Offbeat Adventures To Try When Travelling Leh-Ladakh. Set amidst breathtaking and ever-changing landscapes, Leh exemplifies a pristine world far away from the hustle and noise of the city. Among the things one can do in Leh, the list of adventure activities is all but exhaustive. The rugged terrain being such, provides for a range of adventure sports activities for enthusiasts. A minimum level of fitness is required uniformly across all of these activities, considering the high altitude, and low temperatures.
Trekking has been among the most popular adventure sports, with routes available according to personal fitness levels for beginners to experienced outdoor aficionados. Around Mid-May to Mid-October of each year, is the perfect time to take on a trek in Leh without having to battle with extreme weather conditions.
Journey along the Zanskar Valley for a surreal experience, with enthralling sights and challenging trails. The Sham trek is ideal for beginners, and traverses through Likhir to Yangthang to Hemis Shukpachan to Tingmosgang and finally to Khaltse.
Source: Trekking in India; Sham Trek
The Markha valley trek begins from Spituk and crosses through two passes, the Ganda La and Kongmaru La, which requires a higher level of fitness and acclimatization than the Sham trek. The route begins from Zhingchen and passes through Yurutse, Skiu, Markha, Thachungtse, Nimaling and to Shang Sumdo finally. The scenery on encounters through this trail is extremely diverse, with beautiful villages set against the backdrop of everchanging landscapes, numerous pastures and water crossings across streams and rivers. Offbeat Adventures To Try When Travelling Leh-Ladakh.
Source: Peak Mountaineering; Along the Markha Valley trek
Set in a part of theTibetan Plateau, the highest and largest plateau in the world, is the trail from Tsokar to Tsomoriri, which is often combined with the trail from Rumtse to Tsokar. The route passes through Nuruchan, Rachung Karu, Gyama Barma and Korzo and if combined with the trail from Rumtse, the route would include Kyamar and Tisaling. This trail is much less frequented than the others discussed, but being a moderate-difficult trek, requires a higher level of physical fitness.
Source: Himalayan Trails; Tsokar Lake
One of the most challenging treks is the Chadar trek that connects villages in the Zanskar valley to Chilling along the frozen Zanskar river. The route is the safest during February when it is cold enough for the ice to be stable. The trek is quite dangerous, with steep canyons and fast flowing water on either sides making mistakes, well, fatal. It is advised and essential to be in good physical shape and get an experienced trek guide along. Offbeat Adventures To Try When Travelling Leh-Ladakh.
Source: The Better India; Chadar Trek
For an enthralling experience high on adrenaline rushes, opt for river rafting on the Indus or Zanskar river. The main rivers and tributaries make for spectacular sessions of rafting through deep gorges, valleys, rollercoaster-like rapids, with the constantly mind blowing scenery of snow-capped peaks, high rugged mountains to accompany you. The ideal season to go river rafting is between June and August, when the flow is substantial enough. A popular route beginners opt for through the Indus River is from Hemis to Choglamsar through Stakna, Shey and Thiksey. Grade two rapids for slightly intermediate level adventure seekers go through the Phey-Nimo route. The Saspol to Khaltsey and Alchi to Khaltsey is a better fit for someone looking for a high level of adventure. Offbeat Adventures To Try When Travelling Leh-Ladakh.
Source: Make It Happen; River rafting along the Zanskar
For something a little more relaxed, mount the two-humped Bactrian camels and amble along from Leh through Hunder, Diskit, Tegger Pinchimic, Panamic, and back to Leh. The Bactrian camel is one of the coolest animals in existence. They store around 1.5 gallons of water in special sacks around their stomachs, and can go for almost a week without water. They conserve water very economically – they sweat very little, emit minimal amounts of water as waste fluid, and can alter their body temperature depending on the ideal temperature required to help contain water loss. Although primarily vegetarian, they have no qualms about surviving on a wide variety of food that includes animal flesh, prickly, dry vegetation, ropes and tents either.
Source: Shikhar; Camel riding across the Nubra Valley
For those wanting to explore Leh and Ladakh extensively but without the level of physical fitness required to pursue it, or for those who just don’t want to tire out as much, jeep safaris are a promising option. Classified jeep safari tours explore the vivid landscapes of the Nubra Valley across the Khardungla pass, the Zanskar Valley, taking one through the pristine Pangongtso Lake (yes, the same one as in 3 Idiots), and the Tsomoriri Lake. Other routes include those traversing through Barlacha La Pass, and Tanglang Pass. Offbeat Adventures To Try When Travelling Leh-Ladakh.
Source: Adventure Nation; Jeep Safari
For the more perseverant, there are mountain biking and motorcycle tours available from Manali, Kinnaur, Sri Nagar and Spiti Valley.
Source: Himalayan Trails; Motorcycle tour