More than anything, Ladakh is a feeling; a feeling cumulative of several other feelings, and a feeling that everyone experiences for themselves…
The awe-inspiring virtue of Ladakh captivates you to the extent that it seems impossible to encapsulate all its beauty in a definite number of words. And yet, we try…we try to express the allure of this cold desert in terms of the traits it possesses, in feelings it evokes.
Evident in the air of Ladakh, even more than Oxygen, is the essence of spirituality and a state of Zen. The fact that Ladakh was once a Buddhist kingdom is reason enough to explain the roots of this emotion; Buddhist pilgrims used to be the only kind of travelers back then. Guru Nanak also spent some time meditating in Ladakh. In the present times, with places like the Shanti Stupa, Diskit Monastery, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Jama Masjid and more dotting its landscape, Ladakh is enveloped with a sense of zen.
A land of supernatural landscapes, as they call it, Ladakh’s geography evokes a truly celestial feeling. For every second that you spend in Ladakh with your eyes wide open, you’ll witness physical beauty in one form or the other. From vast rocky terrains and snow capped peaks to vibrant and almost magical skies, every frame in Ladakh is surreal. Even amid the crowded Leh, one thing or the other would manage to charm you. And then there are rather breathtaking locations such as the Lamayuru village in Uleytopko. Known as the moonland of Ladakh, Lamayuru is home to lunar landscapes that give one the feeling of being on moon.
Ladakh’s lakes are an integral part of its character and beauty. These extraordinary lakes are alluring to the extent that they appear mystical, even more so when the water is absolutely still and the lake mirrors the sky. All three of them are unique in their own way. Pangong, being the highest salt water lake in the world, owns a reputation of its own. But it is its ever-changing colour – from blue and azure to green and grey – that makes for a visual delight. Tso Moriri, one of our personal favourite spots, is where you get to spot Tibetan wild asses grazing by the shore in all their laziness. And the fluctuating Tso Kar attracts its own share of exotic birds, and awe from travelers.
If you have already been to Ladakh, chances are that you have come back with anecdotes of your heart-warming experience with the locals. Sometimes, the interaction lasts a smile and if you (you must) choose to live in a homestay, you end up getting a closer look into the life and culture of the Ladakhis. Either way, it is evident that the indigenous people of Ladakh are extremely kind and hospitable, sometimes beyond comprehension. If you do get to stay with a Ladakhi family, you’ll learn how they cherish the little things in life. It is no less than an opportunity to learn a couple of things from people who have found a way of life in a region with extreme climate. Your choice of staying in a homestay over a hotel or resort will not just give you a beautiful experience but will also help keep Ladakh from the risk of commercialization that it is currently facing.
More than anything, Ladakh is all about what you feel; a feeling cumulative of several other feelings, and a feeling that everyone experiences for themselves. Right from the excitement of getting there and the dizziness you feel when you actually get there to the mind-numbing chill, the thrill of being ‘on top of the world’, and the entire experience you bring back with you, it is your own journey that counts.
As much as we love to escape and explore ourselves, it gets even better when like-minded people join us on our journeys. So if Ladakh is on your bucket-list this year, join our Escape to Ladakh this June and Experience Ladakh at your own pace! Talk to us and let us custom-make an itinerary for you and your gang.