OT Favourite hotel in the world
Milind Soman There is this place called The Indus in Choglamsar, about 12km from Leh, that I love going to.
OT Last visited
Milind Soman Last year &mdash I go there almost every year.
OT The experience
Milind Soman In one word, serene. Choglamsar is an important centre for the study of Tibetan culture and history. For Buddhist monks, Choglamsar is the main place for training in Ladakh. It is quite fascinating to wake up to their chants. The sky view from this lodge is majestic, with abundant greenery, especially poplar and willow trees. There is a golf course, horticulture nurseries and a polo ground as well. Choglamsar was given to Tibetan refugees by the Indian government. It was a stretch of gravel at the banks of the Indus river without water supply or any infrastructure, and to see the place as it is now is quite pleasantly surprising.
The lodge itself seems very romantic, being made of wood. The best part is that it is situated right on the banks of the river Indus and the river seems to flow into the lodge. Given that there is no front wall to the lodge, you have the river gurgling beneath your feet. The colourful chortens around the lodge and the thangkas in the rooms give a feel of antiquity to this place.
I go to Ladakh to relax in the lap of a different sort of luxury &mdash leisure, the laidback life, the absence of routine. I have spent hours walking around Choglamsar, spotting numerous terns, larks and ibisbill as they shopped for lunch in and around the river. I&rsquod wake up as early as three in the morning and go for runs along the banks of the Indus. I've stayed in many places, but keep coming back, almost like a homing bird, to this quaint lodge. The place may not offer much in terms of luxury, but it is abundant in adventure, and the warmth with which they say 'julley' (hello) to welcome you is incomparable.
OT The food
Milind Soman The best chhang in Ladakh is available here. Foodwise, they serve Western, Kashmiri and even some Indian food, but I gorge on the thukpas. The khambir (a type of local bread) with radish soup is also very good. Then, of course, there is the yak butter tea. I can have gallons of that
OT The hotel&rsquos USP
Milind Soman Come here to connect with yourself and simply put your feet up.