Think Ladakh and the first thing that strikes one’s mind is ‘adventure’. One of the most beautiful places in India, it has emerged as a popular tourist destination over the years. There is a lot of readily-available information on places to visit in Ladakh and regular tour operators will take you to some of the most prominent sites and treks. However, what is not easy to come across are the exciting offbeat activities you can indulge in during your Ladakh holiday. So, let us explore some hidden treasures in this mesmerising landscape.
1. Camp at Uletokpo
For those who do not want to stay in the city and look forward to a rendezvous with nature, Uletokpo village is the place to be. Camp in the readily-available tents or cottages, and wake-up to serene snow-clad mountains and gushing waters of the Indus River. Tucked 60 kms away from Leh city on the Leh-Srinigar highway, tourists mostly stop here to get acclimatized to high altitude and climatic conditions. With Uletokpo as your base camp, you can also choose to go for 2-3 hour trek to the Rizong Monastery. Another popular site to visit around Uletokpo is the 11th century Yundrung Monastery located in the Lamayuru Village. Get mesmerised by ethnic wall paintings, eye-catching wood carvings and statues of Buddha.
2. Soul Search with Vipassana
Get some soul therapy by joining one of the Vipassana camps and meditate in the lap of nature. Cut yourself form the maddening clutter around and delve deep within yourself in quietude. There are several monasteries and camps that offer 3-day-long beginner sessions as well as advanced programs. You could be a part of the Meditation Tour, or enrol yourself in one of the dedicated Vipassana campuses for a rejuvenating experience.
Read more: Haven’t Taken a Road Trip to Ladakh? Don’t Wait Any Longer
3. Experience a Day in the Life of Lamas
The essence of Ladakh lies in its scenic beauty and monasteries. While there are a number of monasteries in the valley, you can lodge yourself at the Lamauru, Thiksey or Hemis Monastery for a night. These are some of the biggest monasteries in Ladakh, and have proper arrangements for accommodating tourists. Get a closer look at the minimalistic life of Lamas, follow their disciplined routine, get inspired by their extremely polite demeanour and expose yourself to a way of life you’ve never known. These monasteries offer you a unique experience, which can leave an everlasting impact on your entire personality and lifestyle.
4. Relax at the Chumathang Hot Springs
The high altitude and rugged terrain of Ladakh is certainly not a cakewalk for occasional visitors. Besides, it can get very tiresome and challenging if you have been exploring the place on foot. Stop by the Chumathang Village to soak your body and spirit in the natural hot springs of the Indus River. The warmth of these sulphur-water springs is a natural cure for altitude sickness and comes as a relaxing break in the middle of a long, taxing drive. You can also savour some simple local food at the dhabas lined up near the springs.
Read more: Places You Must Visit in Ladakh
5. Watch Exotic Birds at the Tso Moriri
Grab your binoculars and head to the Tso Moriri for some interesting bird watching. Located in the Changthang region, the place teems with a wide variety of avian species. Here you can spot the Bar-Headed Goose, Red Crested Pochard, Crested Grebe and Brahmini Duck, amongst others. A heaven for shutterbugs, the picturesque view and surroundings of the Tso Moriri will simply leave you craving for more. Enroute to the 16-mile-long Tsomoriri, enjoy the beautiful landscape of Purga Village.
6. Visit the Turtuk Village
A fragment of the popular ‘Silk Route’, Turtuk Village is one the lesser-explored villages of Ladakh located near the Indo-Pakistan Border. The village opened its gates to tourists in 2010, and has a majority of Muslim population as it was re-captured by the Indian Army from Pakistan in 1971. The cultural richness unspoilt by commercial tourism, and the soulful landscape makes a visit to this village absolutely delightful. Located 160 kms from Leh, Turtuk is a low altitude village (3000 mts above sea level) primarily inhabited by the Balti tribals. Fields full of wheat crop, a lingering fragrance of apricots in the air, and rhythmic sounds of river water offer a truly soulful treat to the senses. It takes 2 hours to reach Turtuk from Nubra Valley.
Read more: Explore the Magical Ladakh Package
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