoon and fills the roads with puddles and places with overflowing rivers. However, the beauty of Leh Ladakh being called a cold desert is that, it hardly receives any drastic showers; maintaining the scenic glory of the valley. The area beyond Zoji La Pass, in the direction of Leh from Srinagar and further from Baralacha Pass, towards Leh from Manali side is a rain shadow area and do not receive much showers. Although travelling via bike is not the safest of options until mid-September, one can simply hop on to a plane and explore this undying beauty of India.
Leh Ladakh is said to be a bagpacker’s dream to explore as it is a never ending land full with nature’s surprises. Let me help the inside adventurer in you with a few tips and pointers that might come handy for your bagpacking adventure in Leh Ladakh.
1. Plan your trip in advance
Believe it or not, even the nomad in you should listen to this very important advice. Leh Ladakh, though being one of the safest places in the country has a lot to offer; from shrine and monasteries, to the dangerous and exciting Khardung La and Chang La passes. Plan out your itinerary in such a way that you can enjoy most, if not all the places yet get to explore the local culture.
2. Be prepared for the high altitudes
Even though you ignore your mom and your fitness, a visit to Leh Ladakh will definitely test the latter. Situated at 12,000ft, one definitely needs to be hale and healthy to endure the sickness accompanying the altitude. After reaching Leh, keep a day just for relaxing in your room and getting used to the conditions there.
3. Stay in homestays
What more does one want than a home away from home? Homestays are the best way to explore and not just be a visitor. They give a more authentic and comfortable option for the bagpacker in you. You may pre-book you homestay at BnBNation at heavily discounted prices. Localites love to mingle with people and welcome guests with open arms; learn to make a warm-hearted thupka or a classic salted Ladakhi butter tea or ask them for some traditional clothing and rustle up as one of them.
Read our blog on why Mother Nature loves BnBs
4. Have a well-stocked bagpack
If you’re anything like me, then we both love last minute packing routine everytime; but try and skip the routine this once as you would require a well-stocked bagpack. From a flashlight, moisturizer, a box of medicines, to a floppy woolen cap; pack yourself everything that you may feel come handy.
5. Bring out your inner nomad
Best thing about bagpacking trips, no judgmental aunties to breathe down your neck. From flip flops to leather boots, a boho-chick look or a bearded man-bun hip look; be creative, be free. Carry your shorts or your dress, pack whatever you feel brings out the best in you.
6. Let out your inner Dora the Explorer
Leh- Ladakh has so much to offer that one can forget time. Travel to Pangong Tso Lake, fulfill your dream of reliving the ending of 3 idiots and spend the night under the bright stars of Milky Way. Watch the sunrise while taking a morning walk on the Tso Moriri Lake. Plan a day to visit the Nubra valley and get your camera ready for the young and beautiful smiling faces that welcome you. Hop on to a bike or take a SUV, enjoy the scenic beauty that the valley offers.
7. Feed your soul
Ladakh is full of audacious architecture, history and heritage. Go on Heritage Walks offered in the city; visit the world famous Shanti Stupa. Visit the monasteries; Thiksey, Hemis, Alchi and Chemrey monasteries are some of must-visit places out there. Watching the kids play in the courtyard will warm your heart and this land of lamas and monks will calm your soul.