India Tours

Leh Ladakh

Ladakh is a high altitude desert, locked in between the mighty mountains of the Himalaya, Karokoram, Zanaskar and Ladakh Ranges and is one of the three Geo cultural regions of the Jammu and Kashmir state. Leh is the capital city of this region and one of the famous tourist and pilgrimage destination in the state. Located at an altitude of about 11,975 feet above sea level, this city can be approached from two highways that is from Srinagar and Manali. From Srinagar the city is 434 kilometers away while from Manali it is 473 kilometers. The commonality between these two roads is that, they have the hair pin bends and four wheelers are the best to carry you up to the steep gradients over the narrow and occasionally bad patched road, that marks its historic significance when it was used as an old trade route between, Tibet, Yarkand, China and Central Asia.

Leh Ladakh is famous by the name of Cold Desert of India. It is also known by the name of Little Tibet, as it is inhabited by Buddhist population. The main attraction of the regions is the ancient Buddhist monasteries. Its rugged terrains attract adventure lovers from all over the world to try their hands in various adventure activities like mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, white water rafting and camping. A number of Buddhist fairs and festivals are organized in Leh Ladakh, which present the culture and traditions of the region.

Ladakh is the abode of rare Kiang & highland Yak. Leh its capital city lies at the Tri junction of the historic silk route from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India.

Hemis is one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh. It is known for a huge painting of the Buddha displayed to the public only once in 11 years. Thikse Monastery is notable for its architecture. Shey Monastery has a huge gold-plated copper statue of the Buddha. The 1,000-year-old Alchi and 11th century AD Likir and Lamayuru Monasteries are also worthy of visit. You may go through the Khardungla Pass to reach the Nubra valley near Ladakh. The valley features desert, mountain and water together. You might spot the double humped Bactrian camel and Dzo, a hybrid of Yak and Cow. The Leh Palace, built in the 16th century AD, offers a panoramic vista of the Zanskar Mountains. Tsemo or the Red Gompa, built in 1430 AD, is above the Leh Palace and is a storehouse of beautiful paintings and manuscripts. It has a 3 storey high statue of seated Buddha built. Located in the main market is the magnificent Leh Mosque. King Deldan Namgyal granted the land in 1960s to construct the mosque. Sankar Gompa is a few kilometers away from the main town. Electrically lighted gompa has an image of Avalokiteshvara represented with 1,000 arms and heads.

Best time to Visit:

May to November.

Places of Interest:

Leh Palace: Leh Palace is the main attraction of the Leh tour. Constructed way back in 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal, Leh Palace is a nine storied high structure. The Palace has been built by following the model of Potala Palace of Lhasa. Location of the palace provides a fascinating look of the surrounding areas of Leh town.

Stok Palace and Museum: Constructed by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in earlier 19th century, Stok Palace is at a distance of around 14 km from Leh town. The palace is at present occupied by the royal family. The museum inside the Stok Palace showcases royal jewelery, ceremonial dresses of kings and crowns.

Shey Palace and Gompa: Shey Palace is located at a distance of 15 kms from Leh town. It was constructed by King Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17th century AD. The main attraction inside the monastery is a three storey high Copper guilt statue of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Thiksey Monastery: Thiksey monastery is known as one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh region, which is a must visit place during travel to Leh. It is located at a distance of 17 kms to the South of Leh town. The monastery is famous for the images of Shakyamuni Buddha, Maitriya Buddha, Dharamkaya, Mahakal and Bhairava.

Spituk Monastery: Situated on the top of a hillock, Spituk Monastery was built back in 11th century. From here one can have a panaromic view of Indus valley. This monastery also has antique arms, numerous Thankas, icons and ancient masks. Gonkhang is the biggest temple of monastery, which is dedicated to Goddess Kali or Mahakal. One of the important attractions of Spituk monastery is the Chapel of Tara, which attracts visitors towards it during their travel to Leh.

Kargil: This area lies just behind the Zoji La Pass, and the center is Kargil, a small town with cobbled streets surrounded by apricot groves. Good panoramas of the Himalaya can be obtained on 03/04 day treks from Sanko to Drass via Umba, and on the more demanding Sanko to Mulbek via the Wakka La Pass at 4,930m.


By Air: The nearest airport is at Leh. Alliance Air flights connect Leh with Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar.

By Rail: The nearest railhead Jammu - 690 kms.

By Road: Ladakh is well connected by surface network with major cities like Srinagar, Leh, Kargil, Manali and Keylong. There are two land routes into Leh, one by the road from Srinagar and the other from Manali in Himachal Pradesh. The Srinagar-Leh Road usually remains open from June till October. The Manali-Leh Road is open from July to September. There are frequent bus services of both State Road Transport and Private Bus Operators around Leh.

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