Words cannot describe the beauty and serenity of Ladakh that the eyes can do. Pictures and videos simply do not do justice to the scenic bliss that Ladakh offers. What makes the place more special is the fact that it plays to every kind of audience. This article will clarify the best places to visit in Leh Ladakh.
Right from quenching the thirst of motorcycle enthusiasts to offering spirituality to the ones seeking peace, Ladakh is perfect for all.
Located at an altitude of 8,370 ft from sea level, the ‘land of high passes’ gives the Himalayan range a beautiful blend of green and white. You heard that right. With vast expanses of white sand, the ruggedness of the Himalayas can be witnessed.
But nothing compares to the tranquil vibe that the lakes offer. Pristine beauty is what you will find at Leh Ladakh, that is guaranteed.
The best season to visit Leh Ladakh is during the summer. The months of April-May are ideal to visit Ladakh as many of the tourist places would be open. June to August months are also some range that travellers opt for to avoid excess tourist crowd.
Leh Ladakh is such a dream destination that every traveler desires to go there once in his lifetime. It’s a Buddhist kingdom, with palaces, gompas and monasteries rising high over the stark landscape of Ladakh.
Since the altitude is so high, Ladakh experiences long winters. Given below are some of the places to visit in Ladakh.
Tourists go there with a promise to seek adventure, explore Tibetan culture, breathe the unpolluted air, and experience the heavenly bliss that can be found everywhere in Ladakh.
We’ve come up with a list of places to visit in Leh Ladakh, including its top attractions and the best tourist landmarks that should be visited on your trip to Leh Ladakh.
Pangong Tso Lake
Pangong Tso lake found fame thanks to Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots so without a doubt, this place deserves to be on your itinerary of places to visit in Ladakh. Pack a sweet picnic basket and head with your folks to the lake and maybe even camp next to it as you enjoy every moment of peace and tranquillity.
This 12-story complex hosts over 500 monks and is considered to be one of the most beautiful Buddhist monasteries in all of Ladakh. For Ladakh sightseeing, Thiksey Gompa will enlighten you with knowledge about some of the Buddhist culture, lifestyle, scriptures, statues and even paintings.
Rent a Himalayan and go nuts on the road to Khardung-la pass. The pass is a gateway to the Nubra as well as Shyok valley and is one of the most elevated motorable terrains worldwide. Interestingly, the roads were opened in 1988 for vehicles to pass through. Cruisers and Himalayans considered to be the best means to travel here, to experience the rugged beauty of the journey.
If camping is your thing then you won’t find a better spot than at the Markha valley in Ladakh! You can trek up to some amazing sites such as Markha, Skiu and Hankar for starters. Once you reach the summit, you can unwind with some lovely tents, bonfire and make friends with strangers. Quite the deal, don’t you think?
Famous for its white sand deserts and double-humped camels, Nubra Valley is certainly one of the best places to visit in Ladakh. Not just the scenic slopes of Karakoram range but also the confluence of Shyak and Siachen rivers is what makes Nubra valley an exquisite voyage!
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Tso Moriri lake
Imagine a sparkling blue lake nestled in the midst of rugged surroundings. That, my friends, is Tso Moriri lake. Being 15000 ft above sea level in a rather rough environment is this tiny paradise. The place is often not considered ideal by many tourists due to the high altitude at which it stands proudly. However, with its impeccably undisturbed ambiance, it would be shame to miss this place.
Hemis National Park
Have you ever come across snow leopards? Well, Ladakh’s Hemis National Park is considered to be the capital of Snow Leopard of India. What makes this national park exceptional is the fact that aside from inhabiting the famed snow leopard, it is also the only national park in the northern regions of the Himalayas.
Located at the heart of Nubra valley is this quaint Diskit Monastery. Sightseeing in Ladakh is literally incomplete without a visit to this monastery which was founded back in the 14th century. The calming aura of the gompa will definitely transport you to a whole new world.
Situated on a hill-top in Chanspa is this beautiful dome shaped Chorten called Shanti Stupa. What makes this white structure an attraction tourist place is the view it offers of the whole of Leh. The walls inside the Chorten have panels depicting the life of Lord Buddha. Plus, the vibe of the place would make you want to stay for long.
Royal Leh Palace
The Leh Palace is located on the top of Tsemo Hill and has a rich history. Built of stones, wood, mud and sand, the 9-storied palace has some beautiful artistic ruins in display to let tourists see how the royals lived. The intriguing architecture is an additional perk of visiting the palace.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is yet another lovely monastery set in the coarse background of the snow-capped Himalayas. It has views of the rough terrains and lovely snow-clad mountain tops. Witnessing something so diverse and beautiful is what makes the monastery’s location ideal.
Just as the name goes, the Magnetic hill is actually a gravity hill which possess impeccable magnetic properties. Do not be alarmed by the sudden movement of your vehicles in neutral going uphill as the magnetic field will make it happen. In fact, to avoid being sucked in the magnetic field of the hill, airplanes often take their altitudes up a notch.
A puny hamlet snuggled by the banks of the Indus river is the lovely village of Alchi. The roads welcome you with erect apricot trees and offer a plethora of spiritual bliss by inhabiting monasteries and temples.
The snow-covered steep terrains of Zanskar valley beckon travellers to trek on while they are overlooked with the clear blue sky. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Ladakh, especially considering how the beautiful Zanskar river projects azure blue hues while all travellers walk on the frozen sides.
What makes the Chadar trek so famous is the fact that you can walk up the frozen Zanskar river while the rugged Himalayan range envelopes you. It certainly is a thrilling experience to walk on frozen river, rather trek and camp at Nerak, which gives a soothing setting for the heart.
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The strikingly white structure of Shanti Stupa and its dome is the most recognizable landmarks in Leh Ladakh. It was built by Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhists to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace.
The white surface looks magnificent in the daytime, but on full moon nights, it looks even more beautiful when it gets bathed in the soft glow of the moon rays. Tourists can experience the joys of meditation inside the Stupa, and also see the stunning views of sunrise and sunset.
Tso Moriri Lake
Tso Moriri Lake
A remote lake, compared to the other lakes in Leh-Ladakh, Tso Moriri Lake is the largest alpine lake in India. Fewer tourists visit this lake due to its remote location, harsh climate prevailing here, and rough roads.
The lake is a beauty to behold, with its blue waters, surrounding mountainous landscape, and open sky. Camping here, and sleeping under the starry night sky, is a must-do activity near the lake.
Built-in the 17th century, Leh Palace is a splendid example of medieval Tibetan architecture and design. The ingenious structure of Leh Palace makes the interior warm in cold days and cools in the scorching summer heat. Inside, there are corridors, spacious halls and chambers.
You can have a good view of the surrounding country from the top. Though it now lies in ruins, it’s the most visited monument in Leh Ladakh.
Khardung La Pass
Khardung La Pass
This mountain pass in Ladakh is the highest motorable roads in India. Though people have come to know of Khardung La Pass in modern times, it used to be part of an ancient caravan route, transporting supplies from Leh to towns in Central Asia.
Its unique terrain makes it a hotspot for mountain biking expeditions. It is also the most treacherous roads to drive, as heavy traffic falling rocks, melting snow, mud and craters makes it a nightmare for drivers.
The hill is so-called as vehicles seem to defy gravity and move upward on the hill when parked at a marked spot. Though it is not certain that it is a reality or an illusion, this hill attracts tourists to watch this unusual spectacle.
If you want to watch the true splendour of Leh Ladakh, then Nubra Valley is where you must head to. This fertile valley, nourished by the waters of the Nubra and Shyok Rivers, has pretty apple orchards, scenic landscapes, and colourful Buddhist monasteries. The vast sand dune of the cold desert lends a surreal touch to the landscape.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Travelling to Namgyal Tsemo Gompa can be a great spiritual experience and visual treat for tourists. Built in the 15th century, on top of a rocky hill, the monastery offers a stunning view of the snow-capped Zanskar mountain range and the Indus River.
The monastery is famous for the three-storey high golden statue of Maitreya Buddha. The monastery is a beauty to behold, with its Tibetan architecture, frescoes and wall paintings inside the monastery.
The Spituk Monastery, built in the 11th century, is an imposing structure in Leh Ladakh. It has the deity of Lord Buddha, antique paintings, festival masks, and an idol of Goddess Kali.
The Spituk Festival, held annually, is a colourful event, where the idol of Kali is unveiled, and there are masked dances by the monks, followed by prayers. The monastery offers beautiful views of the Spituk village and the surrounding mountains.
Hall of Fame Museum
Hall of Fame Museum
The Hall of Fame Museum was built in memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan wars of Kargil and Siachen glaciers.
The museum is maintained by the Indian Army and contains seized arms and ammunition, biographies of brave soldiers, uniforms, and other objects related to the Indian Army. One can also get to know the Ladakhi culture and wildlife of this region, besides many other things.
With such awesome places, we are sure that your next trip will be to Leh Ladakh. If you have been to these places, do let us know of your experiences, so as to inform others too.
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