Things to do in Ladakh in January

Knowing about all the things to do in Ladakh in January gives you the opportunity to discover unmatched picturesque beauty, fascinating vacationer attractions and a superabundance of natural wonders. Renowned for its distinct culture and remote mountain beauty, Ladakh is one of India’s most exotic holiday destinations. It is not only a popular tourist destination but also famous for recreational activities. January is the time of peak winter season where you may encounter harsh weather. But if meticulously planned, you can enjoy chasing snow and challenging yourself to adrenaline-pumping activities. The tourist crowd is to its bare minimum which lets you explore Leh-Ladakh at your own pace.

Does this excite you? Go on and read about all the varied things you can do in Ladakh in January.

Things you must do in Ladakh in January to enjoy nature

1. See the magic of the Magnetic Hill
(A gravity hill where slow speed cars are drawn against gravity is famously known as “Magnetic Hill” , a natural wonder at Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)


Located at a distance of 30 km from the city of Leh, there is a small stretch of road that is popular for defying gravity. The magnetic hill pulls stationary vehicles upwards and it is a major tourist attraction in Ladakh. If your vehicle is standstill on neutral, it will still go up to a speed of 20 km per hour on its own. There are many stories around the hill, superstitions and theories attached to how this natural wonder exists. Some say there was once a road that led to heaven and the good people were pulled from here. Others take it to be an optical illusion or a strong force of gravity emitted by the hill. Whatever may be the reason, visiting the magnetic hill is a must on your Ladakh trip.

(Magnetic hill sign board near Magnetic hill in Leh, Ladakh, India, Asia.)


2. Witness the beauty of Indus-Zanskar Confluence
(Double rainbows and overcast rainy sky and pagodas in Zanskar valley, India)


Nimmu is a beautiful valley where you can come across the confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers. Situated near Leh, here is where the colours of these two famous rivers merge into one. This view is a mood enhancer and anyone who loves nature will appreciate this natural beauty. Indus is the longest river in Asia and is nestled between the spectacular mountains of the cold desert. The meeting point of these two streams is also a dream destination for trekkers. It is also blessed with stunning vistas of nature that makes it apt for clicking beautiful photographs.

3. Explore the Nubra Valley

Replete with delightfully hospitable inhabitants and breathtaking views, visiting the Nubra valley is quite an experience. It was once the trading route between Tibet and Turkey and is now open for exploration to the public. The climate is extremely cold almost throughout the year because of its altitude. It is surrounded on all sides by the majestic Himalayas and it lets you enjoy the beautiful sight of the unexploited paradise. It is also popular for the Bactrian camel rides as they are the most rear having two humps. The valley has quaint villages and small marketplaces where you can buy some lovely Kashmiri or Tibetan artefacts, woollen socks, Pashmina shawls, almonds, apples, apricots and other things that define Kashmir.

Things to do in Ladakh in January for a cultural and religious experience

1. Be historic at the Leh palace

(The former royal palace of Leh among the Himalayan mountain in late October at sunrise. At the background is the line of the highest motorable road to Khardund pass â?? Leh, Ladakh, India)


Built in the 17th century, the Leh palace is a yesteryear royal residence that is commonly referred to as the ‘Lhachen Palkhar’. It happens to be one of the tallest buildings made in that era with nine storeys. The rooftop of the palace provides a panoramic view of the mountain of Stok Kangri, the entire town and the Ladakh mountain range. It houses a museum that is home to many artefacts that are over 500 years old. The rooftop provides breathtaking views of the snow clad mountains that attracts a plethora of tourists to this palace.

(Night view of Leh city, Leh palace and Himalayas. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)


2. Pray for peace at the Shanti Stupa

(Budhist monument Shanti Stupa in Leh, Ladakh, India)


A white coloured domed-shaped structure, the Shanti Stupa is a peace pillar that was built to commemorate the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism. It promotes world peace and was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama. The stupa is located at an altitude of 11,841 ft. providing mesmerising views of the surrounding traditionally built houses and snow-covered mountains. A series of 500 steep steps take you to the hilltop. Another thing to see and do in Ladakh in January is to pick some local handicrafts when you visit this place.

(Shanti Stupa in night time, Leh, Ladakh, India)


3. Pay your respects at the Gurudwara Patthar Sahib
(Gurudwara Pathar Sahib in Sikkim temple for indian people visit and respect praying on Srinagar highway at Leh Ladakh on March 20, 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir, India)


Set in the land of beautiful serene prayer places, the Gurudwara Patthar Sahib is another jewel in Ladakh’s crown. Built in order to commemorate Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Ladakh, visiting this place and paying your respects is one of the best things to do in Ladakh in January. Thousands of devotees visit the gurudwara each year to see the stone bearing the footprint of the demon who Guru Nanak Devji fought on his visit to Ladakh in 1517 AD.

Best adventurous things to do in Ladakh in January

1. Challenge yourself to ice hockey

The superior snow conditions that people see as dangerous turns out to be the greatest gift to the land in terms of adventure sports. Ice hockey is a sport that is slowly gaining popularity in India and Ladakh is where it is played in full swing. The history of this game in Ladakh dates back to the early ’70s and it has been an emerging destination for the lovers of winter sports since then. The mountainous region of Ladakh gives great advantage and hence, the country’s highest ice-skating rink is located here at a height of 3483 m above sea level. Ice hockey is also commonly known as shinny or pond hockey and it witnesses an enlivening and festive atmosphere.

2. Opt for the Chadar Trek
(The frozen Zanskar river is the only way for people to get their villages in winter.)


Also known as the frozen river trek or the Zanskar Gorge winter trail, the Chadar Trek is one of its kinds in the world. Chadar stands for the thick blanket of snow that covers the land of Ladakh in winters. It is the best thing to do in Ladakh in winters and bring hoards of native tourists to these pristine lands. Only in the month of January this frozen river-bed is most stable and thick. The trek is not for the faint hearted and requires you to get a Medical Fitness certificate before you can embark on the journey. It also asks for a compulsory ritual of acclimatisation since the trek takes you to an elevation of 10,000 to 11,000 ft.

(People Crossing Frozen Zanskar River. Chadar Trek. Leh. India. Asia)


3. Go skiing

One of the must to do things in Ladakh in January, indulging in skiing is ideal in winters owing to the high slopes and the snow-clad mountains. The feeling of dropping down at about 17,000 feet above the sea level is exhilarating. With skiing, you can experience the thrill of trailing an unending stretch of valleys, mountain ranges and monasteries. This sport happens to be highly addictive and is certain to give you an adrenaline rush. Ladakh also hosts several skiing competitions that notes the footfall of a thousand of enthusiasts from all across the globe. The added benefit of breath-taking views further is what pulls travellers to Ladakh for skiing.

The list of things to do in Ladakh in January is long and you need to brace yourself for an eventful journey. The land might seem barren, but it comes alive with the people who visit here and like to indulge in simple joys that eventually infuse the landscape with life.

Suggested Read: Ladakh in January

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