Karu Overview

Karu is a beautiful small town situated on the entrance of Leh-Manali highway. Explore the diverse hues of land, surrounded by mighty mountains and small streams of Sindhu river, passing through the town. The place offers picturesque views during your ride via Chang La pass, as it is situated in the center of many Leh attractions, such as Hemis Monastery, make sure to include this place in your Ladakh packages.

Karu is a town situated in the Leh district of Ladakh, where one can find peace and a sense of mountain life in India. This elegant small town is connected with various attractions in Leh, including Hemis Monastery, Pangong lake, and Leh-Manali highway

Located at the start of Leh- Manali highway via Chang La pass, this is the town that features most of the natives of Ladakh, offering hospitality by providing guest houses and homestays. The place is known for its beautiful natural setting, offering serene hues of mountains and splashes of small streams running towards the big lake of Pangong lake. 

It is a place in Ladakh where you will find an ATM facility, which is very rare to find in this mountainous region. One can also fill up their vehicles' tanks, as this place also provides a petrol pump, and it is the only one which can be used after Leh city, which is 34 kms from Karu. 

The place is also known for one of the best phone connectivity, and one can also find numerous Army establishments throughout the route of Karu. 

There are various restaurants in karu making it a popular place among tourists. Situated at a height of 3500 meters above sea level, the native people here majorly follow Buddhism.


• ATMs are available here, which is a rare sight in Ladakh.
• Phone connectivity can be found here, BSNL is the best network service provider in Karu.
• Various homestays and restaurants are situated here, which makes it a popular place among tourists.
• Many famous attractions can be found nearby Karu, such as Hemis Monastery, Pangong Lake, etc.
• The place offers a glimpse of Ladakhi life, as a huge number of natives can be found in this small town.
• The place also has a petrol station now, which is also known as the only petrol station after Leh city.

How To Reach

The only way to reach Karu is through road, one can travel on their bikes, or rented taxis to reach Karu from Leh city, which is approximately 34 kms away from Karu. Located on the start of Leh-Manali highway, Karu can be easily reached by Leh-Manali highway via Chang La pass.

Planning a Ladakh Trip: Leh Ladakh Itinerary 7 Days

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit this small well-settled town is during the month of summers from May-September, when the place is at its best self. The roads are favorable for riders to ride their vehicles and one can witness the mighty mountains and flowing Sindhu streams in clear weather. During winters many places close down due to heavy snowfall, hence making summers the most approachable time to visit Karu.

Timings: 24 hours

Entry Fee: Free

Also Read: Leh Ladakh in Winter

Other Essential Information

Here are some of the best places to visit near Karu:

1.) Hemis

Hemis is a popular attraction of Leh, which is famously known for its colorful and vibrant festivals that are held in the summer month of July. Apart from that the place has been home to a beautiful monastery, known as Hemis monastery, which was built in 1672 A.D. Popular for its wildlife the place has been host to Hemis National Park, where one can witness numerous wildlife of Ladakhi region. 

2.) Chemrey

Chemrey is a significant monastery built by Lama Tagsang Raschen, the same person who made Hemis Monastery, in 1664. He is the biggest influencer who spread Tibetan Buddhism practices across Ladakh. Padmasambhava’s huge statue, around one storey tall, is the biggest flex of the monastery. The place has a Lamba temple along with a number of shrines, and two prayer halls. This monastery is around 6.4 kms from Karu.

3.) Stanka Monastery

The design of this monastery resembles the shape of a tiger’s nose, the place is also called the Tiger’s Nose, which was built in 1508 by Bhutanese scholar and saint Chosje Jamyang Palkar. This monastery offers its visitors a calm environment, surrounded by serene valley views and a great library holding ancient facts about Buddhism and Ladakh’s history.

Places to eat in Karu

1.) Cafe KC 22: A small cafe in the town of Karu, offering local and basic delights to all its visitors. Decorated with local aesthetics, one can enjoy warm food with a view of beautiful Ladakhi valleys. 

2.) Mahadev Punjabi Dhaba: A small and traditional dhaba, offering North Indian cuisine, including tandoori Indian breads along with spicy and flavorful dishes such as paneer, mixed vegetables, etc. A proper warm North Indian plate served in a cold setting is a delight for every Indian.

3.) Cafe Cloud: An aesthetically pleasing cafe offering a raw setting in the midst of diverse local vegetation, the place offers delectable and fresh local food with soups as their speciality. It is a perfect spot to take a break from your biking journey or if you want to just sit and chill for a while.

Also Visit: Restaurants in Leh

Places to stay in/near Karu

1.) Neryok’s Indus View

One of the most modern facility equipped hotels near Karu is Neryok’s Indus View, which offers cozy and comfortable stay. The place has some rooms directed towards the Indus river, providing a serene view of the place with WiFi facilities.

2.) Fana Resort

A luxurious stay in the midst of magnificent natural surroundings is a perfect place to take rest and enjoy your vacation. The place offers a traditional Ladakhi architecture, and full European style room decor for their visitors. 

3.) Amir Homestay

The place is managed by a private host, which offers a traditional Ladakhi homestay. Located 17 kms away from the main market, the place offers a comfortable and cozy atmosphere with fully equipped bathrooms and rooms. 


While crossing the Leh-Manli highway, one may need to show the pass verification at the Chang La check-point.

Also Visit: Best Places to Stay in Leh-Ladakh

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Point of Interest for Karu
Sindhu Nadi/Ghat

Sindhu Nadi/Ghat

A small ghat or river port, offering majestic views of Sindhu river, dotted with Ladakhi mountains. The place offers a serene view of the stream, which is famous among tourists for clicking photographs for capturing moments from their Leh-Ladakh trip. The place is known for offering a peaceful and calm environment, where one can sit and relax as they relax their nerves through the tranquil sound of the river flowing into the Pangong lake. 

Checkout & Book: Ladakh Tour Package with Flights

Tourism Board Alliances

Karu FAQs

Where is Karu located in Ladakh?

Karu is a small town situated in the Leh district of Ladakh, on the start of Leh-Manali highway.

Why is Ladakh famous?

 Ladakh is best known for its majestic mountain range and captivating lakes with longing valleys, making it a perfect serene place for all kinds of travelers. Some of the top hikes and motorable routes are present in Ladakh which challenges all bikers from across the world. 

Suggested Read: Ladakh in September

Is Ladakh safe?

Yes, Ladakh is totally safe, and is free of all political turmoil, as all the attractions are away from the disputed land area. The routes are a little difficult to navigate but this does not make Ladakh unsafe, as the people here are really humble and believe in helping others.

Which month is best to visit Ladakh?

The best time to visit Ladakh is during the months of April to July, when temperature is at its best, ranging between 15-30 degree celsius, offering pleasant weather to explore the majestic Ladakh. During winter most of the attractions are closed due to heavy snowfalls.

Also Read: Ladakh Temperature

Why is Ladakh called Cold Dessert?

Ladakh is a hill station which stays cold all year round, offering snow capped mountains and flat cold grounds. The weather of the place can go down to minus 14 degree celsius, and is home to the second coldest region, the Drass Valley, in the world.

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