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. Right from quenching the thirst of motorcycle enthusiasts to offering spirituality to the ones seeking peace, Ladakh is perfect for all. Leh Ladakh is the City of Dreams, blessed with innumerable tourist attractions. Checkout some of the popular tourist places attraction and travel related information.
Tucked in the eastern Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Hemis National Park is called the Snow Leopard Capital of India. Established in 1981, this national park is best known for sheltering the highest density of snow leopard in the world. Another highlight of Hemis is that it is the only national park towards the north of the Himalayas. Besides, it is home to 16 mammal species and 73 bird species as per records.
Placed at a height of 4350 m on the Indo-China border, Pangong Lake is one of the most popular attractions in Ladakh. Also known as the Hollow Lake or Pangong Tso, this is one of Asia’s largest saltwater lakes. It covers an area of approximately 100 km. While two-thirds of this lake is in Tibet (Chinese territory), one-third of it lies in eastern Ladakh. Just 160 km from Leh city, it has blessed with breathtaking surroundings. During the winter season, the lake turns rock solid and becomes the venue of ice skating festival. Inner Line Permit can be taken from the deputy commissioner of Leh by giving a small fee.
Around 5 km from Leh, Shanti Stupa is a white-domed Chorten, located on a hilltop in Chanspa, which was built between 1983 and 1991. Overlooking the Leh town, it is one of the best attractions in Leh. For celebrating the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace, this stupa was commissioned by Japanese monks. The walls have gilt panels that depict the life of Lord Buddha. Sunrise and sunset are wonderful from here. On the first of this two-storied structure has Buddha statue in a sitting position on a pedestal, turning the Dharmachakra.
Constructed way back in 1553 AD, located on the top of the deserted Tsemo Hill, Leh Palace is the former residence of the erstwhile royal family of Leh. The palace shares a resemblance to Potala Palace of Lhasa. Slightly smaller in size, it is built up of stones, sand, wood, and mud. Also known as Lhachen Palkhar, it is open from 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM (every day). This 9-storied structure now has a museum with royal belongings. The fort is slightly in a ruined condition but the views from the top are stunning. This structure is currently managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In the second half of the 19th century, it was attacked by the Dogra forces and thus abandoned by the royal family who shifted to the Stok Palace. More information on tourism in Leh
Nestled at an isolated spot in the greater Himalayan ranges, the pristine Tso Moriri Lake is known to be the largest alpine lake in India. Located at an altitude of over 15000 feet above the sea level in the rugged landscape, it looks like the gift of nature. Due to its high altitude and tough journey, it is visited by a lesser number of tourists. The shadow of the surroundings can be seen in the azure blue waters of the lake. The topography of snow-clad barren hills with peaceful surroundings looks surreal.
Founded way back in 1430, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is located in the background of the Leh Palace. The monastery enjoys a wonderful setting and thus is one of the most popular places to visit in Leh Ladakh. The views of the plains, surrounding snow-covered peaks of the Zanskar mountain range, and the River Indus are stunning. The star highlight is the 3-storied high solid gold statue of Maitreya Buddha. Other attractions are statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. It also has a vast collection of wonderful frescoes. The walls of the assembly hall are adorned with brilliant paintings.
Known as the ‘Gateway to Nubra and Shyok Valleys’, Khardung La is one of the highest motorable roads in the world, at an elevation of 5359 m above the sea level. One of the 12 best places to visit in Leh Ladakh, it is around 40 km from Leh. Also called the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’, it opened for vehicles in 1988. This road is quite popular amid motorbiking enthusiasts. Enjoy tea and refreshment at the army canteen as you listen to the fluttering sound of the colorful Tibetan prayer flags. The views are awe-inspiring. There is a souvenir shop here from where you can buy some memorabilia. It is also used by the Indian Army to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.
One of the places to see in Ladakh, the paradisiacal Nubra valley is a tri-armed valley, which lies 150 km north-eastwards of Leh. Perched an altitude of 3048 m above the sea level, this valley has the confluence of Shyok and Siachen Rivers, white sand deserts, double-humped camels, rich lush villages, shining streams, and craggy mountain peaks. The valley has scenic beauty in abundance as it lies peacefully on the slopes of Karakoram mountain range. Hop onto the back of Bactrian camels and explore the valley.
Located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltik national highway, around 30 km from Leh, Magnetic Hill is basically a gravity hill, which is renowned for possessing magnetic properties. This magnetism is so strong that it can even pull a neutral car uphill. The powers of this hill can be seen from the fact that the passing aircraft increase their altitude for escaping the magnetic interference. The hill lies at a height of 14,000 feet above sea level. However, it is said that this is an optical illusion but surely worth experiencing.
Around 40 km south-eastwards of Leh, Hemis Gompa is the largest, the wealthiest and the most popular monastery of Ladakh. This monastery was constructed under the ruler of Ladakhi King Singge Namgyal in1672 AD. Hemis is the headquarters of Red Hat Drukpa order and all Ladakhi gompas. The young lamas are given training here. This gompa enjoys patronage from the region’s royal family. The monastery has various paintings, gold-plated stupas, and statues of Lord Buddha. Every year, Hemis festival is celebrated here. Its highlight is a holy masked dance performance by the local resident Lamas.
With a dreamy moon-like landscape, the quaint Lamayuru town lies sandwiched between Leh and Kargil. A sight to behold, it has crater type yellowish-orange formation in the brown colored soil. The beauty of this town cannot be described in words. Visit the beautiful Lamayuru Monastery here, which is not only a place of worship but also has thangkas, Buddhist guardian deities, and frescoes on display. This monastery dates back to the 11th century. The peace of the town is broken by the gushing sounds of River Sind. It is 127 km away from Leh.