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Winter Solitude in Ladakh, the Mountain Kingdom

Travel , March 9, 2016

It was a busy February.

I went from all the way to one of the most northern part of the earth which is Iceland, then I landed to one of the highest point of earth which is Ladakh.

Ladakh, a freezingly cold land with plentiful of snows and towering rocks. Experiencing temperatures from -5 til -20 degrees celsius. The Buddhism in them is quite strong also, Tibetan Buddhism to be exact. It’s part of the remaining remnants of the Ancient Tibetan Kingdom.

So, what’s awesome about Ladakh in winter?

1. A heaven for Mountain lovers
Make sure you get the mountain when flying into Ladakh. You’ll witness a sea of mountains from the air, and as you land and exit the airplane you’ll be surrounded by a breathtaking mountain range.

2. One of the friendlier places in India
If you fly here through Delhi, you will find a contrast of its people. “Julley” is a word you’ll here often if you are willingly enough to smile at the Ladakhi. It means hello. As a photographer who loves portrait, all you need to do is smile and often enough the people there will let you take a portrait of them.

3. Low Season
Winter means its one of the quieter seasons in Ladakh. With such cold weather means there’s less tourist. While I am there I only see around 2-5 other tourists. This means two things: my frames are free from unwanted people and local people actually appreciate you coming there thus a better hospitality from them.

As awesome as the place was for me, travelling there needs special preparation, such as:

1. Warm Clothing
Buying a good quality jacket with warm socks and gloves will ease your travels there. As a Sweedish friend once told me, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

2. Climatise
A full day rest might be needed for most people to get used to the altitude there. Arriving directly at 3500m above sea level might cause Acute Mountain Sickness which includes Nausea, headache, hard to breathe and blue lips.

3. Booking a Driver
I highly recommend hiring a car with driver as the roads there are categorised hard to drive, and most places might need 3-5 hour drives. Anyway, a 3-5 hour drives might sound long but with the view that will be presented it will be such a pleasant car ride.

Here’s a few from Ladakh using the A7 Mark II with 24-70 f4 lens. There’s more images coming soon from my film camera (currently being processed).

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