Ladakh

Volunteer

There are numerous ngos in ladakh, mostly centred on leh, many of which take foreigners as volunteers if you can commit to a stay of a few months.

Meditate

There is a meditation centre in choglamsar, with an office in leh, that offers meditation courses and retreats for various levels of experience.

Festivals

In late june and early july, the whole ladakh region comes alive with festivals. some are held at the local cricket and polo club in leh, while others are held at the monasteries. reserve a place well in advance as they get very crowded. some of the festivals are only held every 12 years, such as one at hemis and at that time the monastery will display its greatest treasure, such as a huge thangka a religious icon painted or embroidered on cloth. festival calendar till 2014.

Trek

Ladakh is an excellent trekking area for experienced trekkers. the infrastructure is nowhere near as developed as in nepal, necessitating greater preparedness on the part of the trekker. most trekkers go with a guide and some pack horses, which is easy to organise, and if arranged in leh quite affordable. it is possible to trek independently, but this should not be undertaken lightly and without much consultation with locals. people do go missing and die on those trails!

Indus River Rafting

Enjoy fascinating beauty of nature while rafting in indus river. difficulty level varies as per different sections in river but generally rapids of grade i and grade ii and at some places of grade iii will give you tremendous pumping of your adrenalin.

Below are a few selected routes:

the baby trek

Duration: 2-3 days

Season: Year round

Get In: The trail starts at Likir, there are a few buses from Leh daily.

DescriptionLadakh's one "tea house trek" is, despite the name, hard work because of the steep and frequent assents and descents. Its highest point is 3750 m unusually low for Ladakh; it passes through frequent villages, allowing the traveller to sleep in guest houses or peoples' homes every night, it is a good introduction to trekking in Ladakh, and way to acclimatize to the altitude. The main attraction of this trek is the large villages of beautiful well made houses, among good agricultural land; the mountains and views from the passes are relatively unimpressive.

RouteLikir village - Phobe La 3580 m- Sumdo village - Chagatse La 3630 m - Yangthang village - Tsermangchen La 3750 m - Hemis Shukpachen village - Mebtak La 3720 m - Ang village - Tingmosgam village.

The Markha Valley TrekĀ :This trek is among the easily accessible and popular trek in Ladakh. This trek also leads to a large Diversity of landscapes. Markha Valley is surrounded by the high altitude mountain Kangyatse which is at the height of 6400 meters from the sea level. Tourists will pass through colourful villages and beautiful valley where they can experience the enjoy the tradition and culture of Leh Ladakh.

Maps

maps
 

General travelling maps showing the roads and tourist sites are commonly available in India and abroad.

The best quality trekking maps are nowhere near the quality of maps covering trekking areas of Europe or North America. High quality maps of the border regions of India/Pakistan/China are technically illegal in India for security reasons, your map may be confiscated if you allow security personnel to see it. Despite very high quality maps of Indian J&K and the LoC being available from the Survey of Pakistan in Islamabad!

maps
Survey of India

Produces a very out of date early 1980s trekking map of j&k; it's cheap, and could be useful for planning a route with an experienced guide.

maps
US Army Map Service.

1:250,000 - produces out of date 1950s and 60s topographic maps of whole india, easily available on the internet.

maps
Soviet Military Topographic Maps

1:200,000 & 1:100,000 - maps produced in the 1970's and 1980's which are now easily available on the internet but expensive. they provide a good information but all the labels are in cyrillic script limiting their use.

maps
Artou

1:300,000 - based on satellite imagery. until recently the best available, it is satisfactory for pre-trek route planning, but not good for navigation. a pirated version is available in leh.

maps
Trekking Map of Ladakh

By sonam tsetan approx scale 1:600000 is very accurate for what it shows: the trails, village names, and water courses. it lacks topography but has the most accurate place names of all the maps, making it a very useful planning tool. it's available in leh for about inr200.

maps
Leomann

1:200,000 - may have better scale than the artou, but it actually contains less information and is less accurate; however the series does cover a lot more of ladakh and elsewhere in the himalayas.

maps
Ladakh Zanskar Trekking Map Series

By editions olizane 1:150,000 - recently introduced, an excellent topographic map, with lots of detail.