Snow Leopard Trek
Although there are many superb destinations in the country ideal for experiencing the best of nature, if you are craving for the raw magnificence of nature and you are yet to witness the grandeur of Leh Ladakh, then you are certainly missing out on a huge part. Leh is stupendous in every aspect and is also an ideal trekking destination. I did my trekking wholeheartedly in Leh and I was truly overwhelmed by my journey.
My recent expedition was called the Snow Leopard Trek, and yes it is in Leh and it did allow me to witness the beautiful ghost cat, Snow Leopard. The destination was the Hemis National Park at 4100 m and packed an amazing trail altogether. It was a pleasant experience for me, I got to bask in the glory of nature, have an outstanding travel experience and gaze at the thunderous landscape all around. I also saw some really beautiful animals and exotic birds like Eurasian Brown Bear, Tibetan Wolves, and even Blue Horned Sheep. The ghost cat, Snow Leopard was a prime attraction and yes extremely satisfied at the sight of this incredible animal.
For the first couple of days, I dedicated my time only to explore the rich natural wonders of Leh. The monasteries and the marketplaces were extremely appealing and the incredible setting of the famous Shanti Stupa needs a notable mention. Other monasteries like Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Gompa and places like Shey Palace, Stok Palace Museum were stellar.
As I reached Zingchen via the daunting Rumbak Valley, the shift in the landscape was breathtaking. The locals exclaimed how they often saw a Snow Leopard in the lower parts of the valley, but I was not blessed with such a sight.
I spent a total of four days exploring the Hemis National Park, and each and every day was marvelous in the laps of nature. The setting of the park was enchanting and the beautiful ambiance was supreme. On the first two days of exploration, I saw many fascinating animals exclusive to this region like the Blue Sheep and Argali. The encounter with a Tibetan Wold was somehow frightening. The beautiful migratory birds were ecstatic and wonderful to gaze at.
I was feeling low as I was yet to witness a Snow Leopard so on the third decided to descend down to the lower parts of the park where the Snow Leopards often came to drink water. And there I was, looking at this incredible creature having a time of its life. The Snow Leopard can react to slightest of sounds and any sudden movement triggers them to vanish in split second. I was observing this astounding creature, perched on a high rock, taking in the gleaming sun. I was totally bewildered by the sight was extremely happy to have witnessed it. The next day I spent, exploring the park and the rich flora of the region. It was mesmerizing and captivating in every aspect.
My days in Hemis National Park was over and I was traveling back to Leh via the famous Stok Village. On my way, I also visited a pass and was totally enthralled by the amazing setting and the picturesque surrounding. In Stok Village, I did visit the Stok Palace Museum before finally ending my journey back to Leh.
This was an unforgettable journey, though the trail was not daring or thrilling, the sight of the compelling Snow Leopard was out of the world. If you wish to see a snow leopard wandering on its own, this place is ideal.