7 Reasons Why Ladakh in Winter Rocks – Must visit winter destination

Have you ever dreamt of walking straight into a picture postcard? If yes, then it’s time to plan your most magical trip to one of the best destinations in India – Ladakh.

We visited Ladakh in January last year and were completely blown by its beauty. You might have seen thousands of breathtaking captures floating all over the internet but believe me, nothing does justice to it or no article can actually define the real beauty that can only be seen or felt in person.

The trip to Ladakh is one such enriching experience that must be on everyone’s bucket list and we promise you won’t come back to the city hustle without leaving a piece of you.

Here we share our top 7 reasons why Ladakh in winter rocks

1. It is not crowded

Summer in Ladakh is jam-packed, on the other hand in winter crowds thin out, you are the only soul and no one is around for miles.  You can actually count the number of vehicles plying on the road or at times you might be the only one driving around.

7 Reasons Why Ladakh in Winter Rocks

Empty roads, empty valleys, empty monasteries… No photo bombing or traffic jams, no long waits in queues to visit a Monastery, no one to share this piece of paradise with … Sounds Perfect!! Isn’t it? 😀

7 Reasons Why Ladakh in Winter Rocks

The famed Shanti Stupa which is jam-packed during summers lies deserted in the winter. You can spend as much time as you would need to click on that perfect picture with the perfect backdrop.

In a nutshell, you have the entire of Ladakh to yourself.

2. It’s magical.

Ladakh in winter pictures

Ladakh is blessed with jaw-dropping landscapes. Frozen waterfalls, lakes, and rivers are a common sight. The landscape is a mix of barren mountains to snow-capped mountains and each and every corner is begging to be Instagrammed. The contrast of the brown barren mountains to the white snow is breathtaking and is a photographer’s delight.

Every nook is straight out of a Pinterest Board


3. More time with the locals

Another benefit of traveling during winters in Ladakh is that because there are few tourists around, locals are quite chilled out and are more open to chat with the tourists. Strike up a conversation with locals and get to know the culture first hand. Visit a Ladhaki home to get the authentic feel of Ladakh. There cannot be a better time to hang out with the locals and get a feel for the culture up close.

4. Winter Treks & Sports 

Imagine walking on a frozen river or a frozen lake !!! Yes, winter is the time to head to Ladakh for the famous Chadar Trek. Chadar Trek is not for faint-hearted. You need to be physically fit and the trek guarantees spectacular sights at every inch and steps you take.

Other challenging treks like Stok base camp trek, Markha Valley Trek, Sham valley trek are quite popular and cheap during winter.

Ice hockey in India? Yes, of course. During winter, most of the lakes are frozen and is a perfect time to try your hands at playing Ice Hockey to your heart’s content.

5. Spot the Snow Leopard

Winter is the right time to spot the snow leopard in this region, so get your DSLR’s ready to capture this majestic animal. The snow leopard could be spotted at the Hemis National Park, and in Sham area west of Leh, the famous spots are Ney Phu, Ule Phu, and hills of Skindyang village.

6. Festivals 

Ladakh has many winter festivals. Ladakhi Losar, Spituk Gustor, Thiksay Gustor and Stok Monastery Festival to name a fewA perfect time to join the locals and immerse yourself in the Ladakhi culture.

7. Surprise! It’s cheaper!

This must be a no-brainer at all, Ladakh is actually cheaper in winter. Woohooo !!!

During winter, most of the hotels and homestays are shut. Some of the hotels which stay open during the winters even their rates drop too, prices go down everywhere and you are pretty much guaranteed a deal wherever you go.

Don’t forget to haggle 😉 Taxis are available at a very reasonable rate.


Hope these reasons are enough to entice you to visit Ladakh in winter.



If you do find our article useful in planning your trip, don’t forget to send a note/picture of your trip to us ( Email:  thetalesofatraveler@gmail.com)

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Many thanks to Hotel The Grand Dragon Ladakh for making this amazing trip possible.

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  1. The first blog I have read completely on your blog is this one. I really liked the tips you shared and excitement you have shown for that palace is awesome.

    Also, I liked your blog style very much. I also run a travel blog.

    1. Thanks, Kedy. Glad you liked the post. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wow, M really surprised. I was always under the impression that Ladhak is not accessible from November to March. And the first blog I read which says Ladhak rocks in winters. Just the spark I needed to plan to Ladhak. Thank you for such a wonderful post.

    1. Ladakh is magical during winters and its a completely different place during winters. If you do plan a visit to Ladakh, then do send a pic of yours from the trip.

  3. Completely blown away by the pics,I think now I shall change my plans of visiting Ladakh in summer to winters

    1. Thank you so much Anindita. Glad that you liked the pictures.

  4. So Cool!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Hear the post. And loved the phototgraphy!!

  6. Hi , very good information . Well captured through nice photographs. i also recommend auli in uttarakhand as hot winter destination.

    1. Thank you so much, glad you liked the article and the pics. We will definitely plan a trip to Auli.

  7. More photographs of winter seasons would have made it more appealing , i also recommend auli in uttarakhand as hot winter destination.

  8. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

  9. Ladakh is very much in my wishlist and perhaps on the top of it! Hope I’ll get to venture here soon and as you say, hope I should plan it out for winter!!! Less crowd & more time with locals would be the icing on the cake!

    1. You should definitely plan a trip to Ladakh.

  10. I adore visiting places at unusual times – it’s almost like you get the place to yourself! Ladakh looks absolutely breathtaking and as you say I’m sure better in person. Your photography is also stunning.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  11. Oh wow I was ready to visit Ladakh before I was halfway done reading reason 2 its magical! It looks so incredibly magical in your photos and as you say not overcrowded or too touristy! Great tip about visiting in winter to do it cheaper and that photo of the icicles on the rock wow!!!!!!!

    1. It’s even more magical in person, you should plan a visit to this beautiful place. Glad you liked the article.

  12. Your photos are beautiful and really capture the essence of the place in winter. I’ve never been to India, but this place of Ladakh is wonderful, especially in winter. I’d love to visit now!

    1. Glad you liked the pictures. India is a beautiful and varied place, you should definitely plan a visit.

  13. What a postcard scene Ladakh looks like! I would have no idea that this amazing place is in India. Your photos of Ladakh in the winter looks magical and a beautiful place to visit. I would totally love to spot a Snow Leopard!

    1. It sure is a stunning place. For Snow Leopards, you would need to visit Hemis National Park.

  14. It does indeed look magical!! The first pic surprisingly reminds me of a place near Queenstown, New Zealand that I went. The water is so blue and beautiful! Winter definitely does look like the time to visit. Great info!

    1. Thank you so much. Glad you liked the article.

  15. You’ve mentioned so many good reasons to visit Ladakh in winter. Less people and cheaper are 2 of my favourites! Photographing the scenery and unique colored water would be amazing too!

  16. India hasnt been high in my list but wow Ladakh is something else! This is my first time hearing bout this place- very different from what Ive seen of India. It reminds me of somewhere in Europe with the snow and naturescape. Definitely adding it to my list now!

    1. India is a big and varied country. From stunning beaches to ski resorts, from salt deserts to rainforests, India has it all. You should definitely plan a visit to India. 🙂

  17. It’s funny, but I never thought of India as a winter destination. Your pictures show just how beautiful it can be, though. Nice that you can save money in the off-season.

    1. It’s a beautiful winter destination. Glad you liked it.

  18. I have heard a lot about Ladakh but I never thought about visiting it in winter, because of the high altitude. The scenery is indeed magical! I have actually heard about Chadar trek as well before from someone who tried to do it but fell in the water because the ice broke. Seeing snow leopards sounds fantastic too!

    1. Chadar trek is very difficult indeed and requires a lot of training. If you acclimatize well, then it really doesn’t matter whether its winter or summer.

  19. I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of Ladakh before. Based on your photos and write-up, it’s a must-see destination! It actually reminds me of the magical Iceland which I love dearly. Thank you for putting this in my radar. I will certainly include this in our winter bucketlist!

  20. Going to any place during the off-season time does have its own advantages. You’ve really jotted down some great points especially of the locals having more free time to interact and also about it all being cheaper. I did hear that some of the regions to tend to get shut down during the winter especially higher up, but that must be a small price to pay for all the other benefits.

  21. Winter or not, I am in love with Ladakh. And I think I can go anytime. Your post has evoked such nostalgia from my own trip there. Cheers

  22. Loved the images with the kids and the ones where you walking on the empty roads. in other places, you get empty roads only if there is a Bharat Bandh!
    And that Ice Hockey one… never thought I will see that!
    I have considered it many times but have not done Ladakh winter due to various logistical issues. Let us see if I can do it next year.

  23. I have always wanted to visit Ladakh in winters. It would be interesting to see the frozen Pangong lake in winters. Though I am not as keen about the Chadar trek as I once was. Snow leopard is high on my agenda.

  24. Awesome pictures! Never thought Ladakh will be this beautiful in winter. Ladakh is definitely on my bucket list.

  25. I’ve never even heard of Ladakh, until now! Your post (and ESPECIALLY your pictures!) are motivation enough for me to add Ladakh to my list. A frozen waterfall? Yes, please. No crowds of tourists? I’m so in! Ice hockey on a lake? I’ll watch.

  26. Oh wow, I’m completely in awe of this place. I can see why you say it’s better to visit here, because there are no other people to interrupt your wonderful photos! I’ve never been to India, but if I do, this is one area I’d love to see. I’d also like to spot a snow leopard in action!

  27. What a dream destination! As you mention we all have seen Ladhak in pictures but very few actually get the chance to get there! It must have been awesome visiting this magical place without the crowda even though it might be very cold but I guess its totally worth it! The snow leopard! I would love love to encounter one in the wild!

  28. I couldnt agree less with mind blowing pictures of Ladakh during winter. I’ve read and seen pictures of Ladakh every there and then and I must say, I more than impressed. I’m planning my Ladakh trip and it’s for early January. I’m hoping to go Ice hockeying.

  29. Wow. Ladakh looks absolutely incredible! It’s great to find places that are quiet and still beautiful in the winter months. I think I would have to go and try to spot the snow leopard, I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to see that creature in that landscape. i can see why it’s beauty captured your heart, it looks breathtaking.

  30. You had me at your first picture, what a stunning place, you are right it looks like you have walked straight into a postcard. I have to admit I had not heard of Ladakh before but I can see why you should miss it in the winter. It really looks and sounds like a natural wonder 🙂 Seeing a snow leopard would be like a dream come true too. I am definitely pinning your post for when I go to India

  31. Indeed any length of articles or number of photos won’t do justice to such a beautiful gift of nature. Your photos are wonderful. I am already enticed to visit it sooner. Thanks for the tip.

    1. You are welcome and glad you liked the pictures.

  32. Wow, Ladakh does look magical! Were you able to spot a Snow Leopard? I heard it’s really rare and watched an episode about them in Tales by Light. If you did see one, you are so lucky! Love that you mentioned the locals — many travel bloggers forget about them!

    1. Yes, Ladhak is insanely beautiful. No, we didn’t spot a snow leopard. If you need to spot one, you need to go to Hemis National Park. Glad you liked our post. Thanks for stopping by.

  33. Oh wow I completely fan of picture , your way of stylish picture is also awesome.

  34. Ladakh is one of the best hill station of india and it have so many good things tyo enjoy. You shared very explained post about and its things are so amazing to get fun. Great photos you captured of that beautiful indian hill station.

    1. Indeed it is one of the best hill stations in India. Glad you liked the pictures.

  35. This post made me jealous of you, As we all know that Ladakh is the dream place for many of the people and every traveller who visits India have this place in the bucket list.

  36. Woah this is crazy beautiful! I will need to add Ladakh to my list of destinations for sure.

    1. It is indeed very beautiful and you should definitely plan a trip to Ladakh.

  37. Wow, I’ve never even heard of Ladakh before but this place looks incredible! I can’t get over how amazing the scenery looks – it definitely looks straight out of a postcard just like you said. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. The landscape of Ladakh is absolutely fascinating. Glad you liked the photographs.

  38. Wow, your amazing photos have really convinced me to visit Ladakh in winter! I will definitely keep this in mind when planning my next trip to India. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You should definitely visit Ladakh whenever you are next in India. Glad we could convince you to visit Ladakh.

  39. Call me a moron – I needed to google where Ladakh is – and it seems you are right: there are many nice pictures of it on the Internet; and it’s often the case that it’s almost impossible, even for an excellent photographer, to capture a place’s true beauty. Indeed, some of your shots are breathtaking – I would have appreciated a bit more info though: what is this place on these cliffs? It looks amazing, but what and where is it?

    1. Glad you liked some our photographs. Do check out our other post for the names of these places.

  40. Yes, I have decided to visit Ladakh in winters. Amazing photography and nice information. I had never thought of going to Ladakh in offseason. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. You will love Ladakh in winter.

  41. Wow I’ve not heard of Ladakh before – but it truly is a picture postcard destination! I sadly haven’t travelled around much of India before but I definitely want to check this out!

    1. You should definitely plan a trip Ladakh that too in winter. You will definitely love it. 🙂

  42. Winter in Ladakh does actually look beautiful. How low did the temperatures go? The pictures are fabulous. You even got to see frozen waterfalls…looks like melted wax, doesn’t it? So, I’m actually confused whether to plan a trip in July or January 🙂

    1. The nighttime temperature in Leh used to be around -25 C. You should do both 🙂 , Ladakh is beautiful both in winters and summers. Glad you liked the pics.

  43. What a beautiful monastery! My goodness! The landscapes are absolutely beautiful. I had no idea they played hockey in India. Any city that we visit we try to connect with the locals and learn about their culture. I can’t get over these photos. Absolutely stunning.

    1. It’s only in Ladakh where ice hockey is played in the open. However, there are also a few artificial hockey rinks in the country. Ladakh has a magical out of the world landscape. It’s always good to connect with the locals and learn something about the local culture. Glad you liked the photographs.

  44. I can totally see why you recommend taking this trip in winter, it’s so beautiful and deserted of tourists! You’re absolutely right when you say the scenery is like stepping into a postcard.

    1. Ladakh is stunning both in winters and summers. Though we loved the different look it had during the winters.

  45. Such amazing pictures. Seems like you have hit the jackpot with the best time to travel. Totally going to follow these tips for a perfect trip.

  46. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately last winters it didn’t snow so Ladakh is facing a water crisis :/

  47. Yes, Ladakh is one of the best hill station in India. The way you express the beauty of Ladakh was amazing. Ladakh is beautiful or stunning in both winter and summer. Planning a trip to Ladakh will be an unforgettable experiences to us.

  48. I’m a huge India fan but never done Ladakn. I would do it in the winter as well. It’s the best time for a lot of travel because like you said less crowded. Plus, with cold weather you can take off layers:)

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