Walking into an unmarked territory fills you with excitement and you are unsure about things! But, what is going to unfold is an incredible series of events that would leave you thrilled. Ladakh in May is one of those destinations that cast the picture of a wonderland after facing yet another harsh winter.Scattering beauty everywhere around, the rugged Himalayan mountains and virgin trails cutting through them hold plenty of treasure. As you keep ascending the ‘heights’ of awesomeness, the magical surroundings around the top would dope you with unbelievable vistas. May is a perfect month to witness the glorious past and the splendid present of Ladakh. Here are the top experiences that you must not miss out on!
Ladakh In May Weather
Pretty monasteries sitting atop the mountains, frozen rivulets and streams, incredible ride across the most daunting passes, and maybe a wandering snow leopard, if at all you are super-lucky, make for a glorious Leh Ladakh in May. Leh Ladakh temperature in May could be anything between -15 to 16 degrees, therefore adequate preparation is required before you set foot for the beautiful place in the north. Should you plan on a Ladakh trip in May, these experiences would come handy. If you are expecting snow in Leh Ladakh in May, then you will only find hard ice, not fresh snowfall.
Top 11 Experiences In Ladakh In May
If you are visiting Leh Ladakh in May month, do not miss out on these exhilarating experiences on your journey. These fun and action-packed experiences are bound to make your Ladakh trip in May 2021 an affair to remember.
- Kargil: Take A Trip To Dras
- Lamayuru: Trek To Alchi
- Khardung La: Take The Highest Motorable Ride
- Shey, Thiksey, & Hemis: Explore These Beauts
- Saka Dawa Festival: Experience The Culture
- Hemis National Park: Spot A Snow Leopard
- Delicacies: Maggi Treat At World’s Highest Cafeteria
- Pangong Tso Lake: Marvel At The Serenity
- Diskit Monastery: Pay Respects
- Royal Leh Palace: Witness The Grandeur
- Adventure Sports: Satiate The Adrenaline
1. Kargil: Take A Trip To Dras
For the kind of mountain pilgrimage that it is, Ladakh bedazzles its visitors with its striking landscapes. And while discussing the beauty, it’s the gateway to Ladakh that makes a remarkable impression on us. At 10,700 feet Dras is the coldest inhabited hill-station in the world and is the famed gateway to Ladakh. Winter in Dras is indeed the most extreme event in the valley when the mercury drops down to as low as -45 degrees. May is the time when views around are perfect and everything around looks so fancy.
Popular attraction of Dras in May: Kargil War Memorial, Tiger Hilltop, Ningoor Valley, Mushko Valley
Nearby attractions: Minamarg, Matayen, Ningoor Masjid
Tip: Wear sufficient warm layers and cover your face if it’s windy.
2. Lamayuru: Trek To Alchi
Trekkers absolutely love the experience of this 5-day trek which is located at an altitude of 5200 meters. The best part of this trek in May is that it encompasses the best of Ladakh. While there are a few guest houses and hostels available, homestays are the most sought after stays that would let you experience Ladakhi culture like a local on your Ladakh trip in May.
The campsite along the streams and in the remote villages stand out from the rest. Interacting with locals make the highlight of these homestays in Ladakh. May–November is the perfect duration to take this Ladakh trek.
Popular attractions of the Lamayuru to Alchi Trek: Lamayuru monastery, Indus, Sham valley, and Alchi monastery
Tip: Try to start early so that you can cover all monasteries on the same day.
Suggested Read: 8 Tourist Circuits To Cover The Best Of Ladakh
3. Khardung La: Take The Highest Motorable Ride
Ladakh differentiates between a tourist and a traveler. Scaling the mountain pass at 17582 feet which happens to be one of the world’s highest motorable roads is a gut-wrenching experience. Khardung La top is 39 km away from Leh town. While May is a great time for trekking in Ladakh, it also happens to be an ideal time for a motorbiking or mountain biking expedition in Ladakh. Besides, this also happens to be another top photogenic place in the Leh Ladakh region. If you wish to visit Ladakh in May, then this should definitely make it to your bucket list.
This map would come handy when you are in and around Khardungla top!
Nearby attractions: Tso Moriri Lake, Hall of Fame, Gurdwara Pathar Sahib
Tip: Only ride or drive to this point in a recently serviced and sturdy vehicle.
4. Shey, Thiksey, & Hemis: Explore These Beauts
Monasteries of Ladakh are neatly strung across the vast Himalayan land and have stood the test of time. These monasteries from centuries ago still uphold the customs and rituals that their precursors started long back.
May is a bit too early for these gompas and monasteries in Ladakh to shed the white sheet of snow that they wore months back at the beginning of winter. Therefore, they become a striking attraction for all the visitors planning a trip to Ladakh in May.
Other must-visit Ladakh monasteries you must watch out: Hemis Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Stok Gompa, and Shey Gompa
Tip: Respect the rules regarding discipline and dress code laid out by these monasteries.
Suggested Read: Visit These 10 Monasteries In Ladakh For A Purifying Experience
5. Saka Dawa Festival: Experience The Culture
Commemorating the life of Buddha, Saka Dawa Festival celebrates the goodness of the lord and Ladakhis try to inculcate the practices in their daily life. It is believed that any good deed done during the entire month multiplies hundred million times over and comes back to you. The festival is celebrated for an entire month and the most auspicious day is the 15th day which happens to be a full-moon day. People from various parts of the world and the country will be visiting Ladakh in May 2021 to be a part of this festival.
Popular attractions of Saka Dawa festival:
i) People refrain from eating non-vegetarian dishes
ii) Donations are offered by locals to monasteries/ monks
iii) Beggars are helped
iv) Butter lamps are lit
v) Animals are set free who are about to be killed for food
vi) Prayers or recitations of mantras are done while walking clockwise around a holy site
Tip: Respect the local traditions and customs during festivals in Ladakh.
6. Hemis National Park: Spot A Snow Leopard
While watery eyes would peer around delving deeper into the expanse of white which, for the most of the time stays under sub-zero degrees, you must brace yourself for one memorable sight whether you visit Ladakh in April or May. And it would be that of the emperor of the Himalayas, the Snow Leopard. They are one of the endangered species on Earth right now, and certainly the fascinating beauties in the Himalayas. But they only venture out when winter is at its peak.
May could be the month when they might appear from behind one of the mountains while chasing a mountain goat. That’s what you can pray for when you visit Ladakh in May 2021. These elusive beauties aren’t easy to spot.
Where to spot snow leopards: Hemis National Park
Tip: Take a guided tour if you want to increase your chances of spotting wild animals like snow leopards.
Suggested Read: 10 Festivals Of Ladakh That Celebrate The Life In The Valley
7. Delicacies: Maggi Treat At World’s Highest Cafeteria
Masala chai, noodles, and momos, that’s what you get served at Rinchen Cafeteria, the world’s highest cafeteria at 18380 feet. Catch some breath, and comfort yourself at Rinchen Cafeteria while at Khardung La. Doesn’t really matter which month of the year you are traveling to, Indian Army can be spotted in this part of Ladakh throughout the year. Not a single soul apart from Army personnel can be spotted here. Travel to Ladakh in May add this cherishing moment to your sweet memories with friends. Maggi and mountains do have a strong connection and when you are in Ladakh it makes it all more special.
Nearby attractions: Khardung La
Tip: Wear warm layers and thermals.
8. Pangong Tso Lake: Marvel At The Serenity
By the second week of May, the crucial Srinagar-Leh highway opens up leading to a flurry of tourism energy into Ladakh. And thus opens the gateway to Pangong Tso Lake. The azure beauty looks like an artist’s fantasy. At 14,270 feet, the lake stretches from Ladakh to Tibet in the north.
Shutterbugs find eternal bliss here capturing, mountains, lake, boulders, and trying compositions like mountains with lake and builders with mountains. Early May is the time when the lake is partially frozen and infinite landscapes and views would complete your trip for sure.
Nearby attractions: Spangmik Village, Thiksey Monastery
Tip: Don’t forget to carry a camera!
Suggested Read: Head To Ladakh In Winter For An Adventure Of A Lifetime
9. Diskit Monastery: Pay Respects
Diskit Monastery exudes old world charm. It is one of the largest and oldest Buddhist Monasteries that was founded by a disciple of Tsong Khapa named Changzem Tserab Zangpo. It is one of the popular places to visit in Ladakh in May by virtue of the 106 ft tall figurine of Buddha that is found here. Perched atop a hill, the statue of Buddha is adorned with gold and red faces. This statue of Buddha promotes three significant ideas that are promotion of world peace, protection of the village of Diskit, and prevention of war with Pakistan further.
Popular attraction of Diskrit Monastery in May: The tranquility and peace that the monastery exudes.
Nearby attractions: Diskit Gompa, Shyok Valley, Nubra Valley, Khardung La
Tip: It is a place of worship for Tibetans. It is advised to dress modestly for both men and women.
10. Royal Leh Palace: Witness The Grandeur
Royal Leh Palace is heavenly for culture aficionados and history enthusiasts. This Palace is worth a visit in Leh Ladakh in May 2021. The aura that oozes out of the monastery is what impresses tourists the most. The Royal Leh Palace was constructed under the orders of Tsewang Namgyal initially but was completed by Sengge Namgyal. This Palace has witnessed innumerable battles and unrest in Leh but in the present times, it still stands proud. The splendour and grandeur that this spot exudes simply leaves one awe-inspired.
Popular attraction of Royal Leh Palace in May: The weather in Ladakh in May is perfect to stroll around the palace
Nearby attractions: Shanti Stupa, Thiksey Monastery, General Zorawar Fort
Tip: After exploring the palace, you can enjoy various eateries present in the vicinity.
Suggested Read: 8 Temples In Ladakh To Visit For A Spiritual Sojourn
11. Adventure Sports: Satiate The Adrenaline
Ladakh is paradisiacal for all the adventure enthusiasts out there. Being a part of any of the many sports is one of the best things to do in Ladakh in May. Be it trekking along the charming trails, taking a bike ride along the mighty mountains, or mountaineering on the majestic peaks, the list of adventure sports is endless and limitless. Leh Ladakh leaves no stone unturned to ensure that the thrill seeking souls are satisfied. The picturesque views and stupendous valleys simply add to the beauty of the sports, leaving the jaws dropped to the ground.
Popular attraction of adventure sports in May: Trekking, Bicycling, White Water Rafting, Mountaineering, Jeep Safari, Biking
Nearby attractions: NA
Tip: Make sure you have professional help if you are just beginning with adventure sports.
Suggested Read: Shopping In Ladakh 2021: A Detailed Guide For All Shopaholics!
What To Wear In Ladakh In May
Even in the month of may, temperatures can drop down in Ladakh. So, you must be prepared for all kinds of weather situations. Pack light, cotton shirts, and trousers for the day. Have a down jacket and a warm sweater for the night. Do not forget to pack a raincoat for sudden downpours. Socks, cap, and sunscreen are also an important part of the packing list.
Road Conditions In Ladakh In May
May is the time when the highway just opens. So, you may find melting snow and slush on the road. There wil be mud and even a few streams of water. Some of the patches on the highway are rough and terrible. Though rest of the road is fine. You may also find jams during the peak season or long line of trucks on the highway.
By the way, North India in May is already a furnace, and all you need is some fresh air sourced from the mountains! What could possibly be a better place than the Himalayan kingdom! Hope you have found all the necessary information about Leh Ladakh in May. What is stopping you now? Just plan a trip to Ladakh and get Leh’d in the most spectacular way!
Frequently Asked Questions About Ladakh In May
Q. When is the best time to visit Ladakh?
A. May- September is the best time to visit Ladakh
Q. When is the best time to visit Leh Ladakh on a bike?
A. June-July is the ideal time to visit Ladakh on a bike.
Q. How to reach Ladakh?
A. Leh airport is the nearest airstrip to Ladakh from where Ladakh can be easily reached by road. However, Ladakh can also be reached from Manali via Rohtang Pass.
Q. Is Manali Leh highway open in May?
A. Yes, it opens in May. The info is released online. So, you will have to confirm the dates before you plan a road trip.
Q. Is Leh and Ladakh same?
A. No. Ladakh is a region in Jammu and Kashmir which is divided into two districts; Leh and Kargil.
Q. Can we go to Leh Ladakh by car?
A. Yes, people even plan an exhilarating bike trip to Ladakh. So, you can take your car if you want. It will be a long journey, but a splendid one.
A. There is no dearth of adventure sports in Ladakh. The popular sports to try include trekking, mountaineering, biking, white water rafting, and ice hockey.
A. Some of the popular monasteries of Ladakh are Thiksay Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Diskit Monastery, and Likir Monastery.
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