The very name of Ladakh conjures up images of high mountain passes, crystal clear lakes, Buddhist monasteries and the adventure of travel. September gives you a great reason to finally indulge this fantasy: the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is organizing the Ladakh Festival from Sep 17 to 24 this year.
The rise of domestic tourists to Ladakh has risen sharply over the years. When Ladakh first opened for tourism in 1978, it recorded a footfall of 527 tourists, of which only 27 were Indians. The popularity of Ladakh as a must-visit destination rose sharply after the climax of the 2010 blockbuster Bollywood film, 3 Idiots, was filmed at Ladakh’s famed Pangong Tso Lake. The influence of the movie was so much that the number of domestic tourism tripled the next year from 55,685 in 2010 to 1, 48,588 in 2011.
A trip to Ladakh in 2008 changed Neelima Vallangi’s life forever. She gave up her job, sold her house and became a full-time travel writer and photographer. Abhinav Chandel’s story also follows a similar path. The break he took from his full-time job to hike in Meghalaya, discover Mussoorie and live in Ladakh for two months, motivated him to quit his job and take on travel as a career.
Although both Neelima and Abhinav’s choices are consistent to millennial behaviour—57 percent millennials stated that doing something enjoyable or making a difference in society was a primary concern while choosing jobs—they also represent another interesting paradigm. The ‘millennial intersect’. Since then there has been no looking back for Ladakh, whose domestic tourist arrival rate rose to 43 percent between 2015 and 2017. Ladakh with its stark landscapes and colourful festivals has become the symbol of the ‘millennial intersect’. Instagram feeds of their friends’ hiking adventures or Facebook posts of biker groups motoring from Srinagar to Leh are prompting millennials to experience Ladakh first hand—and this ambition is shared by both urban and rural youth alike. But how do you get to there? Here’s all you need to know!
The best, and most feasible, way to explore Ladakh is by road. You can catch buses or hire taxis to Leh from both Manali and Srinagar. If you are ready for an extreme bus trip, you can book tickets for a direct bus journey between Delhi and Leh. A new service started by the JKSRTC, tickets can only be bought at the JKSRTC counter at Kashmiri Gate ISBT in New Delhi. Nothing online, folks!
The Ladakh Festival is a showcase for the regions culture. The festival calendar features Ladakh-style polo matches, archery contests, Cham dances, folk singing and dance forms, and oodles of local Tibetan cuisine. Take advantage of assured ks and big discounts on bus, hotel and travel package bookings in Ladakh with your MobiKwik app. You’ll find attractive offers with our partners here.
Manali and Srinagar, which are the entry hubs for Ladakh, can only be reached by road and a bus ride is the most economical and fun way to travel up to the Himalayas. MobiKwik’s partnership with bus ticket booking services gives you SuperCash to spend on your trip, and more if you book a return ticket. Click here for the full range of offers. Adventure is calling, can you hear the call?