Visiting Leh Ladakh can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. It is the joint capital and largest city of the Ladakh region, and historically, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Ladakh. During our trip, we visited Khardungla Pass, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, and Pathar Sahib Gurudwara.
1. Khardungla Pass
Among the best places to visit in Leh Lahakh is the Khardungla pass. Located at an altitude of 5,359 meters, Khardungla is one of the highest motorable passes in the world. The spectacular views of the surrounding valleys are the perfect incentive for bikers to climb this mountain pass, which is also the gateway to the Nubra and Shyok valleys.
In the vicinity, you can see the beautiful Pangong Lake. Its waters are turquoise-blue and are only found in Ladakh. Be sure to pack extra warm clothes as the nights are extremely cold. You may even see the famous “3 idiots” film being filmed in this region. A trip to this area is sure to be a memorable one!
While travelling through Ladakh, don’t miss Moonland. This quaint village located between Kargil and Leh is renowned for its moon-like landscapes, which have earned it the nickname ‘Moonland.’ The scenic beauty of the village has influenced many traveller’s romantic stories. It is definitely worth a visit.
2. Pangong Lake
While summer is a great time to explore the beautiful lake, you may wish to visit it during the winter. Though the temperature in Ladakh is very cold in winter, it’s not quite as cold in the summer months. If you’re in Ladakh in the summer, you can also take advantage of other attractions nearby. The road to Pangong Lake is well maintained and many travel agents offer day trips and overnight stays.
Visitors to Pangong Lake will see the beautiful, turquoise waters covered in a thick layer of ice. During May to September, you’ll see slight ripples on the surface of the lake. In the winter, however, the lake freezes over to a thick sheet of ice and is a sight to behold. Because of the cold temperatures, winters at Pangong are difficult to access, but you can take an army vehicle or local jeep to the lake’s edge.
For those who love birds, the Pangong Lake is a natural wonder that has a special attraction for nature lovers. It’s a salty lake that freezes over and is covered in thick sheets of ice. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of migratory birds and wildlife. You’ll be able to spot black-necked Siberian cranes in the lake’s calm waters, which are home to rare species.
3. Nubra Valley
In the north east of Ladakh, the Nubra Valley is a must-visit place. The Valley is home to the Shyok River, a tributary of the Indus river. Here, it meets the Nubra or Siachen river and flows into the Indus. The valley is a popular tourist destination for trekking and is home to some of the country’s finest mountain views.
The most popular attraction in the Nubra Valley is the 106-foot Maitreya Buddha statue, located near the Diskit monastery. The statue was donated by the Gompa head. The legend has it that the statue was built to help prompt world peace and protect the village from wars. Located approximately 150 km north of Leh, Nubra Valley is accessible by road through the world’s highest motorable pass, the Khardung La. The airport in Leh is the closest airport.
The area is also home to several monasteries. Diskit monastery is the largest and oldest of these monasteries. It is part of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. It was founded by Lama Jangsem Sherab Zangpo, a disciple of Je Tsong Khapa. The monastery offers a panoramic view of the Nubra valley. Other notable landmarks include the giant statue of Maitreya Buddha, located at the Panamik monasteries.
4. Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
If you’re planning to travel to Leh Ladakh, you might want to include this place in your itinerary. The Pathar Sahib Gurudwara is an imposing white structure that can be visited on a trip to Ladakh. It is located in a valley that was once overrun by a demon. The local people prayed to God to save them from the demon. Once he arrived, he helped the people and settled down on the riverbed below the demon. After Guru Nanak Dev had helped them, the demon finally killed him.
This sahib is located just 25 miles away from Leh. It is a popular destination for tourists and is maintained by the Indian Army. Many tourists will visit this place to pay their respects to the Guru. The temple offers langaar to visitors. While you’re there, you’ll be able to sample the cuisine that is unique to the Ladakh region.
Another important place to visit in Leh Ladakh is the Pathar Sahib Gurudwari. The path to the Gurudwara is not far from the city, and is also a great way to end a trip to the area. Located just south of Leh City, this Sikh temple is an excellent choice for a day trip or a longer itinerary.
5. Shanti Stupa Ladakh
The imposing Shanti Stupa is one of the most important monuments in Ladakh. It is located in the Nubra valley and was built in the 14th century. It has an ethereal aura that is hard to resist. Another noteworthy sight is the Shanti Stupa, a beautiful dome-shaped Chorten with a sweeping view of Leh. The walls depict the life of Lord Buddha.
The majestic Shanti Stupa is a white-domed Buddhist monument located on a steep hilltop in Leh. It was built by Buddhists and locals to commemorate the 2500 years of Buddhism in this region. The spire contains relics of the Buddha. The 14th Dalai Lama has consecrated the stupa. This place offers stunning views of the Leh valley, especially during full moon nights.
Another site you must see is the Gol Market. If you’re looking for souvenirs or antiques, this is the place to go. There are several souvenir stores and antiques stalls here. You can also buy souvenirs and antiques from the market. And don’t forget to visit the Gol Market, which is located 260 km from Leh.
6. Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey Monastery in Leh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Ladakh region. The 12 level monastery is home to Tibetan Buddhist monks and represents the unique culture of Ladakh. You can stay at the nearby Chamba Hotel. There’s also a restaurant in the hotel. You can get basic food and drinks at the hotel.
The monks here follow the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Known for their yellow hats, they are well-known throughout the region. You can also see many important Buddhist texts and art in the monastery’s collection. A highlight of the monastery is a massive statue of Buddha, which is the largest one in Ladakh. You can visit this monastery in May or October to learn about the history of Buddhism and the Buddhist faith.
Near the Thiksey Monastery, you can also visit the Diskit Monastery. Founded in the 14th century, the monastery has a calming aura. It sits on a hill in Chanspa. Nearby is the Shanti Stupa, a massive Buddhist Chorten that offers a panoramic view of Leh and the surrounding area. The walls of the building display images of the life of the Lord Buddha.
7. Zanskar Valley
If you want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas, the Zanskar Valley is the place to go. The valley is home to many spectacular hamlets and steep terrains covered in snow. It is one of the most remote places in the Himalayas and is also famous for white river rafting. Although the area is relatively isolated throughout the year, there are still a lot of activities that you can enjoy during your visit.
The Zanskar Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Leh Ladakh. It is a vast area with varied hues and unique flora and fauna. The Zanskar river has two main branches: Doda River, which rises near Pensi-La and flows south eastwards to Padum; and Kargyag River, which has two tributaries. The valley is located approximately 464 kms from Leh. You can take a bus to reach Zanskar Valley.
If you are looking for a unique road trip, make sure to make a stop at Khardung La Pass. Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the world, and is popular among motorbike enthusiasts. There’s also a souvenir shop at Khardung La. The Indian Army also uses the road, which was opened for vehicles in 1988.