Ladakh apricot blossom is a relatively little-known sight. A brilliantly azure sky, the warmth of the spring sun on your face and the barren landscapes of Ladakh. This in itself is a mighty picture. But add to that the pretty white flowers of the apricot trees, in full bloom, and what you get is a scene one only sees in movies.
Being a vital input in the kitchens of Ladakh as well as an important source of income, the valleys of Ladakh are lush with apricot trees. Locals eat them in many forms and always have some lying around to offer to guests. For about a month during April, the valleys come alive with the vibrancy of these pink-centered white flowers and it is a sight to behold! If you’ve wanted to visit Japan to witness the cherry blossoms, the apricot blossoms in Ladakh offers you a very similar experience without burning a hole in your pocket.
Plan your holiday around these blossoms. Wake up to the fresh morning air and enjoy a cup of hot tea near a gurgling stream. Laze around in the vast fields dotted with these blossoming trees. Lie on the grass and look up at the sky through the netting of the brilliant flowers. Explore the lush, lesser-seen version of the Leh-Kargil region.
Usually treated as a night halt, Kargil promises these sights beginning April. Flower buds begin to swell on apricot trees when those trees start to awaken from winter dormancy and before new leaves grow. Full bloom occurs when the five white petals of an apricot blossom open fully. The Apricot Bloom can be witnessed in different locations like Hardass Village, Kaksar Village, The Aryan Valley and many more.
From Kargil, one can also visit the often-neglected Sapi Lake. High up on the Sapi Mountain, close to the glacier lies the stunning Sapi Lake. The lake is surrounded by rich flora including medicinal plants and like most lakes of Ladakh, changes colours ranging from a milky white to a brilliant blue. The lake is considered holy by both the Buddhist and Muslim communities of Sapi and a festival is held here in October where people pay their respect to the sacred lake.
Once a royal retreat, Sapi was frequented by the local royal families. The men would play polo or hunt while the women spent their time admiring the beauty all around. Only a 1.5-2 hours drive from Kargil, Sapi makes for an excellent day trip. One has to drive to Sapi village and then trek upwards from there. If you’ve seen the bigger lakes of Ladakh, Sapi may not rival their enormity or jaw-dropping landscapes.
But if like us, you visit the mountains for a respite from your daily grind and want to rest your battered soul amidst the peace and quiet with untouched views, go to Sapi Lake. Take a picnic basket and just laze around its banks. Take in the quietly changing moods of the sky and see them reflected on the lake. Strum your guitar over an overnight camping session, if you like and be lost in the small, pristine haven.
Holiday Plan Summary for Ladakh Apricot Blossom ( April )
You will arrive in Leh and spend a day in acclimatisation. Just unwind, rest and relax
- Drive to the Aryan Villages of Dah & Hanu to get insight into their culture and apricot blossoms.
- Drive to Kargil visiting village Hunderman on way and get enamoured by the apricot blossoms.
- An off roading day to the beautiful valley of stakpa Umba, recommended for road trip lovers. This trips begins from Sankoo and goes all the way to Drass. Visit Vijay War Memorial in Drass
- Day hiking trip to Sapi Lake
- Return drive to Leh
- Now you can either return back home or you can take a 3 day Nubra – Pangong trip by spending a night each in Nubra & Pangong
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Thank you very much to you and your team for arranging this fantastic tour. One of the best pick from this tour was your meticulous planning and promptness of service. All arrangements were fantastic, be it a delivery of vehicle at Chandigarh airport, hotels particularly at Chandigarh, Leh, Nubra, Pangong. However the best was at Jispa, Kargil and Srinagar for different reasons. Jispa was simple but authentic with very tasty food.
Rajesh & Gauri Natu
Graphic Designer, Apple
Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.
Absolute Networks, Mumbai
Wow. wow, wow. What a experience! We took the route of Delhi - Jammu - Srinagar - Leh - Sarchu - Manali - Delhi. Sunil Kapoor gave us excellent service which includes his next to new 4WD in immaculate condition and all hotels were top class. Coming from Australia, we were bit nervous in start but when we met Sunil, we had full trust and all went very positive. Sunil gave us perfect instructions and everything was according to plan. Thank you Sunil and your team for our one of the best experience in life you have provided us.
Director, Webential, Australia
Eight of us from Sri Lanka got Sunil to arrange a self driven tour to Leh and we are very happy with our decision. He was punctual, trustworthy and met our expectations. The service provided was very professional. As foreigners it’s hard to arrange such a tour by ourselves and Unwind outdoor filled in the gap perfectly. All places we stayed were nice and decent. Should specifically mention about the two Scorpios which we instantly fell in love with. They were very well maintained ...
Friends from SriLanka
After days of research, we finally came across a facebook page called ‘Unwind Outdoors’. It seemed like our dream was going to be finally true. Very reasonably priced and Sunil from Unwind was like a know-it-all person.
The itinerary was so crisp and so very well laid out that there was no reason for us to worry other than coping up with nature’s fury.
Clifford Chance, Delhi
We did a SUV self drive trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh and back organized by Unwind Outdoor.
Highly recommend Unwind Outdoor as Sunil and Manpreet took care of everything we needed (car, hotel bookings, sightseeing and food recommendations, permits) and everything was organized seamlessly. Sunil was very patient with all our queries, giving suggestions and options to suit our preferences.
Ashish & Neha Thadani
Great to see the know-how of the Unwind Outdoor team regarding every aspect of the Srinagar - Leh - Chandigarh self drive trip. From weather conditions, to road conditions, to health/clothing requirements, and also driving instructions - Sunil and Manpreet are warm, meticulous and knowledgable. Villa Himalaya in Sonamarg surpassed all our expectations and ensured that our expected standards for the rest of the trip were extremely high.
Symbiosis Law School, Mumbai
Thanks Sunil for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything went well and we were in good hands with friendly and competent drivers. Accommodation was good and tents were comfortable beyond our expectations. We didn't have problem with food choices. It was a totally rejuvenating vacation and experience for us. Thanks from us in Singapore!
We had an amazing 9-day from Manali to Leh. Serene, breathless and picturesque. High altitude sickness was a big issue for us but we were in good hands.
Unwind Outdoor was superb in arranging and coordinating the trip. Taking care of all arrangements and checking-in on us. Kudos to Sunil and his team.
Assistant Director, Jurong Town Corporation, Singapore
We travelled as a couple & completed a self drive trip from Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Pangong-Tso Moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi. Itinerary was meticulously designed to be a mix of adventure and comfort. Hotel choices were best. Support was available at all points in case of emergency.Vehicle provided was top notch. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Kapoor for personally putting in efforts to maintain such high standards.
Nikhil & Neha Mazumdar
Manager L&T, Mumbai
Six of us (two families) travelled to Leh in Jul / Aug 2015 and we had an excellent experience with Unwind Outdoor. From the very beginning of our excited planning phase, Sunil has been willingly suggesting us options, number of days, places to visit etc. He has all the knowledge of the terrain, passionate about trekking and traveling himself, so he understands travel-crazy people such as me and my quirks.
We landed in Leh in time for cloudbursts and flashfloods and landslides (along with mud and rocks sliding too). Despite Nature's fury, Sunil and Skarma made sure we were utmost safe and comfortable. These guys are just not into travel business, they help people fulfil their travel dreams. Truly! Go guys!!
Barclays Bank, Bangalore