Leh is the heart of the Leh district and capital of Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India.A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth. Leh is located in the Indus river valley at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, sceneries to the modest cultures that it fosters. Right from gompas to the sensational momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit makes this city make it heaven on earth. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.Ladakh,is divided into two districts: district Leh, and district Kargil. The former district has a popular town “Leh”and is a great tourist attraction because of its beautiful monasteries, picturesque locations, and interesting markets defining the culture of the place. Travelling in Leh without professional guidance is like shooting for the moon while being too busy gazing the stars. There are various giants offering customized packages that are tailor-made to suit your needs.
How To Reach:-
By Air:- Flights to Leh are available for booking all year round, even in winters.The airport (Km430, Leh–Spituk hwy) is 4km south of centre. The Leh Airport is a military airport and security checks are a little more stringent than usual. Please carry a printout of your e-ticket before entering, failing which you might be denied entry. From the airport, you can easily get taxis that will take you to your hotel/resort.
By Train:- Pathankot and Chandigarh are the closest railway stations to Leh, still a three-day bus ride awayA new station added recently is Udhampur which is linked by rail to Jammu. Please check the Train schedule as trains may not run on daily basis.
Self Drive:- Driving to Leh is considered as an adventure. The road trip/driving to Leh by bikes, Jeep and SUV which many travellers drive on to,but driving to Leh is certainly an adventure. You can either take the (lower) road from Jammu and Kashmir or the (higher) road from Rohtang La via Keylong and Sarchu, will be a lifetime adventurous experience for the travellers
Things To Do:-
White water rafting, chadar trek, bactarian camel safari nubra valley, mountain biking, ladakh trekking, darcha to padum trek, wamda wood carving.
Places To Visit:-
Palace of the King of Ladakh:- Modelled on the basis of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, this nine-storey dun-coloured edifice is Leh’s dominant structure and architectural icon. It took shape under 17th-century king Singge Namgyal but has been essentially unoccupied since the Ladakhi royals were stripped of power and shuffled off to Stok in 1846.
Leh Old Town:- Charming Old Town can be found on the walk up to the palace, and is great for photography. It’s a place that time seems to have forgotten.
Shanti Stupa:- Situated at a height of 4267 meters overlooking the Leh city, the Shanti stupa gives a panoramic view of surrounding snow capped mountains. It is at a distance,built by a Japanese Buddhist group. This modern stupa is somewhat kitschy, but still worth a visit.
Pangong Tso:- A beautiful high altitude lake at 4350 meters with deep blue waters, surrounded by tall mountain peaks. This lake lies on the Indo – China boundary, with only one fourth of the lake being in India. The road to this lake passes through Chang-la pass , claimed to be at 5425 meters. It’s a five hour drive (149 Kms) from Leh to this place.
Tso Moriri Lake:- From Leh it took 6-7 hours to reach Tso Mori Lake. It is beautiful lake located in secluded Rupshu valley.
Magnetic Hill:- With anti-gravitational effect, this is the only magnetic hill in India. Landmarked by a yellow notice board that spells out instructions and asks you place your car on neutral gear right on the spot marked by white paint, this one will leave you in awe as your car will begin to move uphill on its own.
Namgyal Tsemo monastery:- Founded in early 15th century, Namgyal Tsemo monastery in Leh in Ladakh is renowned for its three-storey high solid gold idol of Maitrieya Buddha. Situated on a mountain top behind the Leh palace, the monastery offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the gently flowing Indus river and the snowcapped peaks of Zanskar range.
Khardung La Pass, Leh Ladakh:- Best known as the gateway to the Nubra and Shyok valleys in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, the Khardung La Pass, commonly pronounced as Khardzong La, is a very important strategic pass into the Siachen glacier and claims to be the world’s highest motor able pass at an elevation of 5,602 m.
Hall Of Fame Museum:- Well-presented museum look at Ladakhi history and culture. But mostly it commemorates the Indian Army’s role in Ladakh, from helping with cloudburst relief in 2010 to the high-altitude battles fought with Pakistan during the 20th century. A 30-minute film introduces the 1999 Kargil War.
Nubra Valley:- From Leh, you can hire a car and drive over , Kardung-La, to the Nubra Valley. You will need an “Inner-Line Permit” , easily arranged from any of the travel agents or get it yourself in Leh. The Nubra Valley is at the base of the Karakorum Range. Within the valley are the Hundar Sand Dunes, well worth seeing. You can hire a 2-humped Bactrian camel there for 300 rupees and take a ride, great fun.
Best Time To Visit:-
April to June:- April to June is one of the best times of the year to visit Leh.Usually by the second week of May, the crucial Srinagar-Leh highway opens up leading to a flurry of tourism energy into Ladakh.hotels and guesthouses offer heavy discounts, benefitting all the travelers who happens to be present here around this time. However, both Khardung La and Chang La passes are still under the snow and it’s a memorable experience in itself to pass through them
July to August:- The roads are flanked by high snow walls around Rohtang and sometimes Baralacha Pass too and there are many other incredible views of pervading snow to enjoy.The monsoon months, i.e. late July till end of August sometimes experience landslides and cloud bursts.
September to October:- This is one of the best seasons of all for visiting the amazing and picturesque locations of Leh and Ladakh as the place is imbued in wonderful colors in all their glory right up thorough the Srinagar-Leh as well as Manali-Leh roads and it is the best time for trekking.
November to February:- This is the coldest seasons of all in Ladakh when the region is completely cut-off from rest of the India by road, although roads to Pangong Tso Lake and Nubra Valley over KhardungLa Pass and Chang La Pass are kept open all round the year, leaving few days of snowfall. The winters on the “roof of the world” can get unbearable.