Leh, the capital of a beautiful and peaceful kingdom Ladakh is now dream city for many people to visit. The place is one of the coldest desert around the globe which is located 434 km away from Srinagar and 474 km away from Manali. A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture.
Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. 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 this kingdom makes 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.
BEST TIME: MAY-JUNE
IDEAL TIME: 5-7 DAYS
TEMPERATURE: AVG. 3 DEGREES
TAGS: PILGRIMAGE, TOURIST
How to reach?
BY CAR: Distances by Road
- Srinagar – Leh: 434 Km
- Manali – Leh: 473 Km
- Srinagar – Kargil: 204 Km
- Delhi – Leh: 1047 Kms
- Leh – Kargil: 234 Km
- Kargil – Padum (Zanskar): 240 Km
- Leh – Deskit (Nubra Valley): 118 Kms.
- Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport of the area. The flights are directly connected from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu; by the flights run by Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways. The schedules are set already though, but these are subject to change according to the weather.
Places to visit in Leh
1. Pangong Tso Lake
The sparkling blue lake keeps every visitor enchanted,fascinated and in nothing but awe at it’s sheer expanse, sparkling colour and backdrop. It is 124 km long and extend from India to Tibet, where 60% of the lake lies. The approx. altitude of this lake is 4350 metres. The lake freezes completely during winters in spite of its salinity. The lake has been a tourist attraction since a very long time and has gained further popularity after being a ‘hot-spot’ for many film shoots including 3 Idiots. This fascinating place is 5 hrs. drive from Leh. In summer it is a home for many migratory birds like sea gulf and numerous ducks.
2. Tso moriri Lake
Moriri Tso lake is twin to the Pangong Tso Lake. Located inside the Changtang wildlife sanctuary, this lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquility. The water body measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 100 feet average in depth. The lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains.
3. Leh Palace
Leh Palace known as the ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ is a former royal palace of the Leh Kingdom. It is one of the biggest tourist attraction of Leh city. The 17th century Palace, Leh Palace is also one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine floors.Founder of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh, Tsewang Namgyal started the building of the Leh Palace on the Tsemo Hill in 1553. The construction was completed by the 17th century during the reign of Sengge Namgyal known as the ‘Lion’ King. The upper floors of the nine-storied palace were used for residential purpose by the royal family, whereas the lower floors had storerooms and stables. The palace is now in a run-down condition being maintained and restored by the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ (ASI).
4. Shanti stupa
The Shanti Stupa is a white coloured, domed structure, located in Changspa which looks extremely beautiful during night. It was build by Japanese Buddhist organization for celebrating 2500 years of Buddhism and promotion of world peace.It was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985.This dome is known for its gilt panels depicting the life stories of Lord Buddha. It is just 5 kms away from the main city of Leh and is surrounded the traditionally built houses of the locals and snow-covered mountains. Take the steep slights to reach the Stupa that offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views.
5. Hemis Monastry
Hemis Monastery, 40 kms towards the south-east of the main city of Leh is the largest as well as the most well-known monastery (Gompa) in Ladakh. This monastery plays host to an annual festival that is held in the month of June which is also a major tourist attraction. This colourful day-long festival is called Hemis Tsechu which is a state holiday. During the course of the festival, the local resident Lamas perform a holy masked dance to glorify the victory of good over bad. Today it is taken care off by the Drukpa sect of Buddhism. The monastery has beautiful paintings and a statue of Lord Buddha.
Food to eat there!!!
Amongst the favourite dishes of Ladakhi people is the thukpa, a noodle soup with boiled vegetables, chunks of chicken or mutton served with spicy ‘chutney’ to enhance the zing. A hot bowl of thukpa served with ‘khambir’, locally baked bread,is the best way to beat the chilly weather. It is available in every little cafe or street-stall.
Momo is a type of steamed bun with or without filling. People of all ages are crazy about momos, but trust me if you eat the Ladakhi momos you would never want to have momos of any other place.Also found all over the place, are golden dumplings and wontons or popularly called ‘momos’.
3. Apricot Jam
Ladakh apricot store has the most famous locally made products from apricot. At this store in Leh, you find everything made from apricots, from jams to pickled apricots to apricot facepacks and scrubs. Enjoy the herbal life by splurging on some of these organic products. The jam is drool worthy and definitely recommended.
Accommodation in Leh Ladakh is not at all an issue. There are many hotels present and getting a room with good service is not at all tough as the hotels there are mostly clean, hygeanic and have good services. Among them some of the best are given below:
- The Silk Route
- WoodyVu Stok House
- Gomang Boutique Hotel
- Ladakh Himalayan Retreat
- Hotel Kanglachan
So what are you waiting for!!! Start packing your bags today…
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