15 pictures that show the raw beauty of Ladakh in winters

Ladakh travel guide

Ladakh has been a dream destination for the travel enthusiasts. For years, the beautiful landscapes of this highest dry desert of the world have attracted explorers from every part of the world. Visiting this enchanted land is the ultimate cure for every soul that is bitten by the travel bug. Ladakh is primarily a summer destination but that doesn’t mean that the brave hearts don’t dare explore its snowy landscapes during the winters.

Come November, the roads connecting Leh with Srinagar and Manali shut down as the passes get covered in snow. As the temperature drops below -10 degrees, new breeds of adventurous souls start arriving in Ladakh with a totally different itinerary. These explorers come here to see the elusive Snow Leopards, trek down the treacherous terrains of Frozen Zanskar River and feel absolute silence at snow laden Pangong Lake.

Even the lifestyle of Ladakhi people changes with the climate becoming colder. They shut down their shops and hotels and start preparing to welcome their New Year during the festival of Losar. You’ll see the locals playing ice hockey on frozen water bodies, eating a lot of hot thukpa and sipping butter tea. Exploring winters in Ladakh is a must for every culture seeker, festival lover, foodie and adventurer. If you are one of these crazy wanders, looking for a winter destination that is literally out of the world then Ladakh is the place to be.

This is how the landscape of Ladakh changes during the winter season. From a region with cold desert like conditions, Ladakh turns into a beautiful vista covered in white blanket of snow.


And when it starts snowing, the headquarters of Ladakh, Leh changes its shades to all kinds of white.


The temperature of Ladakh goes below -20 degrees, appropriate to freeze the mighty blue lake known as Pangong.


Who says Ladakh is only a summer season driving destination?


When the lakes freeze, the Ladakhis turn them into stadiums for their Ice Hockey tournaments. There are a few stadiums in Leh itself, otherwise blooming with red flowers in the summers.


And this is how the Ice Hockey field looks from a distance.



Just 4500 of them left on this planet earth, Numbers are approximate as their life is hidden from human most of the time. . I have so much too tell and don’t know what to say. When I look at the image you think of this beautiful cat and forget stories what I want to tell you. . I must say this was my first public encounter with this grey cat but, my more than a decade of travel in Himalayas gave me more opportunities for personal meetings with ghost cat. But I never thought of taking their images, as most of the time I was happy being with just watching their graces. . Finally this time decided to lead photo expedition in search for this ghost cat and we were lucky enough to find them quickly and had good enough time we spent. We spent almost 14 hours with them and I’m still in dream. . Before I start writing stories, we must enjoy image of this beautiful creature on earth. . from @withmanish – . #wildlife #snowleopard #ghost #cat #himalayas #animals #cats #spiti winter #rock #greycat #wildanimal #mountains #photoofthday #instapicture #instatravel #travelphotography #travelphoto #wildlifeplanet #wildlifephoto #india – #leh__ladakh

A post shared by leh ladakh (@leh__ladakh) on

The ever elusive Snow Leopard usually stays on the upper Himalayan regions during the summer season but it does visit the Ladakhi villages when they are covered in snow. Snow gives them the perfect camouflage helping them hunt and kill the livestock without anyone finding out. Winter is the perfect time to spot one of these lovely creatures in


It is not only Snow Leopards who find winters the perfect time to explore lower villages. Winter season is the perfect time to get face to face with predators like Red Fox and Wolves.



TRAVELLING – It Gives You Home In Thousand Strange Places, Then Leaves You a STRANGER in Your Own Land. – IBN BATTUTA⠀ ⠀ ====UPCOMING PHOTO TOUR====⠀ Travel & Photographic opportunities across the Himalayas to enjoy life on the road. ⠀ ⠀ WINTER LEH Photo Tour⠀ Feb 2018/March 2018. DM me for Details. Limited seats.⠀ ⠀ LEH PHOTO TOUR:⠀ Dates: 10-20 May 2018/5-15 July 2018.⠀ For More Details head over to – https://goo.gl/uG9b8Q (LINK IN THE BIO) ⠀ ⠀ Even if you are not a photographer, you will not have any regrets that you took this trip. ⠀⠀ Your heart will full of memories and loads of stories to share once you are back from road trip in the Himalayas🗻 ⠀⠀ So Go ahead & Register (LINK IN BIO)⠀ For any questions feel free to DM me on Insta or FB. #ig_masterpieces #awesome_earthpixx ⠀ #createexplorer #landscapes_lovers ⠀ #landscapeslovers #landscapeshot #india_91 #travelworldwide #travelblogs #travelingram_click #discover_earth #indiaphotostory #special_shotz #travelstoked #tripotocommunity #riverview #winterwalk #mountainstories #coldday #peaks #outlooktraveller #condenesttraveller ⠀ #naturelife #nikon750 #ignature #nikonindiaofficial #g_o_i #myindiacnn #indiaphotoproject #creativeimagemagazine

A post shared by PINAKI GHOSH (@navigatio_photography) on

Changthang, the home of the nomadic tribes of Ladakh, freezes and is usually below 10 feet of snow, sometimes even.



“TAKING PICTURES IS SAVOURING LIFE INTENSELY, EVERY HUNDREDTH OF A SECOND”. ⠀ ⠀ So, Winter is officially upon us and my heart wants to go to high altitude!!! ⠀ ⠀ One freezing evening in Changthang and it was a bad day as I couldn’t travel towards Tso Moriri due to snow covered roads. So instead headed to Puga valley second time in a row and spent time with the Changpa nomads & kids. This time the weather was clear and vast snow land was right beside. It was the gazing spot for local cattle of Changpa nomads. A small stream of water flow which keeps some vegetation under the ice and along its shore as well.⠀ ⠀ Wish to photograph the elusive “GHOST CAT – SNOW LEOPARD” along with other Trans Himalayan Wildlife, like Siberian Ibex, Blue Sheep, Tibetan Wolves, Red Foxes, Lammergeyers, Golden Eagles etc….DM ME!!!. ⠀ Max 6 participants. LIMITED SEATES!!! Hurry!!!!⠀⠀ ⠀ To Register for Photo Tour to Leh #Ladakh in May/July 2018 head over to 👇🏻⠀⠀ https://goo.gl/uG9b8Q⠀ Dates: 10-20 May 2018/5-15 July 2018⠀ ⠀ Next summer BEAT the HEAT and enjoy 10 days of Travel and Learning how I Shoot & Process my Landscape image on the tour. #nkpofficial #splendid_earth #globalcapture #bbctravel #natgeotravellerindia #earth_shotz #majestic_earth_ #landscapestyles #igglobalclub #marvelshots #nomadiclife #iamnikon #ig_masterpieces #awesome_earthpixx #createexplorer #landscapes_lovers #landscapeslovers #landscapeshot #india_91 #travelworldwide #travelblogs #travelingram_click #discover_earth #indiaphotostory #special_shotz #travelstoked #tripotocommunity #wanderlusttribe #g_o_i

A post shared by PINAKI GHOSH (@navigatio_photography) on

Changthang offers such gorgeous sights only to those who dare visit.


Exploring the frozen rivers has its own charm. In winters, Zanskar starts to freeze and soon becomes the destination of choice for the daredevils who come here for Chadar Trek.


And when you get to pitch your tent in the middle of the snow covered base camp at Chadar Trek, this is how it will look like.



I am sure many of those heading to the Zanskar are screaming to capture this. I was equally eager for the same until it happened that I was able to capture this only with my phone. Yes, my camera was in coma for good part of the trek. Yes, I could have more cautious. . Things need extra attention when you are headed to any winter adventures, not just the Chadar trek. Cameras, being no different, deserve that care from us. Hope lessons and experiences from my side help you prepare well for the winters in the Himalayas 🙂 1. Carry a minimum of two extra batteries. Dipping temperatures imply there is going to be energy liberating from the battery on a rapid scale. One shall be bereft of electricity during treks which mean additional batteries are required. . 2. In all probabilities, one is not going to need multiple lenses for capturing things, unless you are onto a mission to captures different facets. For most cases, a default 18-55mm lens should be good enough. Wider angle lens may be carried for astrophotography. Be sure of what you are going to capture while packing your camera kit. . 3. Tripod, unless needed, may be avoided. . 4. I had carried an 18-55mm alongside a 50mm prime which I wanted for capturing the faces in the villages. On the first day, I changed the lens and was doing it casually keeping my body exposed for long. The dipping temperatures can make the elements brittle and subject to damage. And yes, my mirror went awry and thus, went down the drain my ambitions to click photos from the camera. Please handle your gadgets with utmost care. . 5. (As additionally suggested) ND filters shall help you capture long exposures in bright sunlight Feel free to shout out to me for any technical aspects you might want to understand for clicking in the winters. . . Feel free to give a shout for any know hows in clicking the winters 🙂

A post shared by Raj Gopal (@startcameratravel) on

One of the most photographed spots from Chadar Trek is this frozen waterfall. Truly captivating, isn’t it?

And then you have to trek literally on the bank of a frozen river.


Padum in December #Zangskarvalley #Zangskarexplorer

A post shared by Nobu Omasila (@zangskar_explorer_ladakh) on

Padum, a small village of Zanskar invites visitors to explore this untouched part when the white blanket of snow covers it completely. Padum otherwise is the base for the trek to the mysterious Phugtal Monastery.

The year has just started and a new adventure awaits you. This is the perfect time to get going on a trip to Ladakh and experience the unknown.


Tags: Ladakh,Ladakh in winters,ladakh India,ladakh road trip,Ladakh travel,Ladakh travel guide,leh Ladakh travel guide,leh road trip,travel to ladakh,travel travel guide

Long Weekends in 2018

Your ultimate travel guide to the 15 long weekends in 2018

← Previous Article

Weekend getaways from Mumbai for a quick winter break

Next Article →



Travel , Travelogue

Travel Fests in India you need to look out for in 2018

Ladakh has been a

Travel , Travelogue

Behind the scenes with Shubham Mansingka on his trip to North East

Ladakh has been a

Travel , Travelogue

14 things you didn’t know you could do in Dubai

Ladakh has been a