Things You Should Know
- At high altitudes, there is a lesser amount of oxygen so one needs to be prepared and should take the elevation gradually.
- One should carry an extra pair of woolen clothes and sweaters because it can get too cold at times.
- If traveling from outside India, you need to have the required permits and passport with you all the time.
- The main language spoken in Leh region is Boti while there are other languages too, so having a guide can always help.
- Take care of the highly sensitive ecology of the region during the trek.
Leh-Ladakh is a dream come true destination. A vast landscape of enchanting and unspoiled natural beauty and the best way to explore this beauty is a trip to Leh-Ladakh.
How to Get There?
By Air: One needs to take a flight from Delhi to Leh and then, take a taxi to Lamayuru. The distance between Leh and Lamayuru is 125 km and is only a 4 hour drive by taxi.
By Rail: Kalka is the nearest available station to Leh. From Kalka, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Manali via Shimla and from Manali, regular taxis are available to take you to Leh.
By Road: This adventurous road trip can be planned on a motorbike, jeep, bus or a car via two routes. One can take the route to Ladakh via Manali or the route via Kinnaur. Both the routes offer picturesque views to soothe your eyes.
Things to Carry
Attractions of Ladakh
Ogling the ever-changing lake is the main activity there. This mesmerizing lake is best visited in summers because it freezes completely during the winters despite being saline water. Camping at Pangong lake gives you a peaceful experience, which is an unforgettable one.
Located to the northeast of Ladakh valley, the Nubra is a tri-armed valley with an altitude of 3048 m (10000 feet). The valley offers tremendous scenery at a large scale which makes it a prominent part of the trek. Camping at Nubra valley is a calm and peaceful experience.
Also, the low altitude of the Nubra valley compared to the higher altitudes ahead during the trek helps tremendously in acclimatization. Some of the picturesque sites in the valley include Diskit Gompa, Khardung La, Pon Khar, Giant Chamba statue and much more. May to August is the peak season to see the monasteries, sand dunes and green oasis villages of the Nubra valley. And it is this valley only which will give you the experience of camel safari on a double-humped camel.
Located at an altitude of 5359 m (17582 feet), the Khardung La is a mountain pass which lies north of Leh in the Ladakh region. The pass is a strategically important pass to India. It is one of the world’s highest motorable road and serves as the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.
This breathtaking road offers amazing views of the valley and the mountain ranges. The weather is highly unstable at the pass so you might need to camp. The scenic vistas and the clean air definitely give you the feeling of being at the top of the world.
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The Tso Moriri Lake measures about 28 km in length from north to south and is a mind-numbingly calm and sacred lake. The lake is fed by springs and snowmelt from the nearby mountains. The clear, beautiful and pure lake will make you feel blessed like never before. One cannot miss this place if they are planning for a Leh-Ladakh road trip.
The Shanti Stupa is one of the magnificent Tibetan structures ever built. It is a white-domed Buddhist stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh. The stupa is situated at a height of 3,609 meters (11841 feet).
It was built by the Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission in 1991. The stupa holds the relics of the Buddha and has a major religious significance. However, the picturesquely located stupa has become a tourist attraction because of the panoramic landscapes surrounding it.
Don't forget to check out the Delhi to Leh guide before you start planning your next trip.
Located on the top of the deserted Tsemo Hill, the Royal Leh Palace was built in the 17th century by the King Sengge Namgyal. This nine-storey building was the highest building in the world in 1553. The palace was modeled on the basis of the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
It offers spectacular views of the mountain of Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain range. It is now one of the major attractions in Ladakh due to its historical background and the amazing views of the mountains and the town.
The mysteriousness of Ladakh can be best experienced in the Magnetic Hill. The Magnetic Hill lies on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and is located at an elevation of around 14000 feet above sea level.
It is claimed that the hill defies gravity because if you park a car there, it starts moving forward on an uphill road even when it is in the neutral state. This mystifying phenomenon is actually an optical illusion created due to the surroundings but it surely is an unbelievable experience and a must one. This small stretch of road continues to mystify people till date.
It is so isolated that it is not even accessible by road during winters due to heavy snowing. The magnificent valley of Zanskar will make your definition of beautiful change. The greatest attraction of this majestically rugged Ladakhi Buddhist valley is merely getting there. Visiting the Zanskar valley during a trek is an unforgettable experience which everyone must have.
Located at a distance of 127 km from Leh and at an elevation of 3510 m (11520 feet), the Lamayuru Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Lamayuru. The Drikung Kagyu tradition is best reflected in this part of Ladakh.
Around 300 monks are present in the administration of the monastery and there are more than 50 monasteries under the leadership of this monastery. Dating back to the 11th century, the Lamayuru Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Leh. The amazing moonland views in Lamayuru have made this place one of the most favourite spots in Leh.
Also known as the oldest Buddhist monastery, the Alchi Monastery is located at a distance of around 70 km from Leh and at an elevation of around 3100 m (10200 feet). It was built by the great translator Guru Rinchen Zangpo between 958 and 1055.
The monastery has a total of 3 major shrines in it which are the Dukhang (Assembly hall), the Sumtseg and the Temple of Manjushri and all of them date back to the early 12th and 13th centuries. Being on the bank of the Indus River, this monastic jewel of Ladakh has become a major tourist attraction in the past years not just because of its religious significance but also because of its picturesque location.
Diskit is located within the Nubra region of Ladakh at an altitude of 3144 m (10315 feet). The Diskit Monastery is situated on the hill above the floodplains of Shyok River. The monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century.
The monastery is the oldest and the largest monastery in Nubra Valley. It is under the management of the Thiksey Monastery near Shey. The monastery also runs a school for the Tibetan children. A 100 foot high Maitreya statue stands near the monastery. It has become a prime tourist spot because of its beautiful location and the spiritual air it has to offer especially for adventurers who are on their Leh-Ladakh bike expeditions.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
Situated at a distance of 25 miles from Leh, the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is the place where it is believed that Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion fought a demon who attacked him while he was meditating.
The legend states that the demon was vanquished there by him. A lot of Sikh religion enthusiasts visit the Gurudwara to worship the holy stone on which Guru Nanak was meditating. It isn't just famous because of its religious significance but also because of the beautiful majestic landscapes surrounding it.
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Sangam Point is the spectacular location where one can see the two diverse rivers- the Indus and Zanskar meeting. There aren't any religious or spiritual backgrounds attached to it but the views offered by the confluence are divine.
The scene is best enjoyed from an elevated point. The different coloration of the rivers due to temperature, acidity, and velocity results in an amazing view when the rivers meet. This is why the Sangam point has become a famous tourist attraction and is a must to see. This place welcomes many adventurers who are on their Manali Leh Srinagar bike expedition.
Located 45 km south of Leh, The Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) which belongs to the Drukpa Lineage. It is the largest monastery in Ladakh and is located in the Hemis. The monastery is believed to have been existing before the 11th century.
It is constructed in relation with Naropa, teacher of the translator Marpa and the pupil of the yogi Tilopa. Also, the monastery was re-established by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. The Hemis Festival is celebrated at the monastery and is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava and one of the biggest cultural festivals celebrated in Leh Ladakh region.
The spiritual connection, the distinct style of architecture and the prime location attract a lot of tourists at this location.
Hall of Fame
The well preserved and well presented Ladakhi history and culture can be clearly seen in the Hall of Fame museum which is located near the Leh Airfield. The museum also maintains the memory of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-Pak wars.
A serene Buddha statue with heavy armament is erected at the exterior of the museum. There are a total of two floors in the museum. The ground floor displays the information about brave soldiers and the first floor preserves the artifacts from various wars. The national sentiment attached with the museum is very strong and surely gives its visitors a patriotic feeling.
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