In its harshest but truest form, witnessing Ladakh in Winter, wrapped in a white blanket of snow and ice is a different experience. Take a digital detox trip this winter and admire the beauty of frozen Ladakh. This may be the best time to visit Ladakh for adventure lovers. Winters in Ladakh hardly see any travelers and you can have all of the stunning barrenness of the land to yourself. Visit Stok Palace, and stay at Chulli Bagh, our hotel in Ladakh.
The temperature drops to -30 degrees Celsius and the definition of basic amenities gets redefined here. So, why would you want to visit Ladakh in Winter.?
Here are 10 reasons why Ladakh is a must-visit in Winter:
Experience The Ice Age Setup: Mountains, valleys, waterfalls, river shores, and vegetation, everything is frozen in the BongBong La Snow Valley. The view is a setup straight from the Ice Age, nothing less than a dream. With temperature less than -35 degrees and chilling wind adding another -10 degrees Celsius make sure you cover yourself with at least four layers of warm clothing. Only then can you enjoy the sight. Don’t forget to capture the top view of Lamayaru town from the Lamayuru Gompa.
Experience The Real Hospitality Of Ladakh: Ladakh does not have comfortable winters. The only way to enjoy this beauty is to acclimatize to the local culture and habits as fast as you can. Stay at Chulli Bagh, our hotel in Ladakh where you can enjoy food cooked by the locals in mostly traditional Ladakhi way. Enjoy butter tea, kahwa, thukpa, noodles, and soup which keep you warm.
Drive Your Car On Frozen Pangong Lake: All the water bodies including rivers in Ladakh freeze during winter. The tranquil waters of the lake become a thick layer of the ice sheet on which you can dance, play cricket, football, drive your vehicle or even do a somersault or backflip. The temperature is around -30 degrees Celsius even in the day and it is difficult to spend more than an hour here.
Experience Ladakhi Festivals: Winter festivals are of a different league. Winter in Ladakh is a time of celebration. Locals have very little to do during winter months, so free time is turned into festivities. Ladakhi Losar, Spituk Gustor, Thiksay Gustor, Matho Monastery festival, Dosmoche all fall in Ladakh in winters. Stok Monastery Festival, at our hotel in Ladakh, Stok Palace invites oracles who make predictions for the coming year. Locals firmly believe in the predictions made by the oracles.
Become Friends With Locals: Ladakh has very short but busy summers when most locals earn their yearly living from tourism. Winter is a time when they have the time to have laid-back conversations and tell you the stories of the land. Soft-spoken, polite, a smile is there to greet you no matter which part of Ladakh you travel. Kids have winter holidays in school therefore are always looking for playmates. Also, you get to meet very interesting and like-minded fellow travelers who help you get new perspectives.
Get High On Adrenaline Rush: Besides the famous Chadar Trek, you can also do other lesser-known but more challenging treks like Stok base camp trek, Markha Valley Trek, Sham valley trek. They are not monotonous and every day is a different kind of experience. You can also attempt Snow Leopard Trek. The trek in Hemis National Park in the northern frontier of the Himalayas is an interesting trek. Winters is the best time to spot the elusive; Ghost of the Mountains: The Snow Leopard.
Best Time For Rare Ladakhi Wildlife Sightings: As the harsh winters set in, most Himalayan animals tend to come down to lower altitudes, making it easier to spot them. You can spot a lot of mountain fauna like Blue sheep, mountain wolves, wild hares, magpies, etc.
Visit Kargil: As they say, if it’s beautiful, it’d be difficult; and so is Kargil. One of the toughest terrains in the world, Kargil is at an altitude of almost 2700 meters and is quite near to the Line of Control. Winter gives a completely new makeover to Kargil. There are some beautiful Monasteries to visit in Kargil like Sani, Rangdum, Zongkhul, Stonday, and Mulbekh monastery.
Nubra Valley: Situated between Kashmir and Tibet, the valley also called Orchard of Ladakh is among some of the most exquisite sites to visit in Leh-Ladakh trip in winter. About 150 km from Leh, Nubra is known for lovely orchards, scenic vistas, Bactrian camels, and beautiful monasteries. The valley looks dry and barren from a distance but it is here that you find the prime farmlands.
Important Tips for travelling to Ladakh in Winter
Explore in a small group with a good local guide.
Make sure the place you are staying at night is warm and cosy.
Start your trip before 7 am and try to cross the Changla pass as soon as possible. Diesel freezes after that point and there is less network coverage
Train hard and adjust well for trekking. Do not take it casually.
Get a good trekking shoe.
Make sure you are wrapped up in multiple layers otherwise be prepared to get a severe cold Carry spare batteries and power banks.
Ladakh in winter will ensure you undergo one of the best travel experiences you’ll ever have. With so many attractions and sorted stay options, at Chulli Bagh, our hotel in Ladakh, it is time to go ahead for an adventurous Ladakh trip during the winter season.