1. How to book a tour to Ladakh ?
Firstly we suggest you to visit "Ladakh Tours" Page on the website, which include various tours of Ladakh. Then select one of the tour. If you intend to make any changes like having a day more or less then in that case you need to inform us so that we make your itinerary accordingly. You can use our online tour booking form or send us an e mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. If I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?
If you don’t want those tours which are mentioned on the website then in such a case you need to fill up the “Enquiry Form” mentioned on our website. In this form you have to specify the places you want to visit, date of arrival and departure, number of people who are traveling, the hotel category and any other special choice. After having these details from your end we will plan a tour for you and contact you very next day with all the details.
3. I am visiting Ladakh for the first time how should I prepare myself ?
For the general information on Ladakh, please visit the page “Ladakh Information”. You may also put up your questions to us regarding any matter if you do not find the answers on our website. Apart from that we suggest you to do some background reading before visiting Ladakh, so that your visit becomes a great experience. During your tour we will also provide you a tourist Guide at the different cities in the language of your choice who will let you know anything you want to know about Ladakh.
4. How advance should be my travel booking ?
Your travel bookings should be made 8 months well in advance, especially if you are traveling between December to June and October to March (high tourist season). As Travel infrastructure in Ladakh has its limitation in comparison to the high season demand therefore we highly recommend to book your tour in advance.
5. How to experience Ladakh at it's best ?
While planning your trip we suggest you to consider the festivals which would be taking place in Ladakh during your trip. Upon receiving the information from you we will combine your trip with the Festivals in Ladakh which will make your trip a great experience. For any further information on Festivals please visit our Ladakh Festivals page. On this page you will find the dates of the festivals taking place in Ladakh. Our guides will also tell you about the cultural activities that would be taking place during the festivals.
6. Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?
Yes, you can buy an Air Ticket through us but to be fair we advice you to book your air ticket in your country as air tickets are normally expensive if booked in Nepal or Ladakh in India to be sent to your country. However even if Air tickets are cheaper here and you happen to change you schedule in that case it is better to have to tickets issued at the port of departure. After having booked your Air tickets you can inform us the arrival time and the flight Number to enable us to pick you up from the airport to start with the tour.
7. How will I be picked up from the Airport in Ladakh ?
You will be picked up from the airport in Ladakh wherever you arrive by Ladakh Tourism representative. Our representative will be holding a name board with your name written on it at the arrival hall of the airport or railway station. If you are coming as a group then the name of the group will be mentioned on the name board. On that name board the arrival date, time, place and flight or train number will also be mentioned. You are requested not to leave the airport or railway station until you meet our representative. If by chance you were not able to find each other then you would also be provided the mobile and telephone number of the representative so that you can find each other at the particular location at the airport.
8. Can I book the hotels only with you and not the complete tour ?
Yes, Ladakh Tourism is having special rates with many hotels all over the Ladakh. We are sure that we will be able to offer you the hotels for your budget in the destination wanted by you. As far as the hotels are concerned we have hotels of every category in Ladakh. Do inform us what kind of hotels you are looking for. For more information on the hotels you can visit our website. This site provides information about various categories of hotels available in Ladakh. All the hotels that we use in the tour itinerary are mentioned there. If you want to book a particular hotel then a booking form is supplied with the hotel details. You can fill up that particular booking form and send to us or email us at email@example.com
9. What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in mind while staying at the hotels in Ladakh ?
It is advisable to reserve well in advance for the hotels in Ladakh. All the hotels have air-conditioning and private baths and offer all the modern facilities like telephone, computer, and fax machines. Pay your hotel bill either in cash (rupees) or with a credit card. If you are paying in cash, have with you the receipt of your foreign money into rupees. The hotel clerk may ask to see this to make sure that you haven’t changed money on the black market. Ladakh Tourism is specialized in hotel bookings which are very good value for your money. Contact us with dates, destinations and wished categories and our Team would be glad to help you.
10. If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour, then what do you suggest ?
If you want to make arrangements only for the transport then we provide any type of vehicle you require for your tour. With the vehicle you would be provided one experienced and reliable English speaking driver. The car would be at your disposal throughout the tour. The cost of the vehicle includes all the expenses, fuel, driver’s fees, toll taxes and parking.
11. Which Vaccination is required before visiting Ladakh in India ?
Before visiting Ladakh in India, the Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required if a tourist is coming from the Yellow Fever endemic countries. This certificate conforms to the International Health Regulation. The citizens and travelers coming from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, do not require any vaccination certificate or inoculations. It is highly recommended to get a precautionary measure vaccination against Hepatitis B, if you plan to stay longer in Ladakh. To avoid Malaria and Dengue, carry mosquito repellents, nets or take a course of anti Malaria tablets.
12. How do I get medication in Ladakh in case of necessity ?
It is advised that you bring your own medicines. Most of the medications in Ladakh are available but you may not find it under the same brand name as in your own country. If necessarily of consulting a doctor be assure that we will assist you in this matter. Private hospitals with high standard and qualified doctors are available in Ladakh in India.
13. How can I come in contact with local people during our travel in Ladakh ?
Indians are hospitable and friendly people, Do not consider staring at you as unfriendly. Most of the Indians have not been abroad and therefore foreign tourists are for them a subject of curiosity. Most of the people to whom you will talk will be friendly. Always speak to the people you feel like taking too. Avoid people who are too eager to help you or want you to buy something from them. If you want to enrich your visit to Ladakh by visiting the Indian Family or want to stay with the family, ask the team of Ladakh Tourism. We will be happy to make these arrangements for you.
14. What is the best time to visit Ladakh ?
The best time to visit Ladakh is from early June to October. Most of the trekking routes are closed after November due to heavy snowfall at high passes except the Liker to Kahltsey (Sham) trek.
15. Are the Visa and passports required before visiting Ladakh ?
All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa and passport before visiting Ladakh. Tourist don't require permit for Leh. However, all foreign tourists are required to register at Drass, Rumtse and Sarchu if they are traveling by road. Those traveling by air should get themselves registered at the airport. The tourist are required to get a permit for restricted areas like Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lake, Dhahanu and Nubra Valley, which can be obtained through registered travel agencies. Make sure to carry six photocopies of the permit while traveling, to submit at the Checking points. For visiting Ladakh, please consult the concerned embassies in your area.
16. Which currency is used in Ladakh ?
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks that can be brought by the tourists in Ladakh. However a Declaration form need to be filled (only for the amount which is more than USD 10,000) on the arrival at the Indian airport. By filling up this form you can also get your money exchanged back in the original currency without any problem. The Money should be exchanged only through authorized money changers. You may ask our guides and they will tell you the right center or place to get the money exchanged. Please note that no Indian currency can be imported or exported, except for travelers checks. Travelers checks can be changed into rupees at any bank in India. Be aware that it can take several hours to cash travelers checks in small towns. Try to deal with large banks in large cities. Don’t accept large denomination notes, because they will be difficult to change, and don’t accept damaged or torn notes, because merchants will refuse them, especially in small towns. Keep a supply of small change. Very often taxi drivers and vendors will say that they don’t have change.
17. Can I pay in Euro, US Dollars or through credit cards in Ladakh ?
All the major currencies including Euro, US Dollars and Pounds are accepted in Ladakh. Credit Cards are not accepted by most of the hotels and travel agents except some antique shops.
18. What are the timings of the post office and other administrative offices in Ladakh ?
The post offices and banks are open from 1000 to 1630 hrs from Monday to Friday and from 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. The administrative offices are open from Monday to Friday from 0930 to 1700 hrs and 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. All the offices and banks are closed on holidays.
19. Is there any thing important while visiting monasteries and temples in Ladakh ?
The visitor should keep in mind that they are not visiting a museum but a religious place. Visitors are expected to wear dresses that do not expose their body too much. Also some monasteries and temples do not allow leather shoes, belts or handbags in their premises. When visiting temples and monasteries, women should cover their body with short or long sleeves tops and a long skirt or pants. Women should not wear sleeveless dresses or blouses. They need not cover their face or head. Men should wear long pants and a short-sleeved shirt. Visitors should remove their shoes and sandals before entering the monasteries and temples and should not eat, drink or smoke. The mural, paintings and other religious objects and decorative parts should not be touched. One should photograph only if this is allowed as per the guidelines (like avoid flashlights). Before photographing the inner chamber of sacred temples, be sure to get permission. It is not permitted to have the picture of main deity in some temples. Ladakh Tourism Guides will assist you more on about the behaviour and general customs within the temple premises.
20. What should I wear while on my tour to Ladakh ?
As a Westerner, feel free to wear anything, as long it is not very revealing like extremely tight jeans, low-cut blouses. It is extremely important for women to keep their legs covered as much as possible by wearing long skirts or pants. In Zanskar, the days are pretty warm and hot and the evenings are quite chilly thus requiring additional clothing. It is advisable to be prepared for this situation with shirt and shorts during the daytime and Jacket and pullover in the evening. While trekking above 4000 m, you need warm cloth. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need Wind sheeter or raincoat. Other essential items include a good sleeping bag, and a pair of woolen socks or some thick cotton socks. Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and Sandal is always handy. It is also essential to bring a quality tent or a warm sleeping Bag if the intention is to travel or trek around on your own, and a good quality rucksack for back packing. It is also important to carry your provisions from Srinagar or Kargil, if a longer tour of the adjoining villages is intended.
21. Are there any wildlife sanctuaries in Ladakh. Give me some information about them ?
There are no wildlife sanctuaries in Ladakh. But still, you can view the wildlife during your tour or while trekking in Ladakh. Some of the animals found in Ladakh are Snow Leopard, Urial, Nyan, Bharal, Yaks, Chiru. The best time to watch the wildlife is in the early morning and evening.
22. Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Ladakh ? Is there anything I need to consider while doing photography in Ladakh ?
Ladakh offers you great photographing options and it is a great fun while photographing in Ladakh as you will have enough sunlight most of the time. We suggest you to bring enough films with you to catch the endless beauty of Ladakh. In some of the monuments and monasteries you have to pay the fees for the photography. Our guide will suggest you where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the locations photography is not allowed. Do not photograph these objects otherwise your film can be confiscated. Always take permission before photographing people, monuments and monasteries. Don't take photo if they ask for money.
23. How safe is traveling in Ladakh ?
Ladakh is comparatively a safe state to travel. Crime rate against foreigners remain low. However specially to our female guests we recommend not be alone on the road after late evening just to be on the safer side. In case you need any help you can call the police at 100 and Ambulance at 102.
24. How is shopping in Ladakh ? Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart shopping in Ladakh ?
Ladakh is a shoppers paradise. There are various shopping places in Ladakh. However, we recommend you to shop from the government approved emporiums. You can bargain everywhere except in government craft emporiums, government textile shops, pharmacies, bookstores, or Western-style grocery stores. Even if a price is written on an object, ask the price and bargain from there. Decide what you are willing to spend for an item. Make this your last offer in a bargaining session. If the shop owner is willing to sell at your price, he will sell you the item without much argument. It is better to buy large and expensive items, such as rugs or jewellery, only from reputable dealers recommended by Indian acquaintances, hotels or your guide and driver. Most of the large stores also ship your purchase. Although, for convenience and to avoid postal delays, it is advisable to carry your purchased items with you or book it as baggage.
25. What shopping I can do in Ladakh ?
Ladakh's handicraft centres have an extraordinary collection of tea and chang pots, teacup stands and lids, hookkah bases, ladles, bowls and silver chorten for installation in temples and domestic shrines. Iron stoves, Carved tables, Baskets, Woolen shawls, pullovers, jackets are the perfect showpieces and ideal gifts for friends.
26. How much should I give as tipping while traveling in Ladakh ?
Tipping is expected by most of the people involved in the tourism in Ladakh. In big hotels service charges are included in the bills so tipping is not necessary otherwise 10% of the amount of the billing is normally provided as tipping. If you are traveling with a group the tipping can be reduced to 5% of the total bill. For the porters in the hotels Rs.20 for a single baggage and in the case of a group Rs.10 per baggage is customary. For tour guides and escorts we recommend 1 to 2 USD per day per person and same is also for the driver accompanying you during your Ladakh tour. However the mentioned amounts are just to give travelers an idea. There is no “must” or “compulsion” of tipping in Ladakh. We advice you to measure the quality of services of particular person or establishment before thinking of tipping !
27. Are there any restrictions on the export of articles from Ladakh ?
The Government has put restrictions on the export of the wild animals from the country. It has also put ban on the export of the articles made from the wild animals like skins, belts, furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies, etc. Except peacock feathers and handicrafts made from them and various items and shavings of Antler, Cheetals and Sambars are not banned, subject to conditions. Export of exotic birds is also not allowed. However, the items made exclusively out of imported timber are exempted subject to conditions. Also, export of sandalwood in any form like logs, timber, roots bark, chip, powder, dust flakes, pulp and charcoal, excluding finished handicrafts and machine-finished products is prohibited. Export of furs of domestic animals, hides and skins is also prohibited except the Lamb fur. Antiques which include sculpture, painting or other works of art and craft, illustrative works of science and religion and of historical interest which are more than hundred years old may not be exported from India. Manuscripts or other documents of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic older than seventy five years also can not be exported out of India. Recently Airport taxes are being collected at the time of issuing the tickets to India. Please always confirm with your Airline if the taxes are to paid at the airport at the time of departure from India.
28. I want to know more about www.trekkingteamnepal.com ! Why should I book the tour through this agency?
Trekking Team is a recognized tour operator and holiday planner in Ladakh. We not only organize tours in Ladakh, but also in other parts of India, Nepal and Bhutan. We not only organize the tours as they are printed in the itinerary but also work out any special tailor made itinerary in any area of the Indian subcontinent. We also organize special interest tours for women only. Ladakh Tourism is associated with a team of Tour Escorts and Guides who are fluent in different languages having long experience and are highly qualified and have also spent many years abroad. To know more about Ladakh Tourism and its team please refer to "About Us" or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
29. What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked for during my tour? Or how safe is my tour with Ladakh Tourism ?
Ladakh Tourism provide you a guarantee in the form of certificate which means that your traveling is safe with us. The certificate is attested by the Notary Public. In that certificate it is specified that Ladakh Tourism undertakes the guarantee that it would provide all the services as decided according to the mutual agreement between you and them.
30. Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?
No, our company does not provide any sort of medical insurance. It is advisable that you get the insurance from your country only.
31. How do we settle the payment? Is there an advance deposit required ?
We need 10% of the total tour cost as an advance at the time of the confirmation of the tour. This is to be sure that your booking is genuine and we can go ahead with the reservations. The rest of the due amount can be paid before your arrival in Ladakh. On special request you can also make the payment after your arrival. This can be agreed upon as per the type of tour and the amount we have to pay in advance to the hotels and our other associate offices for making the reservations.
32. How can I make the payment ?
There are various payment options by which you can make payment to Trekking Team. You can make payment by cash, bank transfer, online credit card payment, Paypal, Cheque, Travelers checks and demand draft. If you have booked the tour through our associate offices then you can make the payment to them and get the confirmation from us. If you wish to use another option of payment suitable to you, then we would assist you. Please send us your queries and specify the country of your residence.
33. What type of information is required in order to confirm the booking ?
In order to confirm the booking with us we require some of the information like
a. Passport no.
b. Date of passport issue
c. Validity of passport
d. Passport issued at
e. Date of Birth
f. Your complete name as in the passport
g. Complete address
h. Your Nationality
i. Your Visa Number, if you already have the visa
j. Your telephone Number
k. Your mobile number if any
l. Your arrival Date, Airline number and time
m. Your departure date, Airline number and time
You can fill up all these information and send it to us so that we will confirm your hotel booking. At the time of check in at the hotel, you need to please handover a copy of such details at the hotel reception so that you do not have to fill up the information forms of the hotel and it also saves the time.
34. Do people understand English and other foreign languages in Ladakh ?
English is widely spoken and understood at almost all tourist centers. But we highly recommend you to take qualified and government recognized guides during your sightseeing in Ladakh. We are associated with Guides in Ladakh who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you understand Ladakh better and give you useful tips for your Journey to Ladakh !
35. Can I drive in Ladakh ?
Though it is permissible to drive in Ladakh but we strongly recommend you not to drive as the condition of roads and traffic rules do not match with Western countries. Driving here is on the left, as in Japan, Hong Kong, and Britain. There are cyclists, buses, trucks, rickshaws, camels, cows, goats, pigs, countless pedestrians on roads. Chances are more to meet with an accident if you drive on your own. It is always advisable to hire a driver as they are trained and familiar with local traffic sense.
36. What are the different greetings used in Ladakh ?
Ladakh is a land of diversity thus you will notice that different people use different greetings. Like, Hindus say “Namaste”, Muslims say, “Salaam al-eikum” (Sah-lahm ah-lay-kuhm) and the Sikhs say “Sat Sri Akal” (Saht shree ah-kahl).
37. What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in Ladakh ?
The general greeting is “Namaste” (nah-mahs-tay). You can do this for “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” or “Good evening”. While saying Namaste hold your palms together at chin level and nod (never bow) your head. In major cities, men usually shake hands, while women use the more traditional greeting. In general, you can shake hands with men and say Namaste to women. Ji is used following a name as a sign of respect, e.g., Gandhi-ji. Note that a Hindu may greet a man by adding “sahib” (“sir” or “master”) to the name (Mr.Jones-sahib) and woman by adding “ji”(Miss Jones-ji) as a sign of respect. Don’t use first names unless you know someone very well. Use “Mr.”, “Mrs.,” or “Miss". Use titles such as “Professor” and “Doctor,” and use “Sir” or “Madam” with a superior/elders. Only people of the same sex can hug one another.
38. How do Indians welcome their guests ?
Indians follow very traditional style to welcome their honored guests. The garlands of flowers are used in formal occasions, such as in the inauguration of building or company, in the receptions of a distinguished visitor, or at the end of a concert. The garlands are draped around the neck of the honored person. If you are a receiver of a garland, wear the flowers for a few minutes, then remove the garland and give it to someone else or else hold on to it. Never leave it behind, except at the foot of a statue in a temple.
39. How can I identify people from various religions ?
Ladakh has people from varied religions it is sometimes difficult to tell Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs - with so many people in Western dress. You can identify them by their names like; Muslims have as part of their name “Muham-med”, “Ali”, “Khan” or “Hussein” Muslim women have “Jan” or “Begum” at the end of their name. Common Hindu names are “Krishna”, “Gopal”, “Vijay”, “Rajendra” and “Prakash”. Religious Sikhs can be identified by the turbans that they wear and their first name is usually followed by “Singh” if man and “Kaur” if woman.
40. What about the public facilities in Ladakh ?
The public facilities are rarely good, including all the major cities. You will find Western style toilets in all the standard hotels and restaurants. Be prepared to find them not so clean as you are used to in your country. Indian trains usually have both Indian and Western-style toilets. You will find public bathrooms and toilets in hotels, restaurants, railway stations, bus stations and some shops in big cities. There is usually a picture on the door to indicate which bathroom is for which sex. In some places, there may be a row of stalls with Indian-style “squat” toilets and one that is Western – style. But in small cities or towns where the tourist flow is less facilities are rather poor. Keep toilet paper or tissues, paper soaps or liquid soaps with you for convenience.
41. What caution should one tourist take – when it comes to legal matter and safety ?
Don’t bring guns or pornography into India. Be prepared to declare radios, cameras, and other electronic equipment on a special form. Customs will check to make sure that you take those items out with you when you leave the country. Be aware that the police can be very arbitrary. In case of a small theft, it’s better to forget it than to go to the police. Report any significant theft to the police so that you can have a statement for your insurance company. It’s very unlikely that you will recover the stolen goods. To minimize the possible loss of money, never carry a large amount in cash with you. ATM's, are also available in all big and small cities at the bank premises.
42. What precautions should I take regarding my health while in India?
Always take some toilet paper rolls with you since toilet paper may be difficult to obtain outside large cities. Soap, toothpaste, and toiletries are readily available. Tampons are more difficult to find than sanitary napkins, so women who use tampons should bring a supply. Wash your hand as often as you can, avoid eating uncooked and cold food, especially from the street vendors, drink only mineral water. One should take care that the bottles are sealed. Never buy ice cream from a street vendor as stomach may not like the water or milk used in making the ice cream. At the initial start of your tour for first few days avoid spicy food. You can always tell the waiters at the restaurants that you would like to have less spicy food. Avoid mild made drinks unless for first few days at least ! In case of any emergency ask your guide or driver to take you to a doctor. Indian doctors are well experienced and medicines are easily available.
43. What is advisable to eat and drink in Ladakh ?
We advice our guests to drink bottled water, bottled drinks. The water in the hotels can be used for cleaning the tooth and body but avoid drinking this water. The mineral water is available in sealed bottles which is purified and quite safe to drink. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Take water purification piles with you. And you can use boiled fresh water during the trek. Avoid eating spicy food. It is suggested to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh fruits after removing their skin. After taking the above precautions you will realize that Ladakh has a wonderful cuisine and rarely any other place meet such varieties.
44. Give me general information about local transport available in Ladakh ?
Various means of local transport in Ladakh ranges from cycle-rickshaws to auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses. Local buses are usually over crowded and should be avoided. Auto-rickshaw and taxis are easily available and can be used if necessary. You can ask at information desks at the airport or in hotels to get an idea of the fare. At major airports, there are prepaid booths, where you can pay and then you will be given a receipt to be given to the driver.
45. Can you tell me something about train journey in Ladakh ? As a foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in Ladakh safe and comfortable ?
A train journey is considered as an interesting way if you want to explore the natural beauty and village life in Ladakh. From trains you can watch the landscape unfold like pages of a colourful picture book, or acquaint yourself with your fellow travelers who make interesting profiles. Rail journey in Ladakh can be a memorable experience for you if you reserve your seat well in advance, to avoid any inconvenience later on. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Before getting in line to arrange for your sleeper, fill out a sleeper reservation form, which you will find in the counters around the reservation hall. Your ticket will indicate your compartment and berth seat number. Allow plenty of time before departing to find your seat. Sleeper and seat numbers are displayed on lists posted on the platform and outside each carriage, along with passenger's name. The nearest railway station is located at Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is the last station to Leh and from here you have to take your own conveyance.
46. I am an enthusiastic adventurous tourist ? What are the various options for me in Ladakh ?
An adventure sports lover will rarely find time to stay idle in Ladakh. In Ladakh, you can go for the trekking on mountains, enjoy river rafting, mountain climbing or mountaineering, camel safari, jeep safari, cycling, yak safari. Ladakh is the paradise for mountain climbing as there are so many peaks and mountains to climb. Trekking options include short, day-long walks up and down mountain slopes or long and trans mountain treks. Exciting river rafting options are also available along the Indus river and its major tributaries.
47. I am interested in trekking in Ladakh. What are the various options ?
The Tourist office in Ladakh regularly updates its store of information on the region. Tourists undertaking mountaineering expedition on hard and difficult routes are well advised to inform the Tourist Office at Kargil about their routes and proposed program so as to monitor their welfare. Trekking possibilities include short, day-long walks up and down mountain slopes to visit isolated villages or monastic settlements, or across a ridge to enjoy the sheer beauty of the mountains or long, trans mountain treks involving weeks of walking and camping in the wilderness.
48. What are the various precautions to be undertaken while trekking in Ladakh ?
For trekking in Ladakh to be a rewarding experience, it is not enough to be physically fit, but at the same time the trekkers must also be prepared to face the rigors of weather. There are considerable fluctuations in day and night temperatures even during the peak summers. While the days are pretty warm, even hot, evening become chilly, requiring additional clothing. It is, therefore, advisable to keep a pullover and jacket handy. A sturdy pair of walking shoes with strong rubber or synthetic soles for grip, thick cotton socks (woolen for autumn trek or glacier walks) and a good sleeping bag together with an insulated ground pad are essential gear for going on a trek even if you may be passing through inhabited areas with the possibility of accommodation in village homes or monasteries. In case of extended treks across mountain passes, a water-proof tent will have to be carried besides provisions and cooking gear, all packed in a good quality rucksack. Additional requirements could include a balaclava, woolen undergarments, wind parkas, etc. Toiletries and first-aid kits could include lip salve, moisturizers and sun cream, water purifying tablets, medicines for high altitude sickness, etc. A good quality water can is must to carry the drinking water which is essential during high altitude trekking in arid conditions. Do not forget to carry a flashlight with sufficient spare batteries, a hat and a pair of good quality sunglasses with sufficient filter-factor to check the sun's brightness and ultraviolet rays. Various items like two-man tents, insulated ground sheets, sleeping bags, insulated jackets, trekking shoes and rucksacks are available at the government shops at reasonable charges for hire. Some private establishments and trekking agencies in Leh also provide similar trekking gear on hire.