Why Did Ladakh Ecological Footprint Come into Existence?

The reason for starting our organization was "natural." Modern society often responds to environmental problems by waiting for someone to do something or for something to happen. We believe this is not the way to make a difference: The environment is everyone's business and something has to be done to save it and make it better. In light of this belief, we started Ladakh Ecological Footprint, an organization which aims to make a vital contribution

 

to the future of ladakh's ecological system by helping people to find trying more sustainable ways to engage with this system, and enjoy it for times to come. To accomplish this mission, Ladakh Ecological Footprint tries to raise people's awareness about Ladakh's enviroment by organizing ecologically conscious treks and giving people a chance to understand Ladakh's society and culture from the inside out.

 

Ladakh

about Ladakh

Ladakh is popularly known as "The land of Numerous Passes", "The Land of Mystic Lamas", "The Broken Moon" and "The Last Shangri-La". It is a land like no other, situated in Indian Himalaya in Jammu And Kashmir State. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Greater Himalaya and the Karakoram, and it lies athwart two others, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range.

 


Leh is one of the favorite tourist destinations located in the northernmost part of India. Lapped in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas, Leh has been the center of Tibetan-Buddhist Culture since ages. Its colorful Gompa have attracted the devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Besides, it is also a favorite hiking locale and is known for some of the best hikes in the country.

 


Ladakh is a high altitude desert plateau, once covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exists on its South-East plateau of Rupshu and Chushul - in drainage basins with evocative names like Tso-Moriri, Tsokar and Pangong Lake. With Dras, Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the Himalayan's Northern flank. It is spread over an area of 97,000 sq. kms. and lies on an average of 3,500 meters.

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When to come?

Ladakh is open for tourist throughout the year, while the best period for tour and trek is from 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. The best period for Chadar trek is from January to Mid-March. The festivals of Stok, Matho and New Year take place in winter. It is possible to visit monasteries in winter, as there are many centrally heated hotels in Leh.

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What to bring?

Clothing: The Temperature in mid summer is pleasant and t-shirt and half pant in the daytime and in Evening temperature come down and need Jacket or pullover. While trekking above 4000m, you need warm cloth. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need Wind sheeter or raincoat.

Shoes: Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and Sandal is useful while crossing the rivers.

Ruck Sack: Two Ruck Sack is needed. One small handbag for your Camera, Water bottle, Pack lunch and a space for Jacket. Bigger one for carrying Clothes with extra layer to be safe from rain and dust.

Sleeping Bag: Warm sleeping Bag.

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How to reach?

Air-Indian Air Lines operates regular flight to Leh from Delhi, twice a week between Leh to Jammu and once a week from Srinagar. Jet Airways Operates daily flight between Leh to Delhi.

Road There are two overland routes the Srinagar to Leh road remains open from early June to November. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation operates regular deluxe and ordinary bus services.

The Manali - Leh road remains open from mid June to early October. Himachal Pradesh tourism, HRTC and Manali private bus union, operates a daily bus services, which takes two days to reach Leh, after a night halt at Sarchu or Darcha.

Taxi- Taxies are also available at Leh, Manali and Srinagar.

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Climate

Temperature in summer (June to September) can touch 30C and -20C in late December and January. Annual rainfall is 6".

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Permit and Passport

Tourist don't require permit for Leh; however,
all foreigners are required to registered at Drass, Rumtse and Sarchu if they are traveling by road. Those traveling by air get themselves registered at the airport. The tourist are required to get a permit for restricted areas like Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lakes, Dhahanu and Nubra Valley, which can be obtain through registered travel agencies. Make it sure to carry six photocopies of the permit while traveling, to submit at the Checking points.

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Money Exchange

All the money should be changed with authorized moneychanger, available at various places. You should insist for a receipt, which will help you in reconverting the money whenever you desire.

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Time difference

The standard time of India is calculated from Alahabad, and is common to all cities in the country. Indian standard time (ISD) is 5 hours
and 30 minutes ahead of London, 4 hours and
30 minutes ahead of Paris and about 10 hours
and 30 minutes behind New York.

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Credit Cards

Credit Cards are not accepted by most of the hotels and travel agents except some antique shops.

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Post and Telecommunication

Telephone & Fax and post facilities are available in Leh, Padum, Kargil and Nubra valley. Internet Services- Internet, Email services are available in Leh only.

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Plastic Bags

Do not use plastic bag since plastic is officially banned in Ladakh. Always separate and properly dispose off litter burns burnable, bury biodegradable materials while trekking.

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National Parks

Don't distrub wild life during the trek; be aware of the highly sensitive ecology and the economy of the geographical and cultural landscape.

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Avoid Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one
at an altitude above 10,000 ft. from the sea level. The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache disturb sleep loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. Since Leh Town is situated at
an altitude of 11,500 ft. above sea level. It is advisable to take the following precautions, so
as to acclimatize your body properly.

1. Take complete rest for the first 36 hours
of your arrival at Leh. However, this period
may vary with different people.

2. Your body should get used to the lower
oxygen levels.

3. Incase you develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please consult a Doctor.

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Rescue and precaution
for mountaineering and
trekking in Ladakh

Tourist undertaking mountaineering and trekking in Ladakh, whether in groups or individual, should take some precuations. There is no private aerial rescue agency in Ladakh and only as a life saving measure; engaging the Indian Air Force help in evacuation.

Government of India Ministry of Defence has authorized the station Commander, Air Force Station Leh, to airlift for rescue cum causality evacuation of members of mountaineering expedition and trekking parties in distress in
the available IAF aircraft helicopter on the following conditions: -

1.The evacuees should give an undertaking to
the effect that payment on account of the cost
of the aircraft for rescue will be borne either by the travel insurance company or by the individual concerned.

2.The evacuees are also responsible for reimbursements of loss/ damage to the aircraft/helicopter while undertaking the
task of rescue causality evacuation, deviation, diversion, return to base and for the liabilities
due on above account-to IAF, as well as compensation to any individual including the aircrew, which may become payable as a result
of any accident/incident.

3.The authorities empowered to place the demand for airlift of any causality require the following forms to be filled by the evacuess for settlement of bills with air force headquarter.

a.Form of guarantee of full payment.
b.Form of acceptance certificate.
c.Form of indemnity bond.
d.Photocopy of insurance policy card.
e.Photo of passport. All the above forms can
be obtained from Dy. Director, TRC Leh.

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Tipping

Tipping has become common in Ladakh, as pony men, helpers, guides and cooks expect tips after finishing the tour. Big hotels and restaurants already charge 10% service charge.

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Photograhing of People

Take permission before you click a photograph of any one. Don't take photo if they ask for money.

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Water purification

Take water purification piles with you. And you can use boiled fresh water during the trek.
Dzomsa Laundry sells high pressure boiled water for Rs.7 per liter. Bring you own water container.

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Books

Reach Ladakh by Tundup Dorjey is only Guidebook providing basic, Trekking and all other tourism related information on Ladakh. Cross road to high Asia by Janet Rizvi from oxford university press, gives through information on Ladakhi history and culture. Ancient Feature Learning from Ladakh by Helena Norbag gives information regarding farming system and culture in Ladakh. Getting started to Ladakhi by Rebecca Norman is recommended if you are interested in learning a few Ladakhi phrases. The Monasteries of Ladakh by Ge. Thupstan provides historical background of the monasteries.

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Other Guide Books

Detail trekking information is offered in a guidebook "Trekking in Ladakh" by Charlie Loram from Trail Blazer Publications. Reach Ladakh, trekking in Ladakh and Zangskar and Trekking in Indian Hilmalaya by Lonely Planet.

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The Ladakh Ecological Footprint@2011
call 0091-9906977846 or email me directly at
stanzin@ecologicalfootprint.in
 
 
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