It takes 90 minutes to fly from New Delhi to Leh, which has one of the world’s highest airports. Be sure to have appropriate medication for altitude sickness at hand and rest for at least 24 hours on arrival. In summer, Ladakh is reachable by road from Manali or Srinagar, and this is the best way to acclimatise gradually.
Electricity across Ladakh is volatile though reliability has improved in Leh in recent years. Rural towns often have no permanent supply and different areas may have access to electricity on different days of the week. Take backup batteries for digital items, particularly when visiting in winter as they run down more quickly in the cold.
Festivals take place year round and offer visitors a memorable experience. Ladakh is busiest from April, when it starts to warm up. Late September and October are the most picturesque, and by November the temperature starts to drop and snow is expected. Flights can be affected by weather, so bear this in mind if you are on a tight schedule.
From delicious momos (dumplings) to curried dishes, spicy stewed vegetables, and thukpa (noodle soup), all washed down with yak butter tea, Ladakh offers a wide array of simple but delicious food. Khambir—thick, whole wheat bread—is perfect for dipping in the flavourful stews.
Most hotels and travel firms can arrange cars, drivers and guides. Ladakh has the world’s highest drivable road, which rises above 5,800 metres between Chisumle and Demchok. Particularly picturesque routes include Leh to Pangong Lake (220 kilometres and about five hours) and Leh to Diskit in the Nubra Valley (120 kilometres and three hours).
WHERE TO STAY
Leh’s Gomang Boutique Hotel is an excellent choice for comfort and hospitality, while Ladakh Sarai’s options range from traditional mud houses to heritage rooms in a 100-year-old restored property. The Ladakh Sarai people have also opened the Hermitage at Pangong, a summer camp of eco-friendly yurts overlooking the stunning lake.