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    A snow leopard standing atop a cliff in Ladakh

    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.

    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. 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.

    1. Plan a trip to Dras in Kargil

    Spectacular views of Drang Drung Glacier near Dras in Kargil

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    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 is perfect and everything around looks so fancy.

    Popular attraction of Dras in May: Kargil War Memorial, Tiger Hilltop, Ningoor Valley, Mushko Valley

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    2. Take the Lamayuru to Alchi Trek

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    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.

    The campsite along the streams and in the remote villages stand out from the rest. Interacting with locals make the highlight of these homestays. 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

    Further Read: 8 Tourist Circuits To Cover The Best Of Ladakh

    3. Embark on the super thrilling Khardung La ride

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    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 far from the Leh town. May is ideal for a motorbiking or mountain biking expedition in Ladakh. Besides, this also happens to be another top photogenic place in the Leh Ladakh region.

    This map would come handy when you are in and around Khardungla top!

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    4. Explore the trio of Shey, Thiksey, and Hemis

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    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

    Must Read: Visit These 10 Monasteries In Ladakh For A Purifying Experience

    5. Enjoy the festivities of Saka Dawa festival

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    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.

    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

    6. Spot a snow leopard


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    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. 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. These elusive beauties aren’t easy to spot.

    Where to spot snow leopards: Hemis National Park

    7. Don’t miss the Maggi treat at world’s highest cafeteria

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    Masala chai, noodles, and momos, that’s what you get served at 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.

    8. Go for the frozen Pangong Tso Lake

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    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.

    Must Read: Pangong Tso Lake: At 4350 m It Will Take All Your Blues Away

    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!

    i) When is the best time to visit Ladakh?

    June – September is the best time to visit Ladakh

    ii) When is the best time to visit Leh Ladakh on a bike?

    June-July is the ideal time to visit Ladakh on a bike

    iii) How to reach Ladakh?

    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.

    Must Read: Head To Ladakh In Winter For An Adventure Of A Lifetime

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    Category: Ladakh, topical

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