Hemis National Park is a high altitude national park in eastern Ladakh, India. Globally famous for its snow leopards, it is believed to have the highest density of them in any protected area in the world. The park is home to a viable breeding population of about 200 snow leopards, especially in the Rumbak catchment area.
Before I go any further let me tell you briefly that I lived in Ladakh for three years and it was the best phase of my life. To me Ladakh is not just a place…its home.
So coming back to the story… I went on a trek called ‘HIMALAYAN ROADLESS ADVENTURE TREK’ in 2017 in Hemis National Park. Even now it feels as if it was just yesterday that I walked on the rugged paths among the beautiful white silent giants. With temperatures dipping to -8 degree Celsius and snow falling like confetti over my head…it was a trek to remember.
With four other teammates I just walked for hours. The chilling wind blowing in our faces, we walked over frozen streams, crossed a frozen waterfall, witnessing some Blue sheep and Ibex running around on the mountains. The park is home to a number of endangered species.
With no human in sight, we leisurely sat on rocks on the barren land taking a short lunch break before heading to our destination. This trek is usually completed in a span of three days but we completed it in a day…just kept walking! With no human in sight other than us and the silence in the cold air, I could not have asked for anything else.
No motorable roads traverse the park. The park offers a number of routes for trekking from mid-June to mid-October. The best season for spotting snow leopards is however, in late winter. Even though we trekked at the perfect time, unfortunately we weren’t so lucky to spot any snow leopards!
Hopefully, after my second trek here, I will be sharing some great shots of SNOW LEOPARDS!