Finding Adventure in Ladakh

If you love adventure and thrill, Ladakh is surely on your must-visit list of places. With the most surreal natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes, it is a dream destination for most people. Surrounded by the Karakoram Mountains in the north and the Greater Himalayas in the south, Ladakh is one of the best adventure places in India. Adventure lovers can indulge in a wide spectrum of activities such as trekking, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, river rafting, camping at frozen lakes, and much more. The high altitude and rugged terrain makes it one of the lesser explored destinations. The virgin locales add to the beauty of it all.

The top adventure activities to do in Ladakh are:

Zanskar River Trek

A tributary of the Indus River, the Zanskar River flows through much of the Zanskar Valley. During the winters, it freezes into a sheet of ice. The Zanskar River Trek is better known as the Chadar Trek, named so as you literally walk over a thick blanket of ice. The word ‘Chadar’ translates to a blanket. Through this trek, you follow the ice-covered route of the river. The entire stretch spans approximately 100 km, which takes around 7 to 9 days to complete. The best time for this trek is between January and February when the ice is thick enough to be walked on. The Chadar Trek is said to be one of the most challenging treks to complete, owing to the high altitude and extremely cold temperatures. Walking through the frozen landscape gives you a chance to explore one of the best adventure places in India.

Mountain Biking

The bike ride from Leh to Ladakh is said to be one of the best routes for mountain biking in India. Surrounded by the Karakoram Range and the Zanskar Range, Ladakh is the ideal destination to enjoy the thrill of mountain biking. Biking through vast semi-arid landscape, you get a chance to speed through some of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world. It also offers spectacular sights of barren mountains and stunning panorama. Some of the well-known mountain biking trails in Ladakh are: Leh to Alchi, Leh to Hemis, Marhi to Manali and Jispa to Gondla. Biking away to your destination, enjoy the unending scenic beauty of Ladakh.

River Rafting

Ladakh is one of the best adventure places in India for white river rafting. The rivers here flow through some deep-cutting gorges, paving their way through some rugged mountains. This makes the activity even more challenging and adrenaline pumping. The Zanskar River and the Indus River are the two most popular options for rafting in Ladakh.

Originating in Tibet, the Indus River makes its way to India through the rocky terrain of Ladakh. It has rapids varying between grade 1-2 at some places, and grade 3-5 at certain places. The best time for river rafting is between June to August when the water levels are very high. The Indus has multiple rafting routes. The most common are from Spitok to the Indus-Zanskar confluence at Nimmu, and from Nimmu to the ancient temple complex at Alchi. The more challenging route lies between Alchi and Khalsi, a kilometre long series of rapids at Nurla.

Markha Valley Trek

The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most popular trekking tours in India. Traversing through the dry landscape of Ladakh, you get a chance to pass through some lush green fields, waist-deep rivers and quaint villages. The Kongmaru La mountain pass, at a height of 17,060 feet, is the highest point on this trek. The Markha Valley trekking trail boasts of stunning panoramic views of the Karakoram and Zanskar ranges. You can also view the K2, Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse peaks.

Camel Safari in Nubra Valley

Ladakh is the only place in India where you can enjoy a ride on the back of a double-humped camel. The Camel Safari in Nubra Valley is slowly becoming quite popular among all tourists. This safari takes you through the enchanting sand dunes and the nooks and corners of the valley which can never be reached by a car or jeep. Riding on a double-humped camel and making your way through the rugged mountainous region can prove to be a one-of-a-kind experience. Ladakh is truly one of the best adventure places in India.