Winter tourism in Ladakh
Winter travel tourism in Ladakh Tourism in Ladakh has grown phenomenally over the past decade. After the start of 500 visitors, mainly foreigners, in 1974 arrivals have exceeded 50,000. In recent years, there has also been a remarkable growth in domestic tourists, who now account for almost 40% of total arrivals. In the mid-1970s, when Ladakh was open to tourism, the number of domestic tourists never exceeded 2%. It was always a favorite destination for foreign tourists. However, the season had penetrated two months in July and August. This was due to the Festival of Hemis. This is the largest monastery in Leh, which has an annual festival that usually takes place in July or August. Most of the tourists visited Ladakh around this festival.
The State Department of Tourism introduced
the Ladakh Festival from September 1 to 15, 1993, with a view to extending the tourist season. Not only did the season extend into October, but the festival itself became a major event that continues unabated. About a decade ago, another event, the Indus Festival, present in June. This became popular with domestic tourists and helped promote Ladakh within the country. It was a trigger for a greater national arrival. Despite both festivals extending the tourist season, the duration of notable tourist traffic remains limited to 100 odd days. This period is usually from mid-June to mid-September. Due to heavy snowfall on passengers, Ladakh’s current land connection with the outside world remains disturbed for six months.
Ladakh is not really ground but for political reasons
Two year-round access lines, Kargil-Skardu and Leh-Lahasa through Demchok, are currently close to all types of traffic. There has been talking of opening these links for quite some time, but one is not sure if they will ever be restored. Winter is the hardest season in Ladakh. The locals have a hard time. Temperatures sometimes plummet to minus 60 degrees Celsius. Ladakh can be called in some way the North Pole in India. In fact, the largest glacier outside the poles is in Ladakh. It is the famous Siachen Glacier that India and Pakistan have been fighting over for the past decades. There has recently been talk of turning it into a peace park through total demilitarization. For starters, the Indian army has started allowing tourists to visit the area. Winter here is a real punishment.
Even the firing mechanisms of Bofors pistols freeze up,
and they must turn on and off with no enemy in sight. Going to Siachen in winter would be like traveling to the North Pole, and the journey would be more difficult due to the altitude. Drass believe to be the second coldest (inhabited) place on Earth after Siberia. Winter is excruciatingly cold, bleak, and at times dramatic and challenging. Although the majority of the population is practically inactive, there are quite a few demons who enjoy skating and playing ice hockey in areas of freezing water. The Ladakhis have proven to be excellent ice hockey players and have beaten the Canadian official team on several occasions. The state tourism department had imported ice hockey equipment from France for a few million rupees a few years ago to properly equip local teams.