Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ladakh Travel In Monsoon, And Security Tips In Kashmir Valley

manali to leh highway
In the month of June 2013, Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh had witnessed a terrible nature’s wrath in the form of flood. Uttarakhand, especially Garhwal and its religious tourism suffered a lot. Thousands of people died and stranded in hills. Kashmir Valley is relatively calm and Tibetan-Buddhist Ladakh is all known for sparsely rainfall and austere landscape. However, in August, 2010, the land experienced a sudden cloudburst and torrential storms that led a disproportionately heavy damage to the state.

 So, if you are planning to visit Kashmir Valley and Ladakh in this monsoon don’t be complacent and gear yourself with appropriate safety. Although a trip to Ladakh is a dream tour, but travelers need to take appropriate precautions from number of things such as weather, common facility, transportation, booking etc.

Acclimatization in Leh Ladakh


leh market

While thinking about Ladakh, first think about thin air. Increasing height comes with decreasing air and undoubtedly it is a vital aspect that most travelers often ignore. The first rule is not to rush to Ladakh in flight rather go by road. The gradually ascending to the top helps you to acclimatize yourself with the tough weather condition.

The second rule is to give yourself 2 days in Leh before you venture out in higher valley like Zanskar and Nubra. Zanskar, Pangong or Nubra in August, September is real cold and unexpected rain that makes it extremely difficult to breathe. Even a seasoned trekker can be affected by the Acute Mountain Sickness.

 Top 10 Things To Remember About AMS In Ladakh


Pangong Tso
1.    Check your fitness level before you plan your trip to Ladakh.

2.    Don’t just rush to the higher altitude and gradually ascent to the higher mountains. Acclimatize at least 2 days in Keylong, and Leh.

3.    If you are not fit and suffering from high blood pressure, heart problems and asthma, please hold your desire until you will become fully fit.

4.    Hydration is essential but overdoing it can also cause damage to your body. Just take normal water intake like what you usually do.

5.    Carry a poncho or waterproof jacket in the monsoon.

6.    Always cover your head and ears.

7.    Keep your excitement at hold. Don’t run, play and excessive physical merriment because oxygen level is dangerously low in this land, so this could lead to fatigue and would be very difficult to catch a breath.

8.    The most popular medicine is Diamox for AMS. Natural alternatives are garlic soup and any soup prepared with lots of garlic.

9.    The early symptoms of AMS are light headache, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. If you are in Khardun La Top or some higher mountain land like Zanskar or Nubra Valley, immediately come down to Leh.

10.    It is difficult to avoid smoking for smokers in this pristine clear land, but try to avoid it or least reduces it to two cigarettes a day.

Packing Essentials For Ladakh Trip


khardung la ladakh

Monsoon is the most unpredictable months in Ladakh, so you need to take extra caution while packing your bag. Here a detail list for one person packing essentials:

•    At least 1 down jacket and one normal pullover.
•    A pair of woolen hand gloves and skull cap.
•    General medicines including AMS, diarrhea, fever, vomiting and strong pain killers.
•    Thermocots both upper and lower.
•    2 pairs of woolen socks.
•    Soap, towels, bandages and antiseptic cream.
•    Waterproof shoes.
•    Sleeping bag conditioned for -10 degree.
•    Tent (optional).
•    2 pairs of T-shirts, and 2 pairs of cots wool shirts.
•    Lots of chocolates, biscuits and dry fruits.
•    Camera, chargers, lots of spare cells.

Essential Facilities en route Ladakh



Petrol Pumps

If you are traveling by your own vehicle, you need to know the exact locations of petrol pumps and also keep reserve petrol in jars. The last petrol pump in Leh-Manali Highway is at Tandi and next one is at Karu around 380km away.

Similarly inside Ladakh there are less petrol pumps, so fill your tank in Leh and carry some more in jars. Leh – Pangong – Tso Mosriri – Rumtse – Leh is around 700km and you don’t want to run out of fuel in this deserted land.

ATM in Leh Ladakh

Credits cards are not accepted in most of the shops, travel agencies and hotels. Therefore, you need to carry cash always, but it is better to keep debit cards and withdraw money from the ATMs. Banks like SBI, AXIS Bank, J&K Bank and PNB are spread around Leh town. Interior villages like Pangong, Changthang, Zanskar do not have this facility. Ladakh is comparatively safe and very little occurrence of thief and snatching.

Security In Kashmir Valley


Kashmir is relatively safe for tourists. A special police force is assigned specially for tourists at important tourist places. This force is assigned to prevent cheating, harassed etc.

Deputy Director Tourism (Enforcement), Tourist Reception Centre.

Tourist Police Station, Tourist Reception Centre, (Open 24 hrs)
Superintendent of Police (Tourism)
Telephone No.: 0194-2477224
Mobile: +91-9419036278
E-mail: sptourism@rediffmail.com

Dos and Don’ts in Kashmir Valley


•    Do your research well before you book your hotel. You can find safe choices in and around the Dal Lake and Nehru Park area though these are relatively costly.

•    Getting around Srinagar is best traveled by rented vehicles. You can ask your hotel front desk manager or the owner of Houseboat to arrange your vehicle. It is better to fix rate before you leave.

•    If you are planning to hire a guide, negotiate your price at the beginning of your tour. Don’t fall in argument trap.

•    Your mobile phone registered outside of J&K doesn’t work here. Even you can’t buy a prepaid SIM here. So carry a postpaid connection from BSNL or Airtel.

•    Enlist all your important numbers including Kashmir Police in your quick dial mode.

•    Get accustomed to local culture and make friends with general people to know the underlying hints of security beforehand.

•    If you are traveling alone, keep your friends and family in the loop. Give them detail itinerary where you have visited and where you are going to be.

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1 comments:

  • Ishita says:
    December 4, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Like Like Like, I am local to Himachal but it’s my bad luck I am unable to view the beauty of Leh. Wishing to go there doesn’t know my dream come true.

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