How Muzammil Hussain's Initiative Shows The Lesser-Known Ladakh

Roots Ladakh, a ten-year-old socially oriented travel initiative, takes travellers through Ladakh's lesser-known regions of Kargil and Zanskar
Muzammil Hussain
Muzammil HussainMuzammil Hussain/Linkedin

There are times when you travel, and then there are times when you go on a journey. If you are more keen on the latter, Roots Ladakh, a ten-year-old travel venture specialising in curating immersive experiences across Kargil and Zanskar will show you how.

While a trip to Ladakh always promises a memorable experience, the region holds much more than what the eyes meet, and nobody knows it better than somebody who calls the region home.

Therefore, when Muzammil Hussain, a native of Kargil, was presented with an opportunity to help travellers get to know Ladakh more intimately in 2013, he held on to it with the grip of a seasoned trekker. While he knew the region inside and out, having explored extensively by himself, his love for travel grew due to his profession as a researcher, which often led him to the country's farthest corners.

But soon, Hussain found himself drawn back to his homeland. And his return was marked by the beginning of a new journey–of Roots Ladakh. Seamlessly fusing his love for travel with his skills as a management professional, Hussain took the plunge and started his venture with a mission to put Kargil and Zanskar on every traveller's bucket list while empowering the local community.

On his journey, Hussain was joined by passionate travellers like himself, beginning with Tafazzul Hussain as the co-founder. Now, the Roots Ladakh team boasts five members and many fans.

The Roots Ladakh team
The Roots Ladakh teamRoots Ladakh/Instagram

Travel For Greater Good 

Have you wondered what it would be like to spend a day taking on a trail running through wild tulips in full bloom or trekking through the ice-covered ancient Trans Himalayan trade route famous for its sapphire mines? If yes, Roots Ladakh can make it come real. And if not, that's exactly what Roots Ladakh is about–enriching your travels through the region with several unforgettable experiences such as these.

While they do specialise in curating offbeat adventures and educational travel experiences for travellers, Roots Ladakh has also committed itself to improving Ladakh's ecological and social wealth by being an eco-conscious and community-driven venture that promotes and embraces the local heritage through responsible tourism initiatives.

One such example is the "Unlock Hundurman–Museum of Memories" project, which offers curated museum visits and nature walks through the 500-year-old abandoned settlement along the Indo-Pak LoC. In addition, Roots Ladakh has also contributed significantly to conserving Ladakh's wildlife through a community-led project named "Project DrenMo," which seeks to minimise human-animal conflict and create avenues for livelihood through wildlife tourism.

The 'Unlock Hunderman' project
The 'Unlock Hunderman' projectRoots Ladakh/Official Website

In addition to these initiatives, Roots Ladakh also opens up opportunities for travellers to engage in cultural events and presents many volunteering opportunities. One of the most awaited and exciting events is the Suru Festival, held annually from August 25 to September 5. The sprawling Suru Valley buzzes with enthusiastic adventurers and mountain climbers during the ten days. And if you want to join Roots Ladakh in creating a difference, then you can choose to even volunteer with the local NGOs and women's self-help groups the initiative partners with.

For more information about their curated wildlife and cultural experiences, visit Roots Ladakh's official website.

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