Interesting Places to see around Leh Ladakh
A land like no other with a superabundance of attractions to visit and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth.
Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, sceneries to the modest cultures that it fosters. Right from gompas to the sensational momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit makes this city make it heaven on earth. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.
For those of us living in the constant confusion about the difference between these twin locations, Leh-Ladakh, here is something that might help you. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into three parts: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Ladakh, further is divided into two districts: district Leh, and district Kargil. The former district has a popular town “Leh”and is a great tourist attraction because of its beautiful monasteries, picturesque locations, and interesting markets defining the culture of the place
The popular Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is said to be a gravity hill where vehicles defy the force of gravity and move upwards on the hill when parked at the marked location. An optical illusion or actuality, the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh has mysterious magnetic properties that draw tourists from across the globe.
The famous and sparkling blue Pangong lake is situated near Leh-Ladakh in the Himalayas, approximately at the height of 4350 meters. This endorheic lake is 12 kilometres long and extends from India to Tibet, with two-thirds of it lying in the latter. Owing to its altitude, the Pangong Lake temperature ranges from -5°C to 10°C as a result of which it freezes completely during winters in spite of its salinity. A unique feature of the lake is that it does not remain blue throughout the year or even the day, rather it changes colours from azure to light blue to green and grey too!
Also known as Pangong Tso, it has been a tourist attraction for a very long time and has gained further popularity after being a ‘hot-spot’ for many film shoots, apart from being essential for anyone travelling to Leh – Ladakh.
Located at approximately 4 km from Leh on the Leh-Kargil Road, the Hall of Fame is a museum was built in memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting for India at the Indo-Pakistan war. A section of the museum also displays Siachen area, exhibiting apparel and amenities used by the Indian Army in the region. Apart from this, one can also witness items related to Ladakhi culture, history, vegetation and wildlife found across the globe.
Khardung La, also known as Khardzong La, is a high mountain pass in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, near Leh. Khardung La pass is a perfect getaway for adventure enthusiasts, peace seekers and mountain biking aficionados. The pass is very important for India as it is used to carry supplies to Siachen glacier. As you make your way to the top, you are rewarded with stunning views of mountain valleys and tortuous roads.
Ladakh is already known for its high altitude mountain passes and highest motorable roads. Another feather in the cap of Ladakh is the Chang La Pass. Chang La Pass is one of the hot spots of travel among all the adventure enthusiasts and bike riders. Boasting of incredible scenic beauty, Chang La Pass is guarded and protected by the Indian Army for safety purposes.
The Leh Palace, also known as ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ is one of the most historically rich edifices that can be found in the country and is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir, in the town of Leh in India. This grand structure was built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal as a royal palace, and the King and his family were the former residents of the majestic mansion. The Leh Palace is also one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine stories in all, and offers marvellous panoramic views of the entire town of Leh, as well as of the Stok Kangri and Zanskar mountains of the mighty Himalayan ranges, thereby giving the palace a strategic position.
Nestled in a remote corner of Ladakh, the Zanskar Valley is one of the most enchanting places to visit. It is located in the eastern corner of Jammu and Kashmir and is separated from Ladakh by the Zanskar Mountain Range. It is a part of The Tethys Himalayas which is formed with weekly transformed sedimentary series. Zanskar Valley is known for its wide views and sceneries, cave monasteries and mostly travelled to for its trekking trails and river rafting experiences and the Suru Valley, the two valleys almost always visited together.
Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north India. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Nubra is a subdivision and a tehsil in the union territory of Ladakh. Its inhabited areas form a tri-armed valley cut by the Nubra and Shyok rivers. Its Tibetan name Ldumra means “the valley of flowers”. Diskit, the headquarters of Nubra, is about 150 km north from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town. Foreign nationals are required to get a Protected area permit to visit the Nubra Valley. Since 1 April 2017 Indian citizens are also required to get an Inner Line Permit to visit the valley.
Usually a stopover for people travelling towards Leh or Padum, Kargil is a tourist hotspot that’s small enough to be explored by wayfaring. Situated close to the line of control, Kargil is also a volatile region, owing to the terrorism prevalent from the other side of the LOC. However, apart from its glorious past, bestowed with natural beauty and adventure, Kargil is the place to be for intrepid travellers.
The sculpture is said to have been carved by the missionaries, but the artwork further depicts that these missionaries were not Tibetans and were probably Ladaakhis. There are other ancient edicts near the main sculpture in Kharoshti script. Mulbekh otherwise forms a panorama encomprised of sturdy rock with occasional green patches spread across the unending horizon.
Located in Dras village, this war memorial is built of pink sand stone and has an epitaph dedicated to the valiant soldiers. The war continued from 8th may to 5th July 1999 and during this time several army men died. There is a gallery named “Manoj Pandey gallery” which showcases the photographs taken during that time, weapons and artillery discovered during the war. Your visit to Dras memorial not only would be a gesture of respect for the Indian army but it surely will leave you overwhelmed with the patriotism.
This is one of the most beautiful and oldest monasteries, situated on the Leh-Srinagar road. One can easily spend half a day and enjoy the peaceful surroundings adorned with thousands of prayer wheels.
Unlike most other monasteries, vehicles are allowed to go very close to the monastery, so visitors have to walk relatively less to access this monastery. Highly recommended for photographers as there are multiple landscapes waiting to be captured.
Best of Leh & ladakh
Duration : 5 Night/ 6 Days
Places Covered: Ladakh, Sham Valley, Khardung-La Pass, Pangong Lake, Famous monasteries in leh