Hidden Jewels Of Ladakh – Maan village

Have you ever thought of spending a peaceful time in the mountains? Did crowd and pollution played a deterrent in taking the step? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. You are from the lot constantly looking for an offbeat destination. In this blog, we are going to introduce one such getaway location to avoid all the noise and stress.

Every year thousands of the tourists flock to Ladakh to witness its majestic beauty. The number of tourists (both domestic and foreign nationals) has tripled in the last 10 years. The location, advertisement and media played a vital role in increased tourism. Earlier it was a hot pick for foreign nationals, the trend, however, has reversed in the last couple of years. It has brought both employment and pollution to the place at the same time.

A lot has been said and written about things to do in Ladakh. Most of them, however, promote only a few places. The reasons behind are the rough terrain, inaccessibility of the locations and lesser information. The promoted list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of jewels hidden in the cold desert. One of such destinations is called Maan.

The village is at a distance of around 70 km from Leh. One can reach by the road from Leh by passing Chang La pass. The village is on the shores of the world famous Pangong Lake. On the back side of the village are the beautiful mountains of the Himalayan range.

The temperature during winter reaches to -20 degree Celsius. The summers are the ideal season to visit the place.

The villagers are hospitable and warm in the approach towards outsiders. One can live an authentic nomadic life by staying in here. The village is home to 35 families who work as farmers, labours and in tourists camps away from the village. The women make beautiful handicrafts by traditional equipments. The rooms are big and you can see the endless blue lake and mountains from the window. The development has not reached completely in the village. A few houses have made arrangements for the tourists to stay. You can treat your taste buds by the local cuisine, which is very healthy as well.

Where to Stay?

Mountain Homestays is working for the livelihood generation for the indigenous Himalayan communities. They have set up homestays keeping the traditions and values of communities alive. The booking can be done well in advance and the team will do the rest for you. The initiative works for the sustainable development of the remote mountain communities.

If you have been looking for ways to give back to society, this could be a wonderful medium to channel the efforts. The homestays listed with the group are of villagers and ensure the authentic experience for a traveller. You also add to the village economy by staying in the homes. The benefits of staying in a homestay are endless and each contributes to the rural community. The pollution, for instance, is very less/zero, if you stay in these beautiful houses. They don’t use plastics, dump garbage in the lake or surroundings or create trouble for endangered species around. They value their tradition which teaches to stay in harmony with all other living and non-living beings of the universe.

Things to do

Hiking – Morning walk and run are obsolete terms now. Stay in the village and enjoy a short morning hike on the beautiful Himalayan range. The villagers are nomadic in nature and can take you on different hikes on demand. The place is very remote and inaccessible to most of the crowd, which means the beauty is still intact. Please make sure that you don’t carry any plastic material, water bottles or anything to harm the environment. If you are carrying anything to eat, make sure to bring back the wrappers. 

Archery – This is a favourite part-time sport for Ladakh. From the ancient time, Ladakhis are good archers. The tradition has been kept alive by generations. One can find a bow and arrows in most of the houses of indigenous community. Imagine yourself standing on an open land with mountains at one side and Pangong on another while shooting an arrow. Wouldn’t that be a story to narrate again and again?

Handicrafts – If you are fond of heritage and culture, entire Ladakh is a delight. The Maan is no exception, women make beautiful handicrafts at home. The machines are traditional and the output is authentic. Discover the hidden talent and buy some souvenirs for the loved ones from your journey to the roof of the world

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