Homestays in Ladakh are an excellent way to interact and understand more about the local culture and the daily lives that the people lead in this environment. We were on trek from Likir to Khaltse in Ladakh, the starting point for which was the Likir village, an approximate 60 kms North West of Leh. An easy trek, one of the highlights was the homestays, across the villages we crossed en-route. The locals as always were very hospitable, warm and friendly. Almost every household has a room for ‘guests’. The kitchen doubles up as a living room, or maybe its the living room which doubles up as a kitchen, but either ways, that is the place where everyone gets together for meals and hot cuppa of butter tea. And when it snows heavily n the winters, the kitchen cum living room then also works as the bed room. The say the warmth of the kitchen fire is what makes this the coziest corner in the house. We believe that too.
In the pic: Home stay in Ladakh
Ladakh is a land like no other. Bound by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it is a high-altitude desert located at the western edge of the Tibetan plateau. Its awe-inspiring landscape has been modified and sculpted into its spectacular shape by wind and water over the millennia. The moon-like scenery is extraordinary: stark and barren but interspersed with isolated settlements of green oases full of swaying poplar trees, apricot orchards and cultivated farmland. Despite the rugged terrain and high altitude, the people of Ladakh exhibit a natural joie de vivre and their customs and lifestyle are a continuum from the past. Ladakh’s rich Buddhist heritage is on display at the numerous Gompas (Monasteries) that dominate the area. Perched high up in the mountain ridges, these enchanting medieval monasteries, surrounded by fluttering prayer flags, are still places of active worship and hold treasure troves of superb artifacts, images and ancient frescoes.
In the pic: The Lamayuru Monastery, one of the oldest monastery in Ladakh, situated at a height of 3,510 mts.