Summers has hugged India tight but while the life gets hot in plains, it gets completely chilled-out at the hills, as the glaciers and river start to flow again, the greens of the hills make for the fresh view and people come out of the many layers of clothing to something lighter. So, with the trend, here we feature one of the best summer destinations of India – Ladakh, as it preps up to celebrate the famous Hemis mask festival in the valley. Read on to know the region better. Don’t miss the recipe section for a dig-in dish, apt for the couch time.
Hope you would enjoy reading it!
Have Sunny Summers!
Eyed By Indian Zing
Grand Dragon Resort, Ladakh
Established in the year 2007, The Grand Dragon Ladakh, one of the first luxury hotels in Ladakh, is owned and operated by the Abdu family from Leh, who have more than 40 years of experience welcoming visitors to the beautiful region.
It is decorated magnificently with handmade paintings by Gulam Mustafa (First modern Artist of Ladakh) around every corner, and fixtures that are reminiscent of royalty.
Spread over an area of 220 sq ft, the Deluxe rooms overlook the verdant gardens, the magnificent views of the Stok Kangri Snow Capped Mountains, Khardong la pass Mountains, Leh Palace, and Shanti Stupa. The rooms are enhanced with modern guest facilities to make the stay comfortable and a memorable one even in winters.
The attention to detail offered by the associates, coupled with the magnificent views, will guarantee you take back home sweet memories.
Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh plays host to the popular yearly festival day called Hemis Festival. This 2-day festival is celebrated as the birth of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.
During the festival, the locals get dressed-up in traditional clothes, where men wear cummerbunds and women wear vibrant headgears and loads of jewelry. The Lamas perform sacred masked dance, accompanied by musical drums, long horns and cymbals.
The small courtyard of the ancient monastery is choc-a-bloc with locals and tourists snugly seated to watch the festivities unravel. Elaborate masked dances and music are the biggest draw, apart from the local food that one can sample in stalls outside. There are also a large variety of souvenirs that people can take back home.
When: June, every year Where:Ladakh
Ladakh is mesmerizing picture perfect destination featuring arid jagged mountains and colourful monasteries dramatically crowning the rocky outcrops and stupas. Ladakh is one of those places with unparalleled beauty of its barren stretches of land, lush green patches, gurgling streams & rivers, nestled in the midst of large expanses of snow capped mountains of the majestic Himalaya's. Its unfathomable beauty, almost musical silence of nature, earthy shades of brown against the turquoise blue & the welcoming people of Ladakh need to be experienced to be known.
Monasteries are the unique flavor and beauty of the Leh Ladakh. No trip to this place is complete without a visit to one of the beautiful monasteries Leh boasts of.
Pangong, Tsomoriri, Tsokar and Chandrataal are some of the lakes that are breathtakingly beautiful. Among the various lakes, Pangong, Tsomoriri and Chandrataal even offer you a chance to live in tents.
Claimed to be the highest motorable pass in the world, the ride up this road sure makes for an adventurous journey. This is one of the most famous landmarks of this place.
The Magnetic Hill is at the height of 14,000 feet above sea level and is extremely close to Leh city. Located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltik national highway, the hill is said to have magnetic powers that are strong enough to pull cars uphill even when they are switched off.
Over to the Spiti side, at 4200 metres, lies the world’s highest village,, which is home to many white-washed houses.
On the other side of Khardung La lies the Nubra Valley. From Diskit to Hunder lies a huge stretch of white sand dunes. It’s a sight that is bound to take your breath away. Here you will find the two hump camels too.
There are small Tibetan bazaars, general stores and some souvenir shops spread about in the many lanes of Leh Market. The market is also dotted with some amazing eateries.
From the Kitchen...
Chicken Kozhi Fry
Chicken Kozhi fry is a Chettinad recipe popular in Tamil Nadu. Though most of the Chettinad dishes are known for its blend of fresh spices, this one is different as it’s not loaded with spices. Let’s get started:
2 chicken legs
1 onion; 1 carrot
5 gm ginger & 4-5 cloves of garlic
7 spring onions
3 green chilies
200 ml water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
Handful of noodles
Finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic, spring onions and green chilies.
Heat olive oil and shallow fry the chicken till it turns light brown. Now add all the chopped stuff, and sliced carrot.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and some fresh coriander leaves and saute. Add water and let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Then squeeze in lemon. Add the soya sauce and honey.
Stir the broth gently and cover it. Let it simmer away for 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth and shred it. Add noodles in the broth and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the shredded chicken back and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with some spring onions, green chili and fresh coriander.