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Jullay! Welcome to Himalaya Insight – we are a group of adventure tour outfitter who are passionate about the mountains in the Himalaya and trekking. Himalaya Insight is started by Abid, a Ladakhi and an adventure trekker who has been working in the adventure travel industry for more than 14 years. His passion for the mountains and his in-depth understanding of the people, customs and culture will help to provide excellent service in the customising the various types of tours and treks that will suit each individual and group. Together with him, Himalaya Insight also has group of dedicated experience trek guides, cooks, trek helpers, whose commitment is to see the smile of their client at the end of each treks. Our friendly staffs in Delhi Bangkok and Singapore sales office are there to help provide as much travel information, quotation and itinerary, before you embark on the great adventure into the Himalaya.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

HOW TO REACH LADAKH.

The Himalaya Insight approach to Ladakh from Kashmir Valley via Kargil is approx. 434 Km, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet 3,505 m high Zoji-La, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh. The J & K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC) operates regular Deluxe and Ordinary bus services between Srinagar and Leh on this route with an overnight halt at Kargil. Taxis (cars and jeeps) are also available at Srinagar for the journey. Groups can charter Deluxe and A-class buses for Leh, Kargil or Padum (Zangskar) from the J & K SRTC at Srinagar.

Manali to Leh - Since 1989, the 473 km. Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second overland approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from around mid-June to early October. This high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho, altitude ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. A number of high passes fall enroute among which the highest one known as Taklang-La is world's second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet/5,235m. Himachal Pradesh Tourism, HRTC and J & K SRTC operate daily Deluxe and Ordinary bus services between Manali and Leh. The bus journey between Leh and Manali takes about 19 hours or two days with an overnight halt in camps at Serchu or Pang. Maruti Gypsy and jeep taxis are also available, both at Manali and Leh at quite reasonable rates.

ROAD DISTANCE
Srinagar-Leh 434 Km
Manali-Leh 473 Km
Srinagar-Kargil 204 Km
Delhi-Leh 1047 Kms
Leh-Kargil 234 Km
Kargil-Padum (Zanskar) 240 Km
Leh-Deskit (Nubra Valley) 118 Kms.


AIR TRAVEL
Indian Airlines www.indian-airlines.nic.in operates 3 flight in a week between Leh and Delhi, 2 flights in a week from Jammu and once in a week from Srinagar. Jet Airways www.jetairways.com also operates six flights in a week between Leh-Delhi and Kingfisher Airlines www.flykingfisher.com operates daily flight Between Leh-Delhi.

INTERNAL TRANSPORT
The cheapest way to travel within the region is by public buses, which ply on fixed routes according to fixed time schedules. The most comfortable and convenient though expensive mode of travel, however, is by taxi, which are available for hire on fixed point-to-point tariff. For visits to the newly opened areas of Nubra, Dah-Hanu, Tsomoriri, Tsokar and Pangong Lakes it is mandatory to engage the services of a registered/recognized travel agency for making all the requisite arrangements including internal transport. Detailed information about bus schedules, taxi tariff, travel agencies can be obtained from the Tourist Office or Local travels guide "Reach Ladakh", available at Book Shops.

FREEZING OF INDUS LEFT MANY HOMELESS.

Many families along the Indus River at Spituk fell victim to unusual freeze that led to river water diverting into inhabitated places forcing many including local migrant labourers and Tibetan refugees abandon their houses caught up in the midst of ice and water. Many agricultural lands of the main village also remained covered under ice sheets until situation got better lately with melting of thick ice layers enveloping the riverbed paving way for the water flow.

While most of the families abandoned the area some four families continued to live there hoping to retrieve their belongings from delipetated houses caught in the midst of thick ice layers and flowing water underneath. "I have my tools and generator set submerged in ice, said Tsewang Rigzin a carpenter who set up a small unit here to earn his livelihood.

Similarly, Pasang had grocerries worth around 60 thousand rupees in her collapsed house and shop in the middle of ice. Things were lying all strewn in damaged shop. Another victim Tsering Dorjey from remote Sku Markah valley migrated about 14 years ago to live here with his family as he makes his living by working as labourer in nearby army establishment. His house with cracks and collapsed walls bared the room floors covered in ice.

We were caught unaware of the sudden water and ice in the middle of the night on January 24, and had to cross to safety in chest deep ice and water making our feet and body numb, Rigzin said. The water-block walls along the bank was all submerged under ice as the entire river stretch from this end to the other side was all covered by thick undulating ice sheets.

The Spituk bridge had ice layer touching beneath its surface giving an indication of the thickness of the ice that has caused the blockage of water flow underneath its sheath and then cuasing diversions at loose boundaries. Army in its bid to try blasting with explosives at certain points left one of them injured severely.

Reasons behind this unprecendented phenomenon, as per official assesment, was blockage at Phey village due to debris and boulders that came along with August flash flood in Phyang village rivulet damming the river causing the gradual freezing from that point which was exarcerbated by extreme temperature (around minus 30) in Leh at that time. NHPC on request of LAHDC Leh breached the blockage by removing the boulders with the help of a special JCB machine.

The impact has been drastic leaving many families homeless and agricultural lands covered by ice sheets, a scene never witnessed before according to Tsering Chondol 56 a resident of Spituk village, whose house also developed cracks forcing her to abandon it and live elsewhere. Three houses also got affected in the main Spituk though the other houses close to the river too were threatened by this rising of ice sheets and water seeping into lands along the river.



Gatuk Tsering (64), a Tibetan refugee working as road labourer, has been living with her three sisters. Their house was in the midst of thick ice and river water, and they were lving in a single room of relatively safer neighbor's house. Similarly four other families were using this single house as their only place to live as all their houses have either collapsed completely or submerged in ice and water.

Monday, February 14, 2011

LADAKHIS ARE ON HUNGER PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF EXILED TIBETIANS

Locals in Ladakh took part in a hunger protest to express their solidarity with exiled Tibetans protesting against Chinese oppression.

Over 200 people participated in the event.

"Our main motive is the same as sought by the Dalai Lama. We will silently sit in hunger strike and protest," said Takpa Chimet, a group leader.

LADAKHI YOUTHES COME FORWARD FOR A CLEANING DRIVE.

Leh: Though adventure tourism has proved to be a money-spinner in Ladakh, it has also caused a major environment hazard. It is so because of the tons of garbage left behind by trekkers.

Tonnes of garbage in the form of polythene bags, soft drink cans etc. are left behind in the pristine countryside by trekkers.

Keeping this in mind, the Wildlife Department and Youth Association for Conservation and Development, a forum of youth in Hemis National Park, conducted a 10-day clean up and awareness drive between Chilling and Nimalung in Markha Valley.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

RIMO DEFEATS ITBP IN SECOND WINTER TOURISM PROMOTION CUP.

Rimo club deafeated ITBP two goals to one in II Winter Tourrism Promoition Cup in a close fought match at Karzoo Ice rink today in Leh.

After the match, in his address Chief Guest Rigzin Spalbar promised to make the professional ice hockey stadium, being constructed close to the Council complex, at least ready to begin playing though it would take couple of more years for this stadium to become full fledged.

He also mentioned about the potential in this game to promote winter tourism, and in order to spread publicity about this game worldwide and attract teams from foreign countries plans are under way with various collaborations such as with Canadian Embassy team, who has been visiting to play in Leh for many years.

Later prizes were given away to winner, runner up and second runner up Skara team, apart from felicitations to speed skaters for winning many medals in an international meet at Dehradoon earlier this winter. The organisers Ladakh Winter Sports Club and District Sports and Youth Welfare department also announced on the occasion the Women ice hockey competition and CEC Cup tournament to begin soon.

WINTER TOURISM PROMOTION ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 BEGAN AT LEH

The Executive Councilor Tourism, Mr. Gyurmet Dorjey inaugurated the 2nd Winter Tourism Promotion Cup 2011 at Karzoo Ice Rink yesterday. The inaugural match was played between Rimo Club and ITBP and the later won by 3 goals to 2.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gyurmet said that though Ladakh has tremendous potential in promotion of winter games and great prospect of producing national as well as international players, but unlikely Leh failed in exploring its potential to the fullest till this date because of lack of apposite Ice Rink here. He said that the LAHDC Leh would make every effort for the earliest completion of the Ice Rink in Leh so that the players especially the younger lot would get the best opportunity to polish their talents and earn name and fame for Ladakh at National and International levels.

Welcoming the Canadian Embassy team in Leh, who will play some friendly matches with local teams, Mr. Gyurmet extended gratitude to them for their regular visit to

Ladakh and continuous support and guidance to the local teams. He said that the contribution of Canadian Embassy team has resulted in sharp improvement in the quality of Ice Hockey in Ladakh and adding that it was reflected by the results of National Championship and Asian Federation Games held recently at Shimla and Dehradun, where most of the medals were hauled by the Ladakhis.

Appreciating the tireless efforts of Ladakh Winter Sports Club who are the pioneering contributors in promotion of winter games at this height, Mr Gyurmet urged them to fully dedicate their abilities for further boosting of winter games in Ladakh.

He assured that LAHDC would make the winter games a major cause for promoting winter tourism in Ladakh.

Earlier, the Advisor, Ladakh Winter Sports Club Mr. PT Kunzang gave a detail summery of the championship and greeted the local participants and the Canadian team.

The Councilor, Upper Leh Gelong Lobzang Nyantak, Canadian Deputy High Commissioner in India, Mr. Jim Nickel, the Chief Executive Officer, Leh Development Authority, Mr. Tsering Morup, President Ladakh Winter Sports Club, Gyalpo Namgyal Wangchuk, Deputy Chief Education Officer, Mr. Dorjey, District Youth Service and Sports Officer Mr. Fida Hussain Khan and large spectators witnessED THE INAUGURAL MATCH

Monday, February 7, 2011

LADAKHIS ENJOY WINTERS DESPITE ENDURING HARDSHIP

Leh (Ladakh) : Despite the mercury dipping in the winter months, Ladakhis have learnt to endure adversities, and choose to deem this period as a season to relax and take a break from all the toil that they undertake during the rest of the year.

Totally cut off from the rest of the world, the 434 kilometres long Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway remains closed for six winter months due to heavy snowfall. The other route towards Manali in Himachal also remains closed due to snowfall.

Thus life almost comes to a halt for almost four months here as such the locals stock all the needs of daily use well in advance.

The hydro-power generation is also affected due to freezing of the water. The alternative source power through diesel engines is also restricted. It is limited to just six hours in the evening.

As such use of heavy electric gadgets is strictly banned from the middle of December and a fine of rupees five thousand is imposed in case one is found guilty of misusing electricity.

Alongside, water supply and sanitation are also some of the major problems faced by the people here.

Inspite of all these odd trends, the locals enjoy the winter months by hosting neighbourhood get-togethers where they feast on chang
(rice brew), good food and perform traditional dances, sing songs and also recite folk stories.

"People enjoy in the winters. Chilly winters and snowfall are important because people get to rest in winters. Ladakh people perform traditional dances, sing songs and retell folk stories, enjoying every bit of these refreshing items," said Tsering Norboo, a local.

The locals here rely on room firewood fed heating systems like bukharis which keep the rooms warm and do not emit smoke.

People of Ladakh store all essential commodities, including rice, flour, cooking gas, kerosene oil and other eatables in advance for the times when they literally go into a sort of hibernation.

During winters, the Ladakhis concentrate more on indoor activities and these could be weaving, knitting and allied handicrafts.

"Winters in Ladakh are different from the winters in other places. Here the temperature goes down from minus 10 to minus 30 degree Celsius. One can hardly venture out to do any work. But one can sit at home and do many indoor handicraft activities," said Sonam Sopari, a local.

During winter months, the minimum temperature in the daytime may range between 10 and 12 degree Celsius while the night temperature touches the minus mark of 25 to 30 degrees.

The resourceful among the Ladakhis prefer to take a break and holiday in warmer places lie Delhi and Chandigarh among other places.

LADAKH ICE HOCKEY TEAM FELICITATED FOR WINNING IIHF GONG

In a rare honour, the Indian Ice Hockey team was felicitated on its return from Abu Dhabi (UAE), where it participated in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Challenge Cup of Asia.

Ajit Kumar Sahu, Deputy Commissioner, Leh in Jammu and Kashmir did the honours.

This was the first time that the ice hockey team led by Tundup Namgyal had gone abroad to participate in an event of such a scale
Terming the step as a beginning, Gyal Wangyal, the team manager, said, "More than the performance, the exposure which the players have got has been good. We would have been playing here at district level. We would not have been aware about the rules of the game nor the manner in which the game is played or the approach of the coach to instruct the players."

Ice hockey as a sport is popular in the region, but due to lack of adequate facilities its development and progress has been slow.

This first ever-international exposure has acted as a morale booster for both the players and the game.

"When we played our first match against Thailand, we did not know how the game was played. But in the 2nd and 3rd match, we played much better scoring a goal and played a very good game against Macau," said Aman Ali, player of the team.

The players are hopeful that the sport from here would only get better. With the formation of a District Olympic Association, things should get better from here. (ANI)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

LADAKH NO MORE TOUGH FOR PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED TOURISTS

Leh, August 11, 2010 “Himalaya on Wheels” is perhaps a novel concept in Tourism in the country that the Tourism and Culture Minister Rigzin Jora has launched in Leh recently. The concept is made keeping in mind the disabled tourists who too wish to visit places like Ladakh.

Ladakh being a mountainous region the tourist’s spots are located on hills that demands lot of walking which for the physically challenged gets quite tough to access. But under Himalaya on Wheels the disabled people right activists of Leh are starting to organize specific tour for disabled tourists.

Tourists with physical challenged visiting Ladakh, where most of the tourists spots are located on hill and needed to walk, can avail better accessibility here as disabled people right activists of Leh are starting to organize specific tour for disabled people under Himalaya on Wheels. “To convert the existing tourist’s spots accessible and disabled friendly, PAGIR has been approaching the owners of the tourist’s spots, hotels and guest houses since last two months requesting them to build ramps and make wide doors etc. The responses that we are getting are overwhelming,” told Kunzang Dolma, General Secretary of PAGIR, a Leh based NGO formed by physically challenged people who has initiated it in collaboration with Travel Another India Group.

Kunzang added that the main objective is to provide equal opportunities to the disable people willing to visit Ladakh because normally they cannot not tour here due to hilly and difficult terrain. “Also, it is to create a source of income generation for the disabled people of Ladakh”, she said.

10% HIKE IN HOTEL AND TAXI RATES IN LADAKH

As confirmed by sources, the Ladakh Taxi Operators Cooperative Ltd. has made a 10% rise in the taxi rates for the year 2011-2012. The President LTOCL told that the increment in the taxi rates have been made primarily because of none revising of the rates over the last three years and also considering the price hike of diesel. However, the rates will be applied from the month of April, 2011.

Following the suite, the Hotel Association of Ladakh too decided to increase their hotel rates by 10%. “The increase in taxi and hotel rates should not make the tourists give a second thought over their visit to this region because it is a very reasonable increment considering the inflation in general and expenses in particular pertaining to the geographical location of Ladakh,” said Tundup Dorjey, a leading travel agent in Leh.

HORN BILL FEST FUNDS TO AID LEH VICTIM

200 FOREIGN TOURISTS TO ATTEND WEEK-LONG NAGALAND EXTRAVAGANZA

Kohima, November 30, 2010
This year’s Hornbill festival will raise funds for the flash flood victims of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

Commissioner and secretary of Nagaland’s department of tourism, Himato Jimomi, said, "the festival would raise funds for the victims of the flood that claimed hundreds of lives. The collections from the Hornbill Ball charity show will be given to the Prime Minister’s relief fund." Jimomi said that this charity programme would be held annually during the Hornbill festival for the needy and this year’s festival would have a plethora of entertainment shows for tourists.

A World War II rally, organized for world peace, will be flagged off from Dimapur on December 7. It will culminate at the WWII museum at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. The rally is to honour soldiers killed during World War II.

A Naga women pipe band will perform Amazing Grace at the museum. An international photo exhibition, international motor rally, Hornbill national rock contest and Naga shadow play (projecting the rich Naga culture and tradition), American musicians playing country, blues and jazz, Miss Nagaland contest, the Northeast fashion show and Northeast cultural shows will also be organized.

Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar will inaugurate the programme, expected to attract 200 foreign tourists, tomorrow at 10am. Doordarshan will telecast it live. Delegates from Thailand, Laos, Norway, Britain, Israel and the US will participate in the festival, for which the state government has allocated Rs 1.4 crore.

Jimomi said the main purpose of the festival is to help the local people to earn from it. "We spent money on facilitating the people to generate revenue," he told The Telegraph. The officials of the tourism department said that the festival would be a confluence of Naga tradition and culture.

The festival is the collaborative celebration of all Naga tribes at one venue and is considered the "festival of festivals". It is also a tribute to the hornbill, the bird most admired and revered for its qualities of alertness and grandeur in Nagaland.

"The awe and admiration for the bird is symbolically displayed on almost all tribal traditional headgear worn during the festival and it indicates the unity of the Nagas," Jimomi said. This festival is a cultural extravaganza to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage.

LADAKHI GALS PROVE THERE FEAT ON ICE IN INTERNATIONAL EVENTS.

Leh, January 21, 2011
Diskit C Angmo (15) studying in Ladakh Public School in 9th standard and her compatriot Shabina Kawsar (14) of Saint Peter School in 9th standard have proved their abilities beyond academics in international speed skating, long trek events of winter sports.
To begin with they first took part in Dehradoon Open Championship in the last week of December in which both were given prize money of 30000 rupees each in 300 and 1000 meters speed skating events. Soon they left for Simla to take part in National championship in the same events where they achieved gold, silver and bronze medals.
First South Asian Winter Games in Dehradoon followed suite and again they proved their talents in demonstrations of synchronization for which they were lauded for their style and rhythm and received special citations. It was cool…says Diskit as they got all facilities from Indian Winter Sports Federation and happy to get the support from parents and Ladakh Winter Sports Federation.
Next on the card are trips to Poland, Finland and Canada where camps will be held and they will also get the rare chance to participate in International events of speed skating. “To achieve more and more successes and then to be a pride for people of Ladakh, Diskit” says with great hope and enthusiasm. Kosar too feels extremely happy and proud to have achieved so much and hopes for much more in future.