LAY OF THE LAND
Grazia|September 2021
A vibrant mosaic of peoples, cultures and communities, crisscrossed by ancient trading and pilgrimage routes offer their own unique inspiration, in Ladakh
BARRY RODGERS

Spectacularly jagged, arid mountains envelope this magical Buddhist ex-kingdom. Picture-perfect gompas (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) dramatically crown rocky outcrops next to fluttering prayer flags and whitewashed stupas, while prayer wheels spin clockwise, releasing merit-making mantras. But, there’s more to Ladakh than what meets the eye. Here’s a handy guide to help you get started.

WHERE TO STAY:

Ladakh Sarai Resort To wake up at this nature retreat, which is roughly seven km (about 15 mins drive) away from Leh airport, is to be utterly alone in the landscape save for the crowing of roosters and the sound of birdsong that permeates the lazy morning air. Light seems to engulf the entire space, accentuating the wooden edifice of this unpretentious resort. Owned and managed by Rigzin Namgyal, whose infectious energy, and wealth of knowledge about the land is undeniable, Ladakh Sarai Resort is a true representation of everything that’s endearing about Ladakh – the warm hospitality, the down to-earth, a home-style form of cooking, and its rich traditions.

The origin of the resort lies in its deep-rooted history, as it was first established in 1978 by British adventure travel pioneers. As time went by, they have succeeded in keeping the legacy of Sarai intact, while inculcating a sense of comfort to develop it as a resort that indulges nature and luxury combined.

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