Jewels of India: Inside Ladakh, a paradise in disguise

In Ladakh, nature exists in its purest form. Nestled in the Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges, here’s a glimpse of this magical desert plateau.
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You’re not alone if you think the stress-filled life you lead between concrete walls and dusty streets is missing something. It's why you’re probably considering a vacation.  

The options are endless and confusing. Do you crave tranquility or adventure? Do you want pristine scenery or delicious food? Do you want to unplug from the world or feel a sense of belonging and community? Do you want to visit impressive monuments and experience history or go camping and live with nature?  

Thankfully, we have a solution. Ladakh manages to check all these boxes. It’s a place where unparalleled scenic beauty, thrilling adventures, diverse cultures, and serene spirituality exist side-by-side. What's more, you can visit throughout the year, because every season has something unique to offer.  

Travel with PixStory photographers as they give you multiple reasons to visit this desert plateau.  

Magnetic Hill, Ladakh, by Sandipan Ghosh on PixStory

1. Scenic Beauty  

Far away from the concrete jungles we call home, Ladakh offers an alternative on how to view life. Amidst its breathtaking mountains, blue skies and crystal-clear lakes, you will find a pristine and untouched world that’s sure to first rejuvenate your mind and later look amazing on your Instagram.  

Snow capped mountain view in Ladakh, photograph by Rohit Dhiman

2. Adventure  

Road trips to Ladakh are famous for a reason. Nestled in The Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges and home to the highest motor-able road in the world, Ladakh is ideal for explorers and adventurers. Journeying across historical mountain passes may be challenging, but it's an unparalleled experience. Other activities that can be indulged in include trekking,  mountaineering, and river-rafting.  

"Wide open terrains with breathtaking views makes Leh Ladakh ideal for camping", says Aniket Raj; source

3. Living with nature  

In Ladakh, nature exists in its purest form. You can hear the whispers of the mountains and live under the stars as you camp among snow-covered peaks. The lack of a phone signal means that you’ll be disconnected from your old life and in tune with the natural world instead. Even if you’re too afraid to camp, the surreal beauty of the land will call out to you,  allowing you to experience its magnificence as you take a walk or sit at the edge of a lake. The exotic wildlife of Ladakh — which includes snow leopards, Tibetan wolves, Himalayan bears, Tibetan gazelles, and blue sheep — can be spotted camouflaged in the snow or rocky terrain.  

Inside Hemis Gompa, Ladakh with Tarun K. Ghosh; source

4. Spirituality and culture  

Buddhism and Islam are the key religions of Ladakh. The land is home to ancient, well-known monasteries, and it’s a great place to learn Buddhist philosophy and meditation. The monks are an inspiration for living with calmness and make inner peace seem like an achievable goal. Ladakhi locals are welcoming and friendly, and their festivals are vibrant and filled with exciting rituals. 

Savoury snacks in the hills of Ladakh; shares Aritra Ghoshal

5. Delicious food  

Ladakhi food has influences from Nepali, Tibetan, and Indian cuisine but it also stands out on its own. Pink tea and yak butter tea are perfect comfort drinks for the cold weather, and pair well with a hot, steaming plate of momos or soup-based dishes like thukpa and chutagi.

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