Preparing for the Ladakh Trip -
Ladakh experiences considerable fluctuations in the day and night temperatures, even during the summer. While the days are pretty warm, sometimes even hot due to the landscape's desert effect, the evenings can become chilly, requiring additional clothing. It is, therefore, advisable to keep a pullover and / or an anorak or jacket handy. A sturdy pair of walking shoes with strong rubber or synthetic soles for grip, thick cotton socks (woollen for late autumn treks or glacier walks) are other essential items for the trip.
Following is a brief list of items advised for your Ladakh visit:
Dress / Equipment
- Comfortable trousers , preferably of warm material (cotton or wool mix) and / or Jeans.
- Thermal undergarments, sweat shirts / warm shirts (April-May / October- November).
- A full-sleeved sweater.
- Wind proof outer wear / jacket / parka, sun hat, a pair of good quality sunglasses with sufficient filter-factor to check the sun's brightness & ultraviolet rays.
- A cap or balaclava (in case the weather turns bad especially in higher places such as Pangong Lake , Tsomo-riri, Khadongla etc.)
Comfortable walking shoes / sneakers / with thick cotton socks (avoid fancy shoes/sandals).
- For ladies: Trousers or Shalwar suite (worn over thermal inner or tights during April-May & Sept-October only), woolen sweaters / cardigans, a windproof jacket or a shawl, walking shoes with comfortable soles / sneakers (avoid sandals).
- And lastly, it will be most useful if one carried a flashlight.
- All essential medicines, including those prescribed by personal physician (if any)
- Sun cream, lip- salve, moisturizers, antiseptic creams etc.
- Important - You may take (or as prescribed by your family physician) one Diamox tablets for 3 days prior to your departure for Leh by flight and continue the same for further 2 days within Ladakh to fight the effect of high altitude.
- Cash for purchase of commodities or services or souvenirs. Credit card charging is uncertain due to frequent connectivity problems in Ladakh.
Weather Forecasting - Please go to the " Weather Forecast for Leh " link on any of the popular weather website to learn about the weather conditions in Ladakh during your visit; you can get advance information of the weather conditions for a 15-day period, including temperature at different parts of the day-night cycle.
Acclimatization - If you are traveling by air to Leh (alt: 3505 M / 11505 ft.), you must allow a day of complete rest for getting used to the high altitude and low level of atmospheric oxygen. High altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a risky condition faced by tourists who do not allow sufficient time for acclimatization upon reaching Leh by air .
The most common symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) are: breathlessness; coughing; disturbed sleep, headache, inability to concentrate; lassitude, loss of appetite, and nausea.
The following precautions are necessary to avoid such problems:
- Take complete rest for up to 36 hours after arrival;
Move about slowly and breathe deeply till your body can get used to lower oxygen levels.
- When trekking, do not permit your trekking guide to go any faster than you (and your group) can comfortably move.
- High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPO) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACO) are very serious forms of acute mountain sickness. These are life-threatening ailments and require immediate medical attention.
- Inner line Permits : For visiting Khardungla, Nubra Valley , Pangong and Tsomo-riri Lakes and the Dah-Hanu area of Leh District, it is mandatory to obtain Protected Area permits from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Leh. For Diplomatic personnel, this permission is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India.
Useful Tips - In Ladakh, you will find a culture in rapid transition, yet one in which the traditional values are still largely intact. In order to make your visit to Ladakh more pleasant, both for yourself and for the host community, some general guidelines that may be helpful.
Dress Code - Please avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts, blouses, tops, undershirts etc. in public and especially in monasteries, mosques, temples, gurudhwaras, and churches. The same holds true on the trekking routes. While short clothing is acceptable in camp-sites away from human habitation, they should be changed for trousers, slacks and sleeved shirts or blouses in villages where you might stop. Under no event should swimwear (and for women bikini tops) be worn in public as these may be taken as sexually provocative and be a cause of possible harassment.
Behaviour Code - Please keep your affection for your partner as a private matter
and confined to your own rooms or tents, but not for public display, on the street, in religious buildings, in restaurants or at public events.
Photography - Please do not take photographs of local people without seeking permission, nor of, or within, any religious building and of any religious ceremony, without permission of the official in-charge of the concerned religious place. Remember that the intense light of flash photography is damaging to ancient wall paintings and tapestries.