In the light of recent events and changes in the valley of Kashmir, if you are planning to opt for Ladakh tour packages, then worry not because you are good to go. The scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has increased the uncertainty of the state’s future, including tourism. The speculations of consequences have loomed over the valley as the government cancelled off Amarnath Yatra and asked all the tourists to leave the state. But how does all of this affect the tourism of the state, the backbone of the economy? The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is tense but Ladakh is as smooth as it was yesterday. The desert district of Ladakh is untouched by the consequences of the abrogation of the Article.
What was Article 370 and what is the significance of the new bill?
Article 370 of the Constitution grants a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, while Article 35A ensures special rights to the permanent residents of Kashmir. According to the new bill, Jammu and Kashmir will be reorganised as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh would be a separate Union Territory with no legislature. The Union government will have the Law and order powers of policing in the new UTs.
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How is the daily life affected in Ladakh?
With schools and offices running smoothly like butter, the daily functioning of Ladakh has not been affected at all. Markets are open and the best cafes in Leh are serving. According to our local vendors, too, the business is as usual in Ladakh. There are zero cancellations from travellers yet. The officials have not imposed any restrictions on travel in and around the area. Life continues as always here. With the prospects of becoming a separate Union Territory, the tourism of Ladakh will run completely separate from the tourism of J&K. So, if you are hesitating to embark on your adventures to Ladakh, then fear not. The mountains are still calling you. You answer the call and explore the 50+ amazing places to visit in Ladakh.
How to reach Ladakh?
Home to some of the highest motorable roads and passes, to reach Ladakh there are two routes that you can take to reach the cold mountainous desert. The first route is via Srinagar-Leh Manali. It is currently not advisable that you take this route for your own safety. The second route is via Manali and Rohtang pass, which is also considered as one of the best road trips in India. The route takes you across the 475km stretch. This route is not in proximity to the valley and hence it is completely safe and good to drive on. The route is also not beefed with military troops indicating that the roads are unaffected! The government buses are also operational every alternate day from Manali to Leh and Leh to Manali. It is also a positive news that the Leh airport is running its usual business. Since Ladakh has a considerable security presence, you should also be aware of the permits for Ladakh road trip and from where you can get them.
What are the conditions of local transportation in Ladakh?
According to the locals, everything is functioning normal in the district of Ladakh. Only the way to Srinagar-Leh highway has been affected. According to CNT‘s report Angrub Dorje, who runs Discover Ladakh has stated, “Both Leh and Ladakh are completely safe. It is a normal day here, schools are open, the internet is working. Access to all tourist spots is open.” Most of the travel agencies will also take you via the Manali-Leh highway. WanderOn’s Leh-Ladakh tour package also takes you to Ladakh via Manali, Rohtang pass and Spiti valley. Reaching Ladakh via Manali is also cheaper than reaching your destination through Srinagar.
Where to stay in Ladakh?
Options ranging from some of the finest homestays in Ladakh to hotels are available for accommodation. Hotels like K2 Continental, Grand Chubi and Hotel Lumbini are available at affordable prices! There are various campsites near the vicinity of Pangong Tso like Himalayan cottage. Hotels are also open in Nubra Valley including Hotel Lhasthang. There are many camps in Jispa as well one of them being Eco camps where you can plan your stay.
Even though the situation in the paradise of India is uncertain and scary, the region of Ladakh is actually safe, with no signs of tensions and violence. So, plan without thinking twice.
Note: We will keep updating the article if further notices come out.