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Chadar Trek 2020, Ladakh - Frozen River Trek, Book @ ₹19,500

Chadar Trek 2020, Ladakh - Frozen River Trek, Book @ ₹19,500

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Leh Ladakh Group Tour Package with Camping

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Manali to Leh Bike Trip from Delhi - 2019

Manali to Leh Bike Trip from Delhi - 2019

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Leh Group Tour Package with Turtuk Village

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Leh Bike Tour Adventure with Camping

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Women Only Sightseeing Group Tour of Ladakh

Women Only Sightseeing Group Tour of Ladakh

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Leh Ladakh Honeymoon Package from Delhi, 2019

Leh Ladakh Honeymoon Package from Delhi, 2019

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  • Leh to Pangong Lake is a journey that everyone who arrives in this heaven takes to see the most beautiful lake in the country. The blue heaven like lake that stretches for about 134 km between India and China, it is one of the most mesmerizing sights that people from all over the world come to witness while on their trip to Leh-Ladakh.

    Grab the Best Deal: Leh Tour Package with Flights @ ₹29,400 Only!

    Deal of the Day: Get FLAT 15% OFF on Manali to Leh Jeep Safari

    Wide by about 5 to 6 km on its broadest point, Pangong is a lake of saline water, with very less vegetation around and limited species of Crustaceans living inside the lake. The most important highlight of the lake, however, is the perfectly still water in the midst of towering snow-capped mountains.

    The blue water of the lake reflects the sky and the mountains, making this the most picture perfect in Ladakh. As far as getting to the Pangong Lake from Leh is considered, the main location of Spangmik near the lake is located at about 160 km one way.

    Limited Period Offer: 
    Ladakh Tour With Camping at Pangong @ Just ₹19,500

    Connected via road, the ride takes one over the Chang La Pass (5,360 m) and the Pagal Naala (The Crazy Stream), before one lands up in Pangong (4,250 m). One of the most picturesque, and one of the most pictured location in the country, Pangong is also one of the most dreamy locations in the country.
  • Quick Facts

    Pangong Tso is not a place that you can just go to without proper planning and getting to know the small details of the place. To help you with the best of these quick facts like the distance, route, and best time to visit, this guide will help you in getting a better understanding of the area, and the journey that takes you there.
  • 01Leh to Pangong Lake Distance

    The distance between the two points depends on the route taken to go from Leh to Pangong Lake. The usual route that takes you through Shey and Chang La, is about 160 km one way. 

    The other ways that one has to take through the Nubra Valley take you over either the daunting Wari La Pass or the beautiful and calm Shyok Valley. Both these routes are over 220 km and will need the extra 120 km added to them, as that is the distance between Leh and Diskit.

    For adventurous persons, we have a list of all the adventure activities in Ladakh that you shouldn't miss out on your next trip.

  • 02Leh to Pangong Lake Route Map & Road Conditions

    Getting to Pangong requires an inner line permit that needs to be collected be from Leh. As a result, the only way to get to the Lake is through Leh only.

    Getting to Pangong Lake from Leh is not as difficult it may seem as there are simple straight roads that lead you through the region without much confusion. To cut it straight, there are two routes that take you to Pangong Tso, with the other one divided into 2 variations.

    Find out the some best camps around Pangong Lake which make your trip more beautiful and memorable.
  • 03Best Offers on Ladakh Tour Packages: Enquire Now

  • 04Route1:

    Leh – Shey – Karu -Sakti – Chang La -Durbuk – Tangste - Lukung – Spangmik – Pangong Tso

    The usually taken route to get to Pangong Tso, this is also the shortest and least troublesome. You start on this route taking you from Leh to Pangong Lake which will take you to the destination, Spangmik in about 6 to 7 hours.

    Beginning from Leh, the route takes you first to Shey, the famous village which still houses a 5 century old Palace, the Shey Palace. Built by the then king of Ladakh, the palace is mostly known for housing the largest golden statue of Buddha in the entirety of Ladakh. From here, as you move on the Manali-Leh highway, you hit the junction city of Karu, where the way then leads you east, towards the lake. Driving a mere 9 km from here, you will arrive at a small village called Sakti, which is the home to a colorful and vibrant Takthok Monastery.

    The run from here brings the visitors to a high mountain pass called Chang La. At the height of 5,360 m, Chang La is counted amongst some of the highest passes in the world and is an equally important post. So far, the roads are great and made in asphalt, however, the climb is steep and requires a careful drive. 

    For about 10 to 15 km before and after the pass, you will find only dirt roads, because of the streams that erupt in the summer season erode it away. With a military post and cafe on the top, Chang La is a place where it is advised to not stay for than 20-25 minutes.

    On the last stretch towards the lake, you will find the roads turn rough again till you reach Durbuk, post which the roads appear again. And so do the shops as you come across the major town of Tangtse. A small drive on the narrow roads from here takes you to Spangmik, the last town on the road, especially famous for the scintillating views of the blue lake that the place offers. 

    Hence, as a reason, there are a lot of camps and small accommodations that have erupted at this location. This is where you can enjoy the majesty of Pangong at its best.

    Check out here the list of all the places to visit in Ladakh that you must visit on your vacation to Leh Ladakh.

  • 05Route 2:

    Diskit / Panamik - Khalsar - Agham - Tangyar - Wari La - Tathok - Sakti - Chang La - Durbuk - Tangste - Lukung - Spangmik

    This route actually starts from Nubra Valley and is traversed in case someone does not want to return to Leh to go to Pangong, saving a day. Starting from Diskit, the center of Nubra Valley, the route takes to you to Khalsar. This junction village is where the road bifurcates to go to Leh and the Shyok Valley. In the initial days, this road was less known as the adventurers usually went to Leh with no or less knowledge of the inner roads of Ladakh. To this day, these roads are less known and less traveled. 

    As you drive further, you will reach another junction village called Agham. The road to your right takes you through Shyok Village, while the one to your left takes you to the offroad heave of Wari La. As you turn right, you need to prepare yourself for some of the toughest roads that you have ever driven on, with a multitude of steep sections and dirt roads. Climbing up to the Wari La Pass is something that will test the metal of any rider. One thing to note about this road is that when the snow starts to melt in the summer seasons, a number of streams erupt on the road, making things even more difficult. While riding on this road during your Leh Ladakh trip, you should be ready to see lesser and lesser number of vehicles, with only prayer flags appearing in a few locations.

    The grinding on the dirt road continues till you arrive into the village of Sakti, from where a sharp left brings you on to the Pangong Lake Road. The road will then take you over Chang La, through Durbuk, Tangtse, and Spangmik to finally arrive at Pangong Tso.

    Rafting can also be enjoyed on the rapids of the Zanskar river. The force of the waters along with the twists and turns of the river makes rafting in Ladakh on the Zanskar a memorable adventure activity.
  • 06Route 3:

    Diskit/Panamik - Khalsar - Agham - Shyok Village - Durbuk - Tangste - Lukung - Spangmik

    Comparatively shorter than the Wari La route, this road may be a straight shot to Durbuk but is one of the most difficult routes that you may have ever drive on. Driving for the most part along the Shyok River, the streams that run into its flow makes things a little more difficult, while the dirt ridden road full of boulders only makes things more adventurous.

    The road starts from Diskit, and goes onto Khalsar and then onto Agham, where you take the right turn and prepare yourself for a scenic ride straight to Pangong. The drive continues and you keep crossing the Shyok River a few times before finally arriving at the beautiful village of Shyok. As you arrive here, there is only 70 km of the road left in front of you, which will only take a couple of hours. 

    As you keep riding, you will eventually drive into the Pangong road on Durbuk, from where it is only about 50 km to Spangmik. Pangong is a beauty and as you drive on this road, you will see it from a long distance away, pulling you in instantly.

    Ladakh, the land of high passes is every biker’s favorite destination for bike riding. Here we have a detailed guide of Leh Ladakh Bike Trip which includes everything one needs to know from the best routes to all important thing that were required during the trip.

  • 07Best time for Leh to Pangong Lake Trip

    Taking care of road availability and climate throughout the year, the best time to visit Pangong Tso is during the months of May to September. Although people do visit Pangong lake in the months of winter, one usually finds a thick sheet of ice covering the lake, thick enough to walk on it and that is an adventure in itself.

    Don't forget to check out the Delhi to Leh guide before you start planning your next trip.

  • How to Reach from Leh

    Pangong is a great attraction and needs a bit of traveling to arrive at. And because Leh is a famous tourist attraction, there are a number of ways that one can travel from the Leh to Pangong Lake.

  • 08By Bike/Car

    The best, simplest and plain sailing way is to arrive at the beautiful lake in a private car or bike. You get your own pace, your own space, and arrive on your own terms. The beauty is entirely yours to capture, and the vehicle yours to enjoy. 

    You can get the cars/bikes from Leh itself or can get it booked from your travel agent. Now, because the road and terrain is pretty rough, try to make sure that you have 4X4 for this journey as your ordinary sedans and hatchbacks won’t make the cut.

    Check out the Manali to Leh bike tour which gives you a chance to explore the beauty of Manali and Leh.

  • 09By Bus

    Yes, there is a bus that takes you from Leh to Pangong Lake. Although, buses mean that you have to stick to a schedule and follow particular timings, but the excitement of traveling with the locals is something that overtakes every other factor. 

    A direct bus that takes you from Leh to Pangong runs every Saturday and Sunday at about 6 AM and brings you to Pangong in the late afternoon. The bus then halts there for the night and then journeys back to Leh the next morning. The fare for the bus is about Rs 250 per person one way.

    Check out here the list of all the monasteries in Ladakh that you must visit on your vacation to Leh Ladakh.

  • 10By Shared Taxi

    Because of unionization of the travel agents that provide their services, prices for shared taxis and cabs from one place to another are fixed. For a taxi for Pangong Lake to Leh for 2 days, the cab will start from INR 10,500 per car (depends on the make, space, and availabilty)

    Check out the most awaited camel safari in Ladakh which gives you an amazing experience to explore the beauty of Ladakh.
  • Things to Know during Leh - Pangong Lake Trip

    The ride from Leh to Pangong Lake will test all that a traveler, and at the same time, mesmerize you with the sheer beauty that prevails in this region. And that is why, it is advised that you keep ready the answers to all the hows, whys, whats, and wheres of Leh to Pangong. This guide will help you in answering most of these questions and glide through it.

  • 11Petrol Pumps on Leh - Pangong Lake Route

    Not just most, all of the petrol pumps in Ladakh are located in Leh, and as a result, you will not find any Petrol pumps in Pangong, or on the way to it.  Therefore, it would be a great idea to stock up on petrol or fill the tank to the top. 

    Ladakh is a land blessed by nature and the lakes in Ladakh are simply a case in point. Here we have the list of some best lakes in Ladakh.
  • 12Mechanics on Leh - Pangong Lake Route

    You will not find any mechanic on this road so make sure that your vehicle is fully healthy while embarking on this journey of Leh to Pangong Lake.

    Check out our best selling Manali Leh Srinagar bike trip and Manali Leh jeep safari package before you start planning your next adventure to Leh-Ladakh.

  • 13Mobile Network Connectivity

    As it is, the beauty of Pangong will make you forget about the existence of mobile phones or connectivity. 

    And in this case, it is a good thing that as soon as you leave Leh, the mobile networks disappear. No BSNL/MTNL postpaid, or Airtel work in this zone, so you can enjoy the beauty all on your own.

    Find out the list of some best homestays in Ladakh with good facilities,well furnished rooms and services.

  • 14Medical Facilities

    The only medical facility on the way that you will find is actually in Tangtse, which is about 35 kms from Spangmik. So if you have any condition that would require immediate attention, it is advised that you carry your own personal medication with you. 

    Also, because AMS is a looming possibility at such heights, you should also always carry the required medicines for that. Going to Pangong Lake from Leh can trigger a lot of situations, simply because of the sheer height of some of the places that you will be passing through.

    When you are looking for some outdoor activities then camping is the best option to stay. Here we have the list of some best camps in Ladakh.

  • 15Food Joints/Places to Eat between Leh and Pangong Lake

    The accommodation facilities at Pangong all provide meals to their guests either included or added to the package. Not just these, there are also small stalls and cafe strewn over the towns of Spangmik and Tangtse.

    Now, most of these places will serve either popular snacks like maggi, noodles, or toasts, or will serve you with traditional Tibetan Food. 

    Trekking in Ladakh is one of the best ways to explore the Himalayan region. So here we have list of some best treks in Ladakh.
  • 16ATMs on Leh - Pangong Lake Route

    This might come as a shocker, but there are no ATMs in Pangong. And neither does anyone accept any of the cards here. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry extra cash coming in here. You can bring some from home with you, or can collect it at the ATMs in Leh.

    Click here to check out the list of best hotels in Leh Ladakh before you start planning your trip and make your stay wonderful.
  • Hotels at Pangong Lake

  • 17The Kora Pangong

    A beautiful campsite beside the blue lake where Tibetan flags welcome all, Kora Pangong has comfortable tents, warm beds, blankets, hygienic washrooms, and a breathtaking view of the lake. The service is promt, the staff polite, and the experience memorable, and that is what puts the place apart from all other service providers. 

    Leh is the land of valleys and mountain passes, here is the list of some famous mountain passes in Ladakh which give you a chance to explore the beauty of Ladakh.
  • 18Alpine Huts

    With wooden huts that face towards the amazing blue lake, Alpine Huts is known for having insulated rooms, and warm cozy beds. Being as close as 800 m to the lake, the beauty of the view is something that will mesmerize you, and the pleasure of living, dining, and enjoying here will stay with you forever.

    Discover the less known side of Leh by exploring the festivals of Ladakh .
  • 19The Pangong Inn

    A deluxe hotel near the lake, Pangong Inn is a favorite of tourists as it provides spacious rooms, modern amenities, delicious and spacious dining, and most of all, a memorable view of Pangong Tso. With ample parking space and solar panels for an eco-friendly stay, Pangong Inn maintains its beauty with the thought of providing the best at the least possible cost. 
  • 20Hermitage At Pangong

    If full-length windows and proper luxury are your thing, then the Hermitage at Pangong is the place created perfectly for just you. White cottages sitting close to the lake give the guests a feeling of living on the lake itself, and pretty close to heaven. It is just another level of excitement to sip on a cup of tea as you look at the beautiful Pangong all day long. 

    Chadar Trek guide, one of the most adventurous and thrilling treks in the world, offers the best chance to explore the whole new world in th zanskar valley which will help the trekkers to beat all the challenges while trekking through the frozen river. 
  • 21Camp Redstart

    A camp with a garden, Camp Redstart is surely a place that you would love to stay in. With an almost panoramic view of the towering mountains and the blue lake, the place is also pretty affordable to stay in, especially when the place is giving you Deluxe Tents with attached bath and plenty of parking space to park your vehicles at.

    Experience more about Manali to Leh road trip  which give you a chance to feel the beauty of Manali and Leh.
  • 22Pangong Retreat

    Finding its place on a platform with a perfect view of the lake, the Pangong Retreat is home to 25 tents, all comfortable and cozy for the guests to enjoy staying in them. You can enjoy the view of the night, the hills and the lake, and unmatched hospitality, all at a really affordable price.

    Check out the detailed travel guide for Manali to Leh which gives you an amazing experience during your trip.
  • 23Camp Martsemik La

    A perfect example of an eco-friendly campsite, the Camp Martsemik La is home to 34 tastefully decorated tents, all of which have an open verandah to enjoy the view and have several activities in. And when you wake up the next morning, the first sight that you see will be the view of prayer flags waving at you, telling you that you are always welcome. 

    Click here to check out the best things to do in Leh and make your trip to Leh-Ladakh memorable. 
  • 24Wonderland Camp

    Much as the name suggests, this camp in the middle of the town of Spangmik is a wondrous place to live in during your stay at Pangong. A 24-hour open front work area, great staff, and a delicious variety of cuisine available make this place heaven, with the added advantage of an open view of the mountains and the blue lake.

    Check out the detailed guide for Leh Ladakh road trip which makes your journey easier and provide all necessary information.
  • 25Camp Whispering Camps

    Camp Whispering Camps is nestled on the banks of the Lake Pangong in the town of Spangmik. A perfect view of the lake and the mountains as soon as you step out of the tents is what makes the place a great place to stay during your visit to Pangong.

    Here we have a detailed guide for best time to visit Ladakh which helps in making your trip more joyful.
  • 26Safety Tips and Guidelines

    As with any journey, Pangong Lake from Leh is definitely something that will excite you to the core, but will also come with a set of its own precautions. You must always keep the following things in mind while making the trip.

    - Always keep your papers handy and keep a few copies with you just in case of a mishap. 

    - It is advised that you keep your personal medication always with you in case you may need it urgent. This is because of two reasons:
    1) you may not find it in Ladakh
    2) there is no medical facility on the way apart from the one at Tangtse.

    - Cash is equally as important because the only ATMs are in Leh, and the places near Pangong do not accept cards.
     
    - Dress according to the weather around. The altitude is really high and if you are someone who has not been at that height before, prepare yourself.
     
    - Keep yourself hydrated as dehydration is not only the first symptom of AMS, it is also the first contributor to it. Especially during the journey from Leh to Pangong Lake, as you will be passing higher altitudes like at Changla Pass, make sure you take enough water.

    - It is really dangerous to wander in these areas on your own, so
    1) always stay with or within the sights of your entourage
    2) if you are traveling alone, do not stray onto places you don’t know about.

    Leh-Ladakh is a dream come true destination. A vast landscape of enchanting and unspoiled natural beauty. Check out the Srinagar to Leh guide to make your trip easier and hustle free.

Adventure in Ladakh

Nature and wildlife in Ladakh

Homestays in Ladakh

Heritage hotels in Ladakh

Attractions

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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favourite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five-hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri-armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except for the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the centre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

To see the pure, rugged face of nature, One must visit Ladakh once in their lifetime.

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.

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Lamayuru Monastery

The high elevation where Lamayuru Monastery is located at amuses every traveler comes here. Existing on Leh-Srinagar Highway, around 15 kms east of the Fotu La, the monastery is perched on a height of 3510 meters. The murals, frescoes and the images of Buddha have created an interesting setting inside this famous Buddhist temple.

History

Lamayuru Monastery was originally the monastery belonged to Bon and the name means Swastika which symbolized eternity. The history says that an Indian scholar named Naropa caused a lake to dry up and there founded Lamayuru Monastery. Seng ge Sgang is the oldest building surviving which is dedicated to the builder-monk, Rinchen Zangpo.

The structure of the monastery

There were actually five buildings in the beginning and still one can find the remaining of the four buildings located in the corner. In the past there, were up to 400 monks and currently there are 100 monks residing in the monastery. There is a small temple can be seen which is dedicated to Avalokiteshwara.

Location: The monastery is located at a distance of 127 km from Leh in the Lamayuru region. You can reach the monastery via road by bus or jeep.

Timings: It is open on all days from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm.

Entry fee: INR 30 per person

Highlights: There will be two annual Mask Dance festivals happen which is the most suitable time to visit the monastery.

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Alchi Monastery

After the endless mountain peaks, green valleys, high passes, monasteries in Ladakh are the prime factors behind the huge number of visitors to the paradise every year. Alchi Monastery, a group of Buddhist shrines is now a remarkable landmark and a must visit tourist attraction in Leh. The rugged valleys, uneven mountain terrains etc are creating a flamboyant view from the monastery and make the travelers feel elevated. Alchi is a part of the three villages that together constitute to the Alchi Group of Monuments.

History

Alchi Monastery and its current guardians are grateful the great translator Rinchen Zangpo who was the reason behind the construction of the monastery. He built it in the AD 1000 and there were 32 wood carvers and sculptors from Kashmir to help him. But when the Gelug sect decided to shift the activities to Likir Monastery permanently, it turned to be the administrative shrine of the Alchi Gompa, officially.

Structure of the monastery

Alchi Monastic Complex has three principal shrines named the Dukhang or Assembly Hall, the Sumtseng and the temple of Manjushri. Chortens have a special space inside the complex. The wall paintings seen inside are dating back to the spiritual and artistic nuances found in Buddhism and Hindu Kingdoms. Like we seen in other monasteries, here also, you will find the huge statues of Buddha and several wood carvings and art works appearing in Baroque style.

Location: The monastery is located in Alchi Village in the Leh District, 70 km from Leh.

Timing: May to September on all days: from 10:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm.

Entry Fee: For Indians: INR 25, For Foreigners: INR 50

Highlights: The views from the monastery have attracted a lot of film production sets. Good photographic location as well.

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Royal Leh Palace

A nine storey high building displays the influence of Potala Palace in Lhasa is the famed Royal Leh Palace that stands with its head high on a cliff top overlooking the ravishing Leh town. Leh Palace is a must visit during anyone’s tour of Ladakh region as it has been standing there as a symbol of the old glorious days of the royal family lived here. The top floors accommodated the members of the regal community and the low floors were occupied by stables and stores.

History

In the 17th century, King Sengge Namgyal led the construction of Leh Palace and it gained fame in a short span of time. Later, it was termed as an architectural icon and the symbol of pride and glory of Leh. The history says that during the time when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh, Leh Palace was abandoned and the members of the family were asked to move to Stok Palace. The Archeological Survey of India has restored the valuable ruins of the palace and opened to the public as a remarkable tourist attraction.

Structure of the palace

There is a monastery behind the palace which is a part of the palace and there you will find the statue of a seating Buddha in there in the monastery behind the palace. On the walls of the palace, you will see the old pictures and paintings including Tibetan thangka.

Timings: The palace is open to the public on all days from 07:00 am to 04:00 pm

Entry fee: For Indians: INR 20 and for Foreigners: INR 100

Location: Leh Palace is closely located to the town. Visitors can reach the palace by walking from Leh town as it is about 5 kms away from there.

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Zanskar valley

The Zanskar Range is the mountain range in Jammu and Kashmir that acts as the separating line between Ladakh and Zanskar. The Zanskar Range is a part of the Tethys Himalayas, formed with weakly transformed sedimentary series. The average height of the Zanskar Range is 6000 meters. It is an inevitable spot for adventure lovers during their adrenaline rushing trekking trips to the Trans Himalayas every year.

On the way to Zanskar Valley, one will come across the incredible Suru Valley which puts forth a decent trekking experience to adventure lovers. Zanskar is alluring always with its brightly shining mountain peaks and the presumably attracting villages, sometimes, it looks overshadowing the relishing Changthang Region as well. Tourism has caused a great enhancements on the economic side of the region like education flourished and the lifestyle of the people has changed but it took its toll on the fragile mountain environment.

Nevertheless, Zanskar is the favorite tourist destination still because of the vast area that is made beautiful by multiple hues, the distinct flora and fauna and the extremely variant climatic conditions. There are two main branches of the Zanskar River; one is Doda which has source near Pensi-La and flows south eastwards to reach Padum and the second one is formed by two tributaries called Kargyag River and it has source near Shingo La.

Height: The valley is situated at an average height of 6000 meters above the sea level.

Location: It is located at a distance of about 464 kms from Leh and would take around 10 to 11 hours to reach. Buses are available from Leh to reach the valley.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August and September are suitable to visit the Zanskar Range as the other months will cause heavy snowfall and the roads will be blocked.

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Hemis National Park

Around 4400 sq.km is the area the prime attraction of Ladakh spreads into. We are talking about the renowned Hemis National Park named after the popular monastery in the region that is Hemis Monastery. The very rare species of wildlife is the reason behind its global recognition. Bharal and snow leopards are examples for the unseen animal collection found in Hemis National Park. The park is located on the west bank of the Indus River. 

The animals, the flora, the birds and the nature in the park and its vicinity are coming under the highly protected areas and this is the only place in India where the protected snow leopards are seen in abundance. The Rumbak and Markha catchments were found to be protected with the discovery of the park in 1981 and it grew into 4400 sq.km in 1990 and becomes the largest national park in South Asia. Argali or the Great Tibetan Sheep, Shapu etc are the supporters of the prey base for the predators in Hemis. Asiatic Ibex, the Tibetan Wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and red fox are some of the endangered species found before and some are still present in the park. The crucial problem faced by the park is the regular animal-human conflicts because over 1600 people are living inside the park boundaries, mainly pastoralists living with poultry farming, goats and sheep.

Height: The elevation at which the park exists is 3000-6000 meters above the sea level.

Location: The park is located about 5 kms from Leh and Leh Airport is the closest airport to the park.

Best time to visit: To reach the park there are a number of trekking routes opened from Mid-June to Mid-October. But the best season to spot snow leopards is of course, in late winter.


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Spituk Monastery

Spituk Monastery in Ladakh has another name that is Pethup Gompa, very famous among the locals. It is located at a distance of 8 km from Leh and there are 100 monks inside the gompa. The major attraction at the monastery is the giant statue of Goddess Kali. The Buddhist monastery is at a site which was blessed earlier by Arhat Nyimagung.

History     

Spituk Monastery was founded by Od-de. He was the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. When he came to Maryul, he built the monastery and introduced the monastic community. But Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo on his arrival said that an exemplary religious sect should be there and thus the name of the monastery was changed to Spituk which meant exemplary.

Structure of the monastery

There are three chapels in the gompa with numerous statues of Buddha and several thankas as well. The Dukhang Hall is the highlight and the two rows of seats running to a throne at the end are also something unique found here. Visitors will come across the beautiful sculptors and chortens.

Location: The monastery is perched on a thrilling hill top near Indus and about 8 kms away from Leh on Srinagar road. It is at an elevation of 3307 meters.

Timings: It is open on all days from 08:00 am to 01:00 pm.

Entry fee: INR 20 per person

Highlights: Gustor Festival held from the 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan Calendar and it is for two days with mask dance and prayers. Usually, the festival falls on winter time which guarantees the presence of natives in large but the number of tourists would be comparatively lesser.


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Visit to the Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame is a proud displayer of Indian Army simultaneously acts as the symbol of those dark days of India’s war against Pakistan. The museum that showcases seized arms and weapons of Pakistan army is located in Ladakh, the paradise of adventure lovers lying in the beautiful Himalayas. Moreover, the museum is considered to be a tribute to the brave soldiers who lost their lives during the war. To make it more appealing, the Indian Army has kept the photos and the things of those soldiers inside the museum. Also, the arranged items related to the history and culture of Ladakh, wildlife and vegetation have importance and amuses the visitors definitely. 

There are things which enhance every Indian’s patriotic feelings as well as they let us appreciate the bravery shown by every Indian soldier during the wars, from the heart. Different quotes, letters written by the soldiers, the tools, aircrafts, weapons, tents and what all the soldiers have used during the period are preserved which give every visitor a minute to think and pay tribute to those brave hearts who lost their lives to help every one of us sleep in peace. Located next to Leh Airfield, the museum is opened on all days. Every day, visitors will be able to watch a detailed documentary on Operation Vijai or Kargil War screened.

Entry fee:  For Indians: INR 10, for Foreigners: INR 50

Timings: 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and 03:00 pm to 07:00 pm

Highlight: Evening parade or march is a major event happening here

Location: 4 kms from the main town, on the way to Magnetic hill via Leh Srinagar Highway.

Tips: Camera and video are allowed inside but at an additional cost.


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Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is quite famous among Ladakh travelers but the unpredictable avalanche and severe climatic conditions make it scary some times. Nonetheless, it had made adventure seekers’ tour of Ladakh mind-blowing. A high mountain pass at an elevation of 3978 meters above the sea level, Rohtang is just 51 km from Manali. It is a part of the proud Pir Panjal Range of the mighty Himalayas.

It acts as the connecting link between Kullu Valley and Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Being an ancient trade route, it was well maintained by the natives. The generic name of the pass suggests that either the pass was the oldest and the most used pass. With the increase of visitors every year, the fragile mountain ecology will be in threat, environmentalists worry.

But the exciting beauty of the mountain terrains seen from the top of the pass is indescribable and flamboyant. The Indian Government started building a tunnel which is 8.5 km long to bypass Rohtang pass in order to reduce the travel time and distance to Keylong, Lahaul and Spiti and Leh.

The tunnel promises to reduce the distance by 50 km and the time by five hours between the south and north faces of Rohtang pass. Currently, the time taken to ascend and descend the pass itself is 5-6 hours.

Height:
 Rohtang Pass is located at an altitude of 3978 meters above the sea level in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.

Location:
 The pass is located about 51 kms away from Manali and you can reach the pass if you take Leh- Manali Highway.

Best time to visit: 
The pass will be open from the months of May to October as the snow starts melting and the paths will be cleared.

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Lachulung La

Apart from Khardung La or Baralacha La, Ladakh has numerous other passes at great heights which stand as Ladakh’s pride for centuries now. The glitters of other passes may be diminished by Khardung La mainly but all the other passes are equally important. Lachulung La is a single example.

The elevation of this pass is 5059 meters above sea level which is considered to be a dangerously exciting height for any pass after Khardung La. Lachulung La is on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Also, it separates the valleys of Tsarap Chu and Tozay. If you take Leh-Manali highway, you will be able to cross this pass that has other names such as Lachalung La, Lungalacha La etc. 

A fact that to be remembered before you head to visit this pass is, it is open only for four and a half months during summer. Any traveler should be prepared not to fall sick during the conquering of Lachulung La because its geographic status, the height, the rugged pathways and the remote villages it goes through may cause dramatic influence on your body. Being one of the most adventurous passes in Ladakh, Lachulung is a favorite stop avid adventure lovers.

Also, the surroundings are quite fictional as the towering Himalayan passes and the nature lying in correspondence to them are creating soothing visuals. Trekkers should be very careful while climbing the altitude up as altitude sickness is assured at the top and keep hydrated to maintain your body conditions with respect to the climate. But the descent is smooth and easy so that you will feel overjoyed till the end.

Height:
5059 meters

Best time to visit:
May to October

How to reach:
Take Leh-Manali highway, from Sarchu 54 KM and from Pang, 24 Km

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Tanglang La

Tanglang La is a high mountain pass, the glorious pride of Ladakh, the favourite tourist spot for bikers and trekkers. 5328 meters above the sea level is the dream like height of this pass which happily poses some threatening adventure to those who try to climb up the top. The road leading to the pass on Leh-Manali highway, from Upshi to Tanglang La is completely paved. A 500 meter long section of the road is the only part which is unpaved. Tanglang La is also beautifully paved to the make the climb easier. 

There are a lot of confusions existing regarding the position of Tanglang La in the list of world’s highest motorable passes and the world believes it to be the second highest which is proven to be wrong. The local sign on the top of the pass shows the altitude of the pass is 17582 feet or 5359 meters. But now, it is said that the sign board gives a wrong impression but the original height of the pass is 5328 meters. The pass is made beautiful by the innumerous Buddhist prayer flags despite the fact the road is tough to conquer and any type of traveler will fall for the scenery at the pass and adventure lovers would love to try their energy level by climbing up to the top. But remember, the oxygen level will be decreased as you cover the altitude and reaches to the half of what you feel at sea level.

Height: 5328 meters of 1248 feet

Best time to visit: May to October

How to reach: The pass is close to Leh-Manali highway and can be reached via 21 Gata loops

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