The beautiful regions of Leh and Ladakh, are together touted as a paradise on earth. These twin regions also served as Buddhist Kingdom in ancient times. The Leh-Ladakh region, located near the base of the Great Himalayas and the Karakoram Mountains is blessed with abundant natural beauty and scenic locales. Ever year, visitors from India and abroad, come to this region to spend vacations, indulge in adventure sports, or seek spiritual gratification!
Here’s our extensive list of top 8 places in Leh Ladakh that you must visit to make your trip a highly enjoyable and truly memorable one.
1. Kargil Township
This is the second largest township in Ladakh and is well-connected to Leh and Srinagar via road network. For adventure sports buffs and thrill seekers, this place offers many facilities for mountain climbing and trekking activities. With its scenic beauty, it manages to draw all large number of, both, vacationers and adventure, every year.
2. Royal Leh Palace
King Sengge Namgyal built this beautiful 9-storey high building in the 17th century. Currently, it has an in-house museum and you can feast your eyes on the extremely rare collections of ceremonial robes, jeweled crowns, ornate jewelleries, and other precious artifacts. Interestingly, you can revel in the grand panoramic view of the Indus River and the rest of the Leh region.
3. Khardung-la Pass
This high altitude somewhat difficult pass connects the Shyok and Nubra valleys. It is a well-maintained pass and a hot favorite of adventure junkies. The government-owned Border Roads Organization oversees the maintenance and repair tasks related to this stretch of road.
4. Key Monastery
It is the biggest Buddhist monastery of Spiti Valley. This 1000-year-old picturesque monastery is a tourist hotspot as well as a favored destination for Bollywood movie shoots. It’s Pasada-style of architecture, mural decorations, and thangkas make this place look unique and beautiful. You will also find its ancient weapons equally mesmerizing!
5. Hemis National Park
Considered as the largest national park in India and rest of South Asia, it is a natural abode to many species of mammals. Most of these animal species are rare and facing extinction, such as Asiatic ibex, red fox, Eurasian brown bear, Tibetan wolf, and snow leopards. Various species of migratory birds also visit this pollution-free and tranquil area every year as it is protected by the Indian Government. Thus, this protected wildlife park is a hot destination for sightseers, bird-watchers and nature lovers, alike.
6. Nubra Valley
This one-of-its kind and enchanting valley lies towards the north-east of Ladakh. Its pristine sand dunes and the sight of two-humped camels will definitely astonish you. This land of contradictions will amaze you further with the scene of vagrant and vividly-colored flowers dotting its lush-green surroundings. Popularly known as ‘the valley of flowers’, this idyllic and photogenic region is really a tourist-haven.
7. Pangong Tso Lake
This magnificent lake with crystal-clear blue waters is located on the Changtang plateau in Ladakh region. It is one of the most popular tourist places in the Leh-Ladakh region and offers a great place for photography and camping activities. In fact, the last scene of the Bollywood movie- ‘3 Idiots’ was shot, here. If you are a bird-lover, you will surely love to watch the rare ‘Black-necked Siberian’birds resting around the place, during the migration season!
8. Magnetic Hill or Gravity Hill
One of the most mystifying places on earth, its unexplained gravity-defying magnetic properties continues to baffle the scientists to this date. If you really want to witness the surreal phenomenon with your own eyes, then we suggest that you leave your four-wheeler with its brake unlocked, at the bottom of the hill. After a few minutes, you will find your vehicle moving up this hill slowly and on its own. It’s no wonder that all airplanes and helicopters flying over this region are instructed to fly at a higher altitude to bypass the existing magnetic interference.
Apart from these most-visited tourist spots, there are other attractive sites that you explore. In fact, this part of India offers a plethora of ancient monasteries, valleys, mountain peaks, and water bodies which will refresh your mind, body, and soul to a great extent. A 32-feet tall golden statue of Lord Buddha at Diskit Gompa is also worth a watch. If you want to revel in the beautiful scene of sun rising and setting, then you should travel to Chanspa to visit the white-domed structure named Shanti Stupa. This place houses stunning sculptures of Lord Buddha, holy relics, and religious booms related to Buddhism. According to historians, this ancient monument was built to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. Another place of attraction that you can checkout is the Spituk Gompa which displays beautiful carvings in wood and brass. If you are into water sports and trekking, then you might find the Zanskar River and its peaceful valley quite interesting. Do try your hands at ‘white-river rafting’, if you happen to visit this location!