Ladakh is Tibet as it used to be: home to a vibrant, living Tibetan Buddhist culture on the high Tibetan plateau, nestled among the Himalayas. It is a land of traditional culture and stunning terrain, and one of the best destinations for trekking expeditions in the entire world.
Pretty much every Headrush Expeditions’ trekking expedition in Ladakh starts in the same place: Leh. The capital of the old Kingdom of Ladakh, the city is the gateway to all the more remote valleys in the region. Two sights dominate Leh itself: first, the Himalayan peaks that surround Ladakh (the name means “land of high passes”), and second, the ruined royal palace of Leh, sacked by rebels more than a century ago, but incredible even in abandonment. Unlike the rest of Ladakh, Leh is easy to get to: the city is served by two major highways and by regular flights from Delhi and elsewhere. By comparison, transport options in the rest of Ladakh tend to have four legs.
Also of note – a Headrush Biking expedition can get you to Leh, from Manali – on your choice of either Royal Enfield motorcycles (the Indian equivalent of Harleys!), dirt bikes or mountain bikes! Just call us, give us your requirement and have our experts design a plan for you.
Headrush trekking expeditions across Ladakh can take a number of different forms, depending on personal interests and skill level. Natural treks, monastery treks, cultural treks, and mountain treks are all distinct and beautiful ways to see the remote region.
Headrush Expeditions across Mountains are the toughest form of trekking in Ladakh. The region is filled with peaks, and many of them, like the Stok Kangri, the highest in the area, are relatively easy to climb, even for non-mountaineers. Our mountain treks focus on spending a week or two acclimatizing to the altitude of the plateau before pushing higher into the foothills and eventually ascending the peaks themselves. These treks are obviously quite demanding, but in general they don’t require actual rock-climbing experience or equipment. But physical fitness is definitely required.
Our Nature treks focus on Ladakh’s most readily apparent feature: its astounding natural beauty. The region is nestled high in the Himalayas and surrounded by mountains. And, because of the relatively low population, especially in remote areas, the whole area is quite unspoiled. Rivers in deep gorges, frozen deserts, vast treeless plains, and, of course, the mountains have made Ladakh famous. Amongst our most popular treks is the Ladakh to Zanskar valley, an even more unspoiled region with no road access to the outside world.
Our Cultural treks focus on the traditional lifestyle of Ladakh. The region was part of the British Raj, but its remoteness – then and now – prevented major development. As a result, outside of Leh, the traditional Tibetan Buddhist lifestyle still continues as it has for centuries. Locals speak a lot of Hindi and a little English, but other than that, they still practice traditional agriculture, religion, and other cultural practices. The region’s culture is very similar to Chinese Tibet as it used to be, so cultural treks through the small villages in the countryside is the best remaining way to see the old Tibetan lifestyle as it was.
Treks can be designed to pass through different monasteries. Such treks are somewhat more demanding than cultural treks, although they are still easily achievable for healthy trekkers. Ladakh is very famous for its Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, which dot the countryside. With a few exceptions, the monasteries are in remote regions, often on high mountain cliffs, in locations that boggle the mind. There is nothing like them anywhere else in the world, and their great variety, great beauty, and the earnest dedication of the monks who still live in them make them the premiere cultural attraction in Ladakh. And, because they are so out of the way, trekking is the perfect way to get to them.
Ladakh is a unique and truly well-preserved part of the world, and a rare haven of peace in the Himalayas. And it is one of the best destinations for trekkers anywhere in the world.
Call us and have our experts design a plan for you – today!