Hanle Overview

Hanle is one of the largest villages in Ladakh region, known predominantly as the place which is home to the Hanle Monastery. Located along the Hanle River, this hamlet lies on the old branch of the ancient Ladakh-Tibet trade route. You can also find the Indian Astronomical Observatory which has the third highest optical telescope in the world on your visit to Hanle and must be part of your Ladakh holiday packages.

Situated in a remote place, the village of Hanle is one of the most offbeat places to visit in Ladakh. Also often spelled as Hanley, Anle, or Anley, this hamlet is home to a population of around 300 people and lies on the ancient trade route between Ladakh and Tibet.

The presence of the Indian Astronomical Observatory makes this village quite famous. This observatory is the best spot in the whole country to observe the skies and indulge in stargazing as it is located 4,500 m above sea level. Hanle village is also known for the eponymous monastery among tourists, which boasts of a rich history. 

It is at Hanle Ladakh, where you can enjoy stunning views of smaller mountains and hillocks with the vast expanse of arid lands. In addition to stargazing and camping under the clear skies, Hanle is also a great place for hiking, and indulging in nature photography. 

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• Enjoy exploring this offbeat village, and soak in the soothing and tranquil ambience exuding from the village
• Pay a visit to the Hanle Monastery, meditate for some time here, and take in some of the most panoramic aerial views of the entire village from here
• Take a trip to the Indian Astronomical Observatory, and spend some time learning about the sky and stargazing here. Check out the telescope here, which ranks as the third highest optical telescope in the world
• Take a tour further to the Photi La pass on a bike, from where you are guaranteed to capture mesmerising views of the entire region

How To Reach

You can also choose to drive from Leh to Hanle. Depending upon the road and weather conditions, there are multiple routes that you can choose from. These include Leh to Hanle via Pangong Tso (176 KM) and Leh to Hanle via Chumathang (114 KM).

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Hanle Ladakh is between the months of June and September. It is during this time that the weather here is pleasant, and the tourist season is at its peak. It is during this time that you can find accommodation in homestays or guest houses and thereby explore Hanle and its nearby places in a more comfortable manner. 

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Other Essential Information

Tips To Visit Hanle Ladakh

1. Permits required to visit Hanle:

  • In order to enter the Hanle village, you will require an Inner Line Permit from the concerned authorities
  • Besides the ILP, you will also have to obtain permission for entry to the Hanle Observatory or the Indian Astronomical Observatory from authorities in Leh

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2. Medical Facilities in Hanle:

  • It is imperative that you carry an emergency medical kit with you, since you could suffer from altitude motion sickness, breathlessness and other issues due to the altitude
  • Upon reaching the village, the only place where you can get any medical aid is at the Army establishment, along with a local pharmacy located in the village. For any major medical emergency, the nearest establishment/hospital is in Leh

3. Connectivity in Hanle:

  • Mobile and internet connectivity could be an issue in Hanle Ladakh
  • BSNL has the largest coverage in the region, followed by Airtel in some parts

4. ATM services near Hanle:

  • There are no ATMs in Hanle Ladakh
  • The nearest ATM is in Leh, located in the main market, meaning you will have to carry enough cash while visiting Hanle

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Point of Interest for Hanle
Hanle Monastery

Hanle Monastery

Dating back to the 17th century, the Hanle Monastery is one of the best points of interest in Hanle Ladakh. Built under the rule of the King Sengge Namgyal, the monastery is currently the abode of 10 lamas. Owing to its location on a small hilltop, the Hanle Monastery offers some of the most unprecedented views of the surrounding mountains, the village as well as the verdant valleys.

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Indian Astronomical Observatory

Indian Astronomical Observatory

Established in the year 2001, the Indian Astronomical Observatory is operated remotely by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore. Situated at an elevation of 4,500 metres on top of Mount Saraswati, it houses the third highest optical telescope in the world, and is the best place in India to enjoy stargazing and studying the night sky. 

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Photi La

Photi La

Located at a distance of around 24 kilometres from Hanle Ladakh, Photi La is an offbeat and unexplored mountain pass. It is in close proximity to the Indo-Tibetan border, and lies at an altitude of 5,524 metres, thereby offering unprecedented views of the Hanle Valley.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Hanle FAQs

Is a permit required to visit Hanle Ladakh?

Yes, you require an Inner Line Permit to visit Hanle Ladakh. Furthermore, only citizens of India are permitted entry into Hanle, which is declared off-limits for foreign nationals. The permit can be obtained from the DC office or Tourist Information Centre in Leh.

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Which are the places to visit near Hanle Ladakh?

  • Umling La: Also known as the highest motorable road and mountain pass in the world, Umling La is located further on the route from Photi La. Located right next to the Indo-China border, the pass is one of the best to explore on a bike ride. 
  • Mahe Village: A rather small and quaint village, located a few short kilometres from Hanle, Mahe Village is known for its tranquil ambience. Home to an old monastery, the village is also the abode of a mere 15 to 20 houses, making it a great place to interact with locals. 
  • Indian Astronomical Observatory: Located in close proximity to the Hanle Village, the Indian Astronomical Observatory is home to one of the highest optical telescopes in the world, situated at an elevation of around 4,500 metres. In addition to enjoying views of the surrounding natural landscapes, you can also indulge in stargazing at the Indian Astronomical Observatory.

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Is Hanle worth visiting?

Yes, Hanle is a place definitely worth visiting. This quaint village also offers some of the best views of the surrounding landscapes of Ladakh. Furthermore, it is one of the few places in the country where you can enjoy mesmerizing views of the starry night sky almost every day. 

How much time is needed to explore Hanle?

You can easily explore Hanle in 1-2 days. This includes a visit to the Hanle Monastery and the Indian Astronomical Observatory. Furthermore, exploring the other attractions here, such as the Photi La, also takes some time owing to its high altitude location.

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