Although technically the monsoon season, visiting Ladakh in July is actually a great time to experience this mystical Buddhist kingdom. Firstly, the roads open up after winter, and although snow starts to melt, white-dusted peaks are still visible. Short bursts of rain bring a carpet of wildflowers to the valleys, and with sunny blue-sky days, trekking this region is a delight.
However, it’s the colourful local festivals which really bring the mountains alive in July. Traditional methods of storytelling show the enchanting customs of Ladakh. In early July, a high-altitude heritage polo festival takes place accompanied by music and dance, then mid-July sees the famous Hemis cultural festival at the Hemis monastery to celebrate the birth of 8th century Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava. Expect devil dances and plenty of masked monks. At the end of July, the Phyang Tsedup Festival, smiling monks at in brightly coloured costumes join a vibrant dance drama at the monastery.