The month of March was winter in the uppermost of North India and I decided to include Ladakh into my itinerary since there were flights available from New Delhi to Leh. Winter time is the time when most travelers prefer not to visit the place as most guesthouses, hotels and restaurants are closed. Not to mention the roads into Ladakh from the neighbouring regions are also closed due to thick snow that may cause danger to land vehicles during this time of the year. Moreover, who would love the below zero degree and extremely dry weather? In addition to that, first time visitors to Ladakh might suffer from the acute mountain sickness as the place is situated at over 3,000 meters above sea level. And yes, I had headache, dizziness, fatigue, stomach illness, sleep disturbance and vomited twice on the second night. However, it did not affect my sister as much as it did on me, except the only complaint she had was her dry nose.
But why did I make it a point to go there anyway? You will see why on the following photos I managed to capture of Ladakh.
First and foremost, of course, it is the majestic Himalayas of India!!!
The ride around Ladakh – through the mountains and valleys, was so unreal!
A panorama view of some part in Ladakh where no word could describe its beauty. I could only stand in awe enjoying the moment before the creation of God.
As Ladakh is also known as Little Tibet, we were taken to visit some of the famous gompas accessible by land vehicles. And we did quite a bit of climbing up and down the stairs at those gompas. It was tiring, especially the lack of oxygen made it worse for us to catch a breath. Nevertheless, the surrounding views were wonderfully amazing.
One of the villages we visited.
Indus River flows through at the back of this village. I was overjoyed when I found out and went as close as possible to the river to get some good shots.
How I underestimated the distance between the village higher ground and the river through the steep, rocky slope, it left me almost breathless by the time I set my foot on the riverbank. All thanks to the thin air, again! The temperature was so cold that I was not willing enough to take off my gloves and touch the water in the river. Nevertheless, the landscape was breathtaking!
Another view of Indus River intersected with Zanskar River somewhere along our ride around Ladakh.
It was a love-hate experience during our stay there. I hated the the freezing cold and dry weather so much. Hated how my skin and lips were cracking so badly no matter how much Vitamin E I applied on my face. It was also a time when I felt so appreciative of the tropical climate back home and how I missed sweating under the sun so much! But I loved the beautiful Ladakhi sceneries, the laid back lifestyle and friendly local people.
Would I ever visit Ladakh again? Maybe. But definitely not in winter!
Do check out the rest of my India trip photos on my flickr.
*** Updated on 3 June 2012 ***