Nestled near the center of the world's highest region,
amidst the Tibetan Himalayas, lies the distant and isolated
realm of Ladakh and Zanskar.
With its roads cut off from the rest of the world for
the better part of a year, the snows clear for a few
months between June and October, allowing road access
to this land of frontiers that is slowly gaining a reputation
of being one of the most scenic, wild and pristine places
on the planet.
barren landscape stretching out in all directions, bounded
only by towering peaks, brings to mind the landscape
of another planet. Hidden behind the peaks in small,
secret valleys are mountain lakes and small streams,
supporting a surprisingly large and diverse wildlife.
Nomadic shepherds still spend the summers wandering
from mountain to mountain grazing their sheep and watching
out for snow leopards and wolves. Buddhist monks still
hold vigil in their centuries-old monasteries, providing
faith and support to their local communities.
Some of the highlights of this
Ancient monasteries, ranging from the well known such
as Lamaruyu and Hemis, to smaller, more obscure but
just as storied, such as Stakhna and Hunder, these bastions
of Buddhist belief exist untouched by political turmoil
(as in nearby Tibet) and rampant commercialization.
Friendly monks still sit and share a cup of herbal tea
with you, while discoursing on the Ladakhi way of life
past and present.
If you are a keen outdoor enthusiast, the trails of
Ladakh stand out - these are not the pedestrian highways
that some of the more popular hiking destinations have
to offer, but genuine expeditions into the uncharted
ranges of Zanskar, Karakorams and more. Trails range
from moderately easy to extremely rigorous - starting
from 3,500m all the way to 6,000m plus. Scenic landscapes,
rare Himalayan wildlife, plentiful birds - for a photographer,
hiking expeditions are a great way to get photos of
species that have been rarely photographed outside captivity.
Landscapes, lakes and valleys
Surrounded by the mighty Himalayan peaks, you will
experience a sense of wildnerness and gain a perspective
on how small humans really are in the grand scheme of
the cosmos - an enriching and humbling experience that
will inspire you to produce photos straight from your
This is the land of lakes: Sun Lake, Moon Lake, Pangong
Tso (the world's highest saltwater lake and with a length
of over 100km, technically an inland sea), Tso Moriri
and Tso Kar, home to rare Himalayan wildlife.
This is also the land of valleys, both verdant and
barren: lush Nubra Valley, where high-altitude deserts
and two-humped camels exist against a backdrop of snowy
peaks, and barren Chumathang, where hundreds of kilometers
will pass before you see anyone except marmots, and
This is the land of the extremes - the Moray Plains,
a vast meadow at over 4,000m stretching out in all directions
surrounded by craggy peaks; the remote Zanskar valley,
surrounded by harsh and unforgiving peaks; the sand
dunes of Hunder and more.
Suffice to say, if you are interested in landscapes,
there is inspiration here at every corner.
Snow leopard, kiang, 300+ species of birds, Himalayan
blue sheep, tahr, wolves, and lots more. - Ladakh is
one of the best places in the world to see Himalayan
wildlife in its glory. Admittedly, spotting this wildlife
requires a level of planning and commitment that is
not for the casual viewer, but for those willing to
put in the effort, the thrill of being one of the few
people in the world to have actually seen a snow leopard
in the wild is something that'll remain for ever.
Our Ladakh trips
come in 2 flavors - jeep safaris and hiking safaris.
Either can include accomodation in guest houses or camping.
Jeep safaris allow everyone to visit some of the more
beautiful landscapes and temples of the region in relative
ease and comfort. We can also arrange camping safaris
that take you to the more out-of-the-way places. For
the more active, we can also do hiking expeditions ranging
from 3-14 days, visiting "the third peak from the right"
(or whichever one you take a fancy to!).
Leh, the capital of Ladakh, can be reached in 2 ways
- via flight from Delhi, in which case we recommend
2-3 days of rest in order to adjust to the increased
altitude (almost 3,500m), or by jeep, via Manali - one
of the most picturesque drives in the country.
We strongly recommend doing the drive atleast one way
- this is one of the highest motorable roads in the
world and takes you through some of the most interesting
- and occasionally surreal - landscapes on the planet,
such as Baralacha La, the place of 4 passes that once
was the crossroads between India and Central Asia and
Moray Plains, a vast, high-altitude meadow at 4,000m
stretching out as far as the eye can see, Rohtang Pass,
where you can look down as well as up on soaring Himalayan
griffons and lots more!
Some of our more popular itineraries
Note on Ladakh trips
of its high-altitude location - Leh is at 3,500m and
we ascend to as high as 5,800m during our trips - altitude
sickness is a real and valid concern. We recommend that
participants with health and fitness issues speak to
a doctor before signing up on the trip, especially if
they are going to be hiking. Also, due to Ladakh's remote
location, traveler's insurance (including emergency
evacuation) is recommended, in order to be prepared
for any contingencies that may arise.