monastery in Ladakh

Leh & Ladakh: Backpacking the mountain desert

Leh & Ladakh Backpacking the mountain desert
Introducing Leh & Ladakh

Leh & Ladakh, with its Buddhist peace loving inhabitants, is J & K’s ultimate Himalayan attraction for most foreigners. Tibetan locals are winningly friendly and easy going.


Their archetypal red gold monasteries are set amid arid valleys and spiraling peaks with emerald-green villages nestled like mirages in mountain deserts. A meditatively calm Buddhist mountain town, the Dalai lama has held many preachings here.

monastery in Ladakh
monastery in Ladakh
How to get there

By road: there are two road routes to Leh. One from Manali in Himachal Pradesh (takes two days by road), another from Srinagar in J & K (takes 15 to 18 hours by road). Both routes are splendid and scenic, although my favorite is the Manali-Leh route with its Martin landscapes and completely unearthly beauty. This route is longer though, and requires an overnight halt at a campsite.

By air: A daily flight from operates between New Delhi and Leh.

Manali-Leh Highway: The Biker’s Mecca

The Manali-Leh route is a bikers’ pilgrimage, being the highest motor-able road in the India. Owing to the roads cut through high altitude passes in the mountains, leh is inaccessible by road most of the year.



it is crucial that you give yourself ample time to acclimatise to the high altitude. The air is thinner at such height, and may cause nausea and headaches. Heart patients are advised not to travel to Leh.

Keep the first day in Leh for relaxation. Drink at-least four liters of water and sleep or lie down most of the day, and you will hopefully bypass altitude sickness. Many tourists carry oxygen cylinders, which is a great idea.


With its monasteries and stunning landscape views, warm people, and surrounding areas which house wonders od nature such as the Pangong Lake, Leh is sure to captivate the traveller in you.

Read more about where to go and what to do in Leh and around here.

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