Razdan Holidays: Your Host in Ladakh
LADAKH, the land of endless discovery……..
The land of many passes, desolate moonscapes, barren rocks, mystical gompas, spectacular summer festivals, geographical terrains and a unique lifestyle Ladakh is sometimes referred to as "The Moon Land" or “The Last Shangri-La”. It derives its name from "La Tags" in Tibetan.
Enshrined in glorious history and abounding in monasteries, Ladakh is among the most beautiful places in the world and also among the most elevated regions at 3513 metres above Sea level. Situated on the western end of the Himalayas, Ladakh has four major mountains ranges - The Great Himalayan, Zanskar, Ladakh and the Karakoram passing through it.
Ladakh offers something for everybody. For the adventure seekers if offers the ultimate experience like trekking, mountaineering and white water rafting. For the culturally inquisitive and not so adventurous, it offers the exquisite monasteries and jeep safaris.
Welcome to the moonland ……. A destination beyond imagination.
Leh the capital town is the largest town of the region. Amidst starkly beautiful and majestic mountains gradually merging into an oasis of green fields, it is situated on the banks of the River Indus, at an altitude of 3504 M. The town is dominated by the Namgyal Tsemo (Victory Peak) built by King Tashi Namgyal in 16th century as a royal residence and the nine-storey Namgyal Palace (City Palace) built by King Sengge Namgyal on his victory in reunification of the Upper and Lower Ladakh in 17 century. Below the City Palace lies the mosque which is a mix of Tibetan and Muslim architecture.
Leh is connected from Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar by air with regular flights and by road from Manali and Srinagar.
Manali – Keylong (115 kms /6 hrs approx)
Keylong – Sarchu (127 kms/5 hrs approx)
Sarchu – Leh (233 kms/8 - 9 hrs approx)
Srinagar – Kargil (204 kms / 7 – 8 hrs approx)
Kargil – Leh (230 kms / 7 – 8 hrs approx)
The name Nubra is applied to the district comprising the valley of the Nubra river, and that of the Shyok both above and below their confluence where they meander in many shifting channels over a broad sandy plain before flowing off to the north-west to join the Indus in Baltistan. Nubra Valley is also known as the Valley of Flowers.
The route from Leh goes over the Khardung-la (5600 M) which is the highest motorable pass in the world. The villages of Nubra are large and seem prosperous and have thick plantations of willow and poplar. The altitude is a little less than that of Leh, varying between 3000 M at Hundar and 3231 M at Panamik.
Nubra is always famous for Bactrian camels - shaggy double humped animals, which in the old days were used as pack animals on the Central Asian trade route. Now these camels used for camel rides in this area.
The Pangong Lake (which means hollow) is very long narrow spread of water about 5 kms wide and 130 kms long is situated at an altitude of 4390 M. Only a quarter of the lake likes in India, the rest stretching into Ruthog in Tibet. Its eastern extremity is unknown. Rare black necked cranes and other migratory birds can be seen here. The colour of the water is the most striking feature of this lake that catches the first glance of one’s eyes, especially towards evening when it is of rich deep blue over the whole expanse which turns completely light blue at morning time. The water of the Lake is not that salty as sea water but it’s as cold as ice.
The Rupsu Valley lies to the South East Of Ladakh on the road from Manali to Leh, at an altitude ranging from 4000 M to 5000 M. It is about 137 Km from Leh. The lake is set in the desolate landscape and is famous for being the breeding ground of the rare Bar-headed geese and is also home to many rare species of birds. A kilometer ahead is a picturesque village of Korzok, with its hilltop monastery is the only habitation in this area which is otherwise inhabited by the nomadic Chang-pa tribe.
The Mighty Himalayan Range.
Passing up the Suru Valley through Pensi-la (which is open 4 - 5 months June to October), one arrives in Zanskar which is the 5000 sq kms vast expanse of concentrated mountains and long valleys. It is an ancient kingdom with a better preserved cultural entity primarily Buddhist. Padum is a sub district head quarters with several accessible monasteries and 8th century rock edicts with significant carvings and inscriptions. Other places of interest in Zanskar are Karsha with its large and wealthy monastery and Zangla.
Ladakh offers many challenging options for adventure tourism with trekking and rafting being the most popular activities
Mountaineering is one activity which is extremely famous in Ladakh. The treks can be one of the most challenging ones but the breathtaking scenery which cannot seen anywhere else compensates for it.
The most popular times are between June and September how ever world famous treks like Chadar Trek can only be experienced in winters.
Mountaineering expeditions are required to obtain proper clearance from Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi
River Rafting options are aplenty in Ladakh. The stretch of the Indus between Karu & Spituk offers half day scenic floating amidst beautiful landscapes & rural scenery.
For white water expeditions, River Zanskar provides the ultimate challenge, comparable to the course of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
70 kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attractions. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from Likir monastery.