How To Get There
GETTING TO INDIA
The best way to get to India is by air. In recent years, multiple air carriers have expanded their connections and we recommend you fly to the city closest to your final destination rather than using transportation hubs like Delhi and Mumbai.
Air India flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Goa, Ahmedabad and Kochi
British Airways flies daily to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Amritsar
Cathay Pacific flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata daily
Emirates has daily flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai
Jet Airways flies daily from London and Dubai to Mumbai and Delhi
KLM flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur ,Vadodara, Udaipur and Goa
Lufthansa flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata daily
Singapore Airlines flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata daily
TRAVELLING WITHIN INDIA
Travelling within India has become easier as domestic airlines have increased their routes. Most tourist destinations are now well within reach of an airport.
Jet Airways flies between Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Udaipur, Goa and Kochi.
Kingfisher Airlines flies daily between Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad
When To Go
Leh & Ladakh
A vast expanse of wind-swept cold desert, Ladakh lies tucked away between some of the world’s highest peaks where the temperatures can get very low through the year. The best time to visit is during summer which can stretch from June to September. During this period, Ladakh as well as its adjoining areas experience warm and sunny days with enjoyable nights. For those who are interested in trekking, the peak season for travel is from the months of July to August, when passes on the Manali-Leh Highway and the Srinagar-Leh Highway become motorable. In winter the temperature ranges between -30°c in Leh and Kargil and can go down to -60°c in Dras. With sparse vegetation, no wind breaks or cover this region is totally exposed to the elements and experiences high velocity dust storms, snow blizzards and flash floods. Editor’s note: It’s vital to acclimatise yourself, for a few days, after arriving at altitudes over 3,000 meters.
What To See
This almost forgotten monument was built in the 17th century by King Singe ‘Lion’ Namgyal as the nine-storied royal residence. Meander your way through massive buttressed walls and overhanging wooden balconies to soak up some old world charm. Currently, the Leh Palace is being used as the headquarters of the Indian Government’s archaeological conservation organisation.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Standing on a hill above the city, behind the Leh Palace is the NamgyalTsemo Gompa—Temple of the Guardian Deities—which houses a three-story high, gold idol of Maitreya Buddha(also known as the Laughing Buddha). Built in 1430, this temple is a part of a fort, and the best time to visit is in the wee hours of the windy morning, during the daily prayers.
Built by a Japanese Buddhist order as part of a global peace drive that constructs Peace Pagodas, this domed stupa was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1985. The pristine white stupa—magnificent even by moonlight—offers spectacular views of the sunrise, sunset and the Zanskar range.
The Monastery Circuit
Dotted along the Indus, you can find a grand number of Buddhist Monasteries; namely Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Stakna and Matho. Each of these holy sites offers a little something unique for the day-tripper, from castle locations and ancient Buddhas to the largest thangka in the world.
Stok Palace Museum
Stok Palace has been the official residence of the Ladakhi royal family for the last two hundred years— since they were ousted from Leh and Shey. The only part of the 77-room Palace that is open to tourists has now been converted into a museum which houses a collection of the royal family’s attire, thangka paintings, prayer instruments and crowns.
OUTSIDE THE CITY
Hemis National Park
Bounded by the great Indus and spread over nearly 4,440 sq km, the Hemis National Park is Ladakh’s wild-and-hidden wonder. About 200 snow leopards call this park their home along with Asiatic ibex and Himalayan Griffon vultures.