View Map

Overview

Accessible by road for just six months a year, Ladakh is the very image of Shangri-La. Hemmed in by 6000 meter (19,685 foot) peaks, this ancient Buddhist kingdom basks beneath almost impossibly blue skies in the rain-shadow of the Himalaya. Scattered across the desert are dozens of ancient mudbrick monasteries that burst into life for riotous Buddhist festivals, accessible from the rugged mountain roads running east to Srinagar and south to Manali. Isolation has preserved a way of life that can be seen in just a few places on earth - even the capital, Leh, seems to hover on the verge of crumbling into dust. The Leh airstrip is theoretically ...

Accessible by road for just six months a year, Ladakh is the very image of Shangri-La. Hemmed in by 6000 meter (19,685 foot) peaks, this ancient Buddhist kingdom basks beneath almost impossibly blue skies in the rain-shadow of the Himalaya. Scattered across the desert are dozens of ancient mudbrick monasteries that burst into life for riotous Buddhist festivals, accessible from the rugged mountain roads running east to Srinagar and south to Manali. Isolation has preserved a way of life that can be seen in just a few places on earth - even the capital, Leh, seems to hover on the verge of crumbling into dust. The Leh airstrip is theoretically open year-round, but few venture here in winter, when temperatures plunge to -20C (-4F) or below. Peak season for tourism is June to October, when the mountain passes to Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are open to traffic. Along with neighboring Zanskar, Ladakh is a mecca for climbers and trekkers, and Nubra to the north can only be reached by crossing the 5602 meter (18,379 foot) Khardung La on the world’s highest motorable road.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

view full overview

Joe Bindloss for Triporati

Must See, Do

Save It for Next Time

info

If time is short, save these attractions for a second visit.

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A region situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south.
  • Language: Ladakhi, Urdu
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    July to October; the road to Manali closes from October to July, and the road to Srinagar closes from November to May.