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7 Days Ladakh Backpacking Tour

7 Days Ladakh Backpacking Tour

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Leh Ladakh Group Tour Package with Camping

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12 Days Manali Leh Srinagar Sightseeing Tour

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6 Days Leh Ladakh Biking Tour Package

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Manali to Leh Bike Trip from Delhi - 2019

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11 Days Srinagar Leh Manali Sightseeing Tour

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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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  • One of the many wonderful activities that the landscape of Ladakh offers its guests is river rafting. Rafting in Ladakh is one of the most underappreciated activities in the region, but also one of the most adventurous. Ladakh is home to the Indus river, which flows across its northern region before entering Pakistan. Though the river here is just beginning to gain momentum, the rapids to be found within it are of a force and intensity that make rafting in it a marvelous experience.

    Special Offer:  FLAT ₹2500 OFF On Road Trip to Ladakh from Manali

    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 whitewater rafting on the Zanskar a memorable adventure. The majesty of the Ladakh landscape adds a lot of depth to the act of rafting. 

    Limited Offer: 
    7 Days Ladakh Package with camping at 10% OFF

    Steal Deal:
    FLAT ₹6230 OFF On Manali to Leh Bike Trip 


    The towering mountains, the chilly winds, the fresh aromas in the air, the freezing waters and the sense of possibility that hangs in the air, all make Ladakh white water rafting a peculiarly intense experience. You can choose the rapid based upon the level of difficulty you are willing to undertake since the rivers have rapids ranging from level I to level IV. 

    Rafting in Leh is not a dangerous experience and can be enjoyed with an easy mind and an eager heart. River rafting adds depth to your Ladakh tour and allows you to enjoy the region in a different manner. Whitewater rafting is not simply an adventure activity you undertake in Ladakh, it is an experience you live through. 

    Here is a guide to river rafting in Ladakh:

  • 01Best Season for Rafting

    The Indus River water levels will remain high during the months from June to August, which is the best season for fascinating rafting expeditions. If you are planning a trip to Leh Ladakh that includes rafting, we recommend you to do it in this monsoon season, for it will be an experience of a lifetime.

  • 02Best Offers on Ladakh Tour Packages: Enquire Now

  • 03Rafting Ladakh Cost

    The cost for rafting in Ladakh is not that expensive. It is quite affordable. On an average, a grade II+ rafting for 2+ hours will be somewhere around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1800. This can increase or decrease based on the travel agent you pick and the level of rafting and time period you pick. However, this is the average rate - give or take a hundred. It is going to be one of the best adventure sport in Ladakh that you will experience.

  • 04Types of Rapids and Difficulty Level

    The whitewater Indus River rafting has rapids that are generally of I and II grades. However, some places can even have grades that can go from III to even V rapids. Some of the quite popular places in Leh for rafting are from Phey to Nimo. Upshi to Kharu and Upshi to Nimo are quite famous too. Some of the well-known raft points with rapids are difficulty levels are as follows:

    Phey to Nimo:

    Rapid: Grade II or III

    Difficulty Level: Medium

    Upshi to Kharu:

    Rapid: Grade I or II

    Difficulty Level: Easy

    Upshi to Nimo:

    Rapid: Grade II or III

    Difficulty Level: Medium

    Phey to Saspol:

    Rapid: Grade I

    Difficulty Level: Easy

    Phey to Indus via Zanskar at Nimo:

    Rapid: Grade III to V

    Difficulty Level: Medium to Hard

    Nimo to Alchi:

    Rapid: Grade III+

    Difficulty Level: Hard

    Alchi to Khaltsey via Nurla:

    Rapid: Grade II or III

    Difficulty Level: Medium

    Based on your likes and preferences, we would recommend you to pick a raft that will suit your needs. Do not attempt the hard level rafts if this is your first time. Go for the medium ones as they are both challenging as well as fun. If you are unsure, take your rafting guide’s suggestion.

  • 05Safety Measures in Rafting

    These are the Ten Commandments for safe rafting. Remember these throughout the rafting session. It also helps to stay calm and bold all through the rafting. By following these simple tips you can easily enjoy the experience of rafting in Ladakh.

    1. Choose a licensed, professional rafting agent.
    2. Always wear a life jacket, even if you know swimming.
    3. Make sure that your outfit and life jacket are comfortable.
    4. Do not wear any loose jewelry.
    5. Hold the paddle properly.
    6. Stay in the boat – Do not move unnecessarily.
    7. Learn at least basic swimming techniques before going on hard level rafting.
    8. Know and follow the commands that your raft leader gives.
    9. Do not panic. By panicking you are putting everyone at risk. Always be confident and cool.
    10. Listen to your guide in case of any issues. Do not act on your own accord.

    Explore the best places to visit and things to do in Ladakh such as Pangong Lake, Khardungla Pass, bike trips and other beautiful sights on your trip
  • 06Things to Carry

    While you cannot carry much on the rafting boat, except maybe a waterproof camera, if you are really interested, you need to carry these things and leave it in the starting point while going on a rafting trip in the majestic beauty of Ladakh.

    1. Towel
    2. Dry clothing
    3. Water shoes (to wear it in the boat – this is optional)
    4. Sunscreen
    5. Chapstick
    6. Toiletries
    7. Wallet

    Apart from this while you are rafting, you must be wearing easily dryable simple clothes – like shorts and tee.
  • Other Activities to do in Ladakh

  • 07Biking in Ladakh

    Biking in Ladakh

    Ladakh is a magnificent land and exploring it is an adventure unlike any other. There are many ways to explore Leh, but one of the best ways to do so is by heading out on a motorbiking trip around Ladakh. Biking in Ladakh can be a particularly intimate experience, with the high mountains enveloping you all around and the fresh, cold winds dashing into your face. 

    Biking is also an extremely accessible option. You can start biking trip from Srinagar, Manali, and even Leh itself, and they can be taken to all kinds of places where a car might find it difficult to go. Biking in Ladakh is one of the best ways to enjoy your trip to the region, so make the most of it.

    Leh Bike Tour Adventure with Camping

    Leh Bike Tour Adventure with Camping

    NNNNN506 Ratings

    d7 Daysn6 NightslLeh

    O22,030

    Starting from

    O19,450

  • 08Chadar Trek

    Chadar Trek

    Ladakh is the land of trekking adventurers with trails of all kinds enriching its lands. But the Chadar trek, also known as the Frozen River trek, is one of the most fantastic trekking adventures you can undertake in Ladakh. The Chadar trek only takes place in the winter months when the Zanskar River freezes over. 

    Trekkers walk over the frozen river, covering a distance of approximately 100 kilometres in a span of 8 to 10 days. This trek is one of the most challenging treks in the world, and not to be undertaken lightly. But the sheer thrill of living that you get out of experiencing this trek makes it absolutely worth the effort put into it, and the memories you make walking in sub-zero temperatures promise to stay with you for a lifetime. 

    Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2019

    Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2019

    NNNNN5526 Ratings

    d9 Daysn8 NightslLeh

    O26,500

    Starting from

    O19,500

  • 09Jeep Safari

    Jeep Safari

    Jeep safaris are among the most popular tourist touring options in Ladakh for a road trip.  Jeep safaris are fantastic because tourists can experience all of Ladakh with them easily and conveniently. Most jeep safaris of Ladakh begin in either Srinagar to Leh journey or Manali to Leh journey and include not only the attractions of Ladakh but also those that fall on the route to Ladakh, like Sarchu, Baralacha La, Zoji La, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and others. In Ladakh, tourists have the chance to visit the monasteries, popular passes and popular lakes of the region. 

    Jeep safaris are a great travel option for those who are traveling in large groups. There are many kinds of safaris available in Ladakh, including women-only safaris, so you can choose one according to your convenience. 

    Manali Leh Manali Jeep Safari

    Manali Leh Manali Jeep Safari

    NNNNN402 Ratings

    d12 Daysn11 NightslLadakh

    O44,590

    Starting from

    O37,900

  • 10Quad Biking in Nubra Sand Dunes

    Nubra valley features a desert-like landscape with sand dunes enriching its beauty. Enjoying these sand dunes is an experience to have in Ladakh and it is best done with quad biking. Quad biking on the sand dunes of Nubra valley serves to combine adventure with sightseeing and gives you an experience that is undeniably breathtaking. 

    You can quad bike solo through the dunes of Nubra or partner up on the bike and enjoy an adventure along with a loved one. 

    Nubra Valley is also one of the popular campsites in Ladakh. Aimed at tourists who love the best of worlds, experience camping in Nubra Valley for sure. 

  • 11Cycling

    Cycling

    Cycling in Ladakh is an audacious undertaking and one of the most adventurous and brave activities you can enjoy in the region. Cycling through the vast landscape of Ladakh promises to be a breathtaking experience, and it is also one of the most intimate ways of enjoying the land. Cycling around Ladakh makes you pay more attention to the smaller details of the landscape and allows you to admire the intricacy with which the greatest of marvels are wrought. 

    Cycling also makes you fell one with the land and can be a very meditative experience. The stillness without adds to the stillness within and the strenuous nature of the activity necessarily forces away all worrisome thoughts. It is a beautiful experience and the pride of completing a cycling expedition from Manali to Ladakh is something that stays with you forever. 

    Manali to Leh Cycling Tour 2019

    Manali to Leh Cycling Tour 2019

    NNNNN464 Ratings

    d13 Daysn12 NightslLadakh

    O34,500

    Starting from

    O33,000

  • 12Markha Valley Trek

    Markha Valley Trek

    The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most adventurous treks in Ladakh. Considered to be amongst the more moderate treks in the region, the Markha Valley Trek takes the trekkers through the Hemis National Park, crosses Gandala La and Kongmaru La passes, passes over some deep river waters of the Markha river and weaves through several Ladakhi villages. 

    The trek offers some of the most exotic views of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, along with Stok kangri and Kang Yissay. Trekking to Markha valley is a wonderful experience that can be enjoyed even by people who are not extremely well-versed trekking tough routes. Culture and natural beauty come together on this trek to make it one of the best ways of exploring Ladakh

    Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh 2019

    Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh 2019

    NNNNN1039 Ratings

    d9 Daysn8 NightslLeh

    O22,500

    Starting from

    O19,500

  • 13Camping at Pangong Lake

    Camping at Pangong Lake

    Pangong Lake is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Ladakh. This fairytale lake is spread out over 150 kilometres and spans both India and Tibet. The changing colours of the lake with the stalwart mountains reflected in its depths against a deep blue sky make for an experience that imprints itself in your memories indelibly. While you can take a day trip to Pangong lake, the camping on the shores of the lake is a far more powerful and magical experience. 

    To watch the lake as it takes on the fiery colours of the setting sun before its turns into a moonlit mystery and to sit by the campfire in the surrounded by the night’s total stillness is what experiencing Ladakh is all about. Camping in Pangong lake is an experience that should not be missed when you are in Ladakh. 

    Backpacking Leh Ladakh Tour Package with Camping at Nubra Valley

    Backpacking Leh Ladakh Tour Package with Camping at Nubra Valley

    NNNNN162 Ratings

    d6 Daysn5 NightslLadakh

    O12,570

    Starting from

    O8,799

  • 14Camel Safari in Nubra Valley

    Nubra valley is a vast and beautiful destination in Ladakh- part grassland, part desert, surrounded on all sides by mountains breathtaking in their majesty. There are many ways to enjoy the beauty of this valley, but undertaking a camel safari is one of the best. Camel safaris in Ladakh  are memorable in part because they are so unique. 

    To head out into the valley bouncing upon the back of a graceful camel and to explore its nooks and corners in depth is a fascinating experience. There are many opportunities for camel safaris in Nubra Valley and many options. You can choose to undertake a multi-day safari that takes you all over the valley or simply enjoy a single day on camel-back. 

  • 15Solve the Mystery of Magnetic Hill

    The Magnetic Hill is one of Ladakh’s most popular touristic attractions as well as one of its most startling natural wonders. The Magnetic Hill is a “gravity hill’, that is to say, it is capable of creating an optical illusion which makes objects that are actually traveling downhill appear as if they are moving uphill in defiance of gravity. 

    This optical illusion makes looking upon the activities on the hill a mind-bending experience. It is a unique phenomenon, one of the few in India. 

    Experience Camping in Ladakh for your stay when you visit this majestic beauty of the world.

  • 16Explore the Monasteries of Ladakh

    Buddhism has deep roots in Ladakh and the monasteries that dot the landscape of the region are a perfect testament to this legacy. There are hundreds of monasteries in Ladakh though only a few of them are in good condition and open to the public. The monasteries of Ladakh date as far back as the 1st century AD and are wonderful places to explore.

    The far-flung locations of these monasteries in addition to their customary serenity and stillness make them wonderfully restorative locations in Ladakh. No trip to the region is complete without visits to the monasteries of Ladakh, most notable of which are the Hemis Monastery, the Diskit Monastery, the Thiksey Monastery, the Likir Monastery, and the Spituk Monastery. 

    Explore The Best Hotels In Leh For Your Trip which will sparkle to your trip. 


Rafting 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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