Ladakh, India, is dotted with beautiful monasteries and blessed with serene lakes, captivating valleys and lots more, that make it one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world.
Jagged mountains, mud-brick homestays, colorful fluttering prayer flags, and picture-perfect landscape. That’s Ladakh for you! Located in northwest Jammu and Kashmir in north India, Ladakh is the largest and the least populated region of Jammu and Kashmir and Leh is the district and capital of Ladakh.
Best time to visit – May to September.
Considered as the largest monastery in Ladakh, Hemis Monastery is also known as Hemis Gompa. This beautiful monastery receives hordes of devotees and boasts of an exquisite collection Thangkas, gold and silver stupas and the copper statue of Buddha. Come here to see the beautiful wall paintings, Tibetan style architecture and soak in the serene atmosphere.
Close the door to all your worries and lose all sense of the time and space, by coming to the crystal clear blue waters of Pangong Lake. Located at an altitude of 14,270 ft., the Pangong lake is surrounded by towering mountains. Stay in a camp overnight here to soak in the tranquil and serene environment.
Royal Leh Palace
The Royal Leh Palace offers the spectacular view of the town of Leh and the Indus river. You can also check out a museum which boasts of a rare collections of jewelry, ceremonial crowns, ornaments and more.
Situated on a steep hill top, the grand and serene Shanti Stupa offers spectacular views of the snow-clad mountains and the entire city of Leh. Watch the breathtaking sunrise and sunset from Shanti Stupa which is at a height of about 4267 metres. Established by Japanese Buddhists, the Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in 1991.
Nubra valley also called as the Valley of Flowers, is a must-visit. The journey to Nubra valley is exciting as you pass through the Khardung La pass which is considered as the highest motorable road in the world. It is located about 150 Kms. away from Leh, the capital town of Ladakh.
Unlike Pangong lake which has saline water, the pristine Tso Moriri is a fresh water lake. Situated at a height of 15,000 ft., Tso Moriri landscape is magnificent.
This valley is one of the most isolated places and is nestled between the Great Himalayan ranges and the Zanskar mountain ranges. Zansker valley generally remains closed for about eight months in a year because of heavy snowfall. It is surrounded by towering mountains and deep gorges.
Located 18 kms away from Leh, Thiksey monastery is a 12-storey monastery that consist of an assembly hall, temples and living quarters for monks. Once there, have a look at the antque and rarae collection of wall paintings and stupas.
While most of the monasteries are located on hill top, Alchi monastery is probably the only monastery in Ladakh which is situated on a flat ground. Go there for peaceful environment and beautiful wall paintings.
Things to do in Leh and Ladakh:
Make your Leh and Ladakh trip even more interesting by going on a yak safari. Also known as dong, yak is the largest animal of the cold desert.
unlike camels of Rajesthan, the camels found in Ladakh are double-humped. Camel Safari is on eof the popular activities to do there.
Spotting snow leopard
Ladakh is home to the endangered species of snow leopards. Wildlife enthusiasts can head to Hemis National Park to spot this elusive animal, found only in the high mountainous regions.
Motor biking is like a dream in Ladakh. Driving through the Tang lang La, Khardung La pass with the ever-changing landscape and and the Indus river flowing by, Motorbiking in Ladakh is an unforgettable experience.
Other fun activities to do in Leh and Ladakh include paragliding, cycling and river rafting.
How to Reach:
Leh is about 739 km. from Jammu and 434 km. from Srinagar by road. The Manali-Leh road is open from around mid-June to early October. HRTC and J & K SRTC operate deluxe and ordinary bus services between Manali and Leh.
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