India is full of natural diversity. Right from the beaches to the mighty Himalayas, from deserts to lush green forests, you can experience everything here. And when it comes to tourism, it’s difficult to give a miss to Ladakh. Known as the land of high passes, Ladakh hosts places that will leave you spellbound. Almost every travel junkie and biker has this place on the must visit list. And if you are one of them, there are few things that you need to know before your Ladakh Trip. Also Read - India Deploys MARCOS In Eastern Ladakh, Naval Commandos To Get New Boats Soon

Here are 8 things to know before your Ladakh travel:

1.High Altitude Sickness: The first and foremost thing to be considered is the sickness caused due to high altitude. Due to it being located at considerably high altitude, the air in Ladakh has lesser oxygen as compared tolow altitude areas. So, our body doesn’t get enough oxygen and it takes some time to get used to it. In 1-2 days, our body acclimatizes to the new condition and until that time, you might face some health issues like headache, vomiting etc. So, when you reach Ladakh, take rest for at least 1 day before going out to explore. You can also consult a doctor before going out and take any preventive medicine before the trip.

2.Respect the Locals: We travel to create memories, and often end up clicking a lot of pictures. But remember, there are places where people don’t like being clicked, like Turtuk. Respect the privacy of locals and be a good tourist. Why to land up in unnecessary dispute?

3. National Security: Army cantonments are a common sight in the entire Ladakh region. In the national interest, don’t put any picture on public domain that might disclose any information about army location or movement as it might pose a security risk.

4. Adequate Clothes: Ladakh has cold climate for the most part of the year. And even during the months when the weather is relatively warmer, the mercury can fall anytime, especially at places like Khardungla or Pangong lake. The nights are usually cold. So, keep adequate warm clothes with you even during the warm months. You never know when you might need them.

5. Night Travel: The nights in Ladakh are beautiful, with millions of stars gazing upon you. The sky is so clear that even the milky way is visible with naked eyes. But it’s not recommended to travel in Ladakh at night. One reason is that the water flow in the streams flowing across the roads increases during night and it becomes risky to cross them. Another reason is that the roads are deserted and in case of any emergency, it would be very difficult to get any help. However, if it becomes absolutely necessary to travel at night, go in a group and not solo.

6. Alcohol Consumption: I would strictly suggest avoiding alcohol consumption in Ladakh. Our body is anyways struggling to keep up with the reduced oxygen availability. Alcohol consumption further drains out water from our body and makes us dehydrated. You would not want to fall terribly sick and miss all the fun. Would you?

7. Keep it Clean: As with any other place, the same goes for Ladakh also. Such a beautiful place doesn’t deserve the filth and heap of garbage that we leave behind. And at high altitudes like this, it becomes even more difficult to pick all the garbage and clean up remote areas. Ladakh is beautiful because it is in its natural form, away from the garbage and pollution. Be a responsible tourist and keep your garbage with you till the time you find a dustbin

8. Appreciate the silence: If you cannot appreciate the music of nature and want to play loud music, stay at home. If you cannot respect the silence at the monasteries, stay at home. Don’t be a nuisance for other tourists and locals. It’s not a place to dance on loud music. It’s a place to relax and enjoy the melody that nature sings for you.

(Pankaj Nath works for ZEEL and is also a travel aficionado. Views are from his own travel experience. You can follow his travelogue’s here)