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The powerful Himalayas, colourful temples, white stupas, monasteries and Buddhism characterize the mysterious and fascinating region of Ladakh, in the far north of India. Ladakh is also called 'small-Tibet'. It was on our bucket list for a long time and we did not regret it when we finally visited this breathtaking area.
The atmosphere in Ladakh is different than anywhere else in India: it is serene and peaceful. And to be honest, most of India is not serene and peaceful at all. Everywhere in Ladakh you see the coloured flags fluttering in the mountain wind. The population of Ladakh consists mainly of Tibetans. Despite the mostly inhospitable landscape these are the most hospitable people. They live here self-sufficient and their mud-brick houses which are surprisingly comfortable. The Ladakhis are closely related to their Tibetan neighbours, this is why the vast majority of the population is Buddhist. This is also reflected in the numerous Buddhist monasteries, which are often built on a mountain ridge and gives a spectacular sight.
The landscape of Ladakh is very wild, barren and mountainous and the climate is grim. To get there you have to pass high passes that are closed due to large amounts of snow in winter, keep this in mind with planning your trip.
Where to stay in Leh
Leh is a city that lies at an altitude of 3500 meters / 11482 ft (one of the highest cities in the world) and therefore offers a fantastic view of the Indus Valley. Leh is the base for tours and tours through / to the rest of Ladakh. Our favourite place to stay is the Ladakh Sarai resort. The staff is super friendly and go out of their way to make your stay comfortable.
The location and amazing scenic beauty (as you can see in the picture above) is an amazing delight to watch. On booking.com they get an average rating of 9.2 (which is rare in India).
How to get there
The trip to Ladakh is an absolute highlight. You can choose to fly directly to the capital Leh, but driving to Leh in a few day (2-3 days from the hippy town Manali) is more spectacular and more sustainable. The road leads over some of the highest passable and most beautiful passes in the world. Nature changes from green pine forests to the bare but colourful mountains of the Trans-Himalayas, while the culture changes from Hinduism to Buddhism.
Visiting Ladakh in early May? Travelling from Srinagar to Leh by road is than your only choice. However, it very much depends upon the weather conditions. This highway is not always open in the early part of May, so it is best to plan a Ladakh trip in the middle or end of the month. Also, check the road Srinagar Leh Highway Status and road conditions before visiting. There is no snow on the road but avalanches at ZojiLa can happen, which sometimes result in road blockage for days.
Best time to visit
The only good time to go to Ladakh is from May to mid-September. Making it a very short season. Click here for more climate information in Leh, the capital and most touristy place of Ladakh.