Located in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh is known for its stunning scenic beauty. Due to the strong influence of Tibetan Buddhism, Leh is also known as Little Tibet or the Land of Lamas. Barren mountains with brightly painted gompas (or monasteries), fluttering prayer flags, rocky ridges, tiny settlements, and the Indus River add to the overall charm of the region.
Leh now the Leh District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Leh was the capital of the Himalayan realm of Ladakh, now the Leh District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India (Leh District, with an area of 45,110 km2, is the second-largest district in the country – after Kutch, Gujarat – in terms of area). The town is still conquered by the now ruined Leh Palace, the previous mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the similar style and about a similar time as the Potala Palace. Leh is at an height of 3524 meters (11,562 ft) and connects via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via Leh-Manali Highway.
The Ladakhi language also called Bhoti.
Best time to visit Leh
Leh is one among the two districts of Ladakh. The weather is very cold during winters, thus causing frost bites. The best time to visit Leh is from June to September.
Leh is a amazing city which remains inaccessible for most part of the year. Due to climatic condition, the passes to reach Leh remains open only from the months of June till September.
Sightseeing places in Leh :
There are many places to visit in Leh. Leh is known for its beautiful monasteries, some of the places to see are:
a)Shanti Stupa – Around 5 km from Leh, Shanti Stupa is a white-domed Chorten, located on a hilltop in Chanspa, which was built between 1983 and 1991. Overlooking the Leh town, it is one of the best attractions in Leh.
b)Shey Palace Leh-Shey palace Leh is located beside the Indus River. Shey is approximately 15 kilometers from Leh and is a beautiful village in Ladakh. Shey palace is one of the ancient palaces in Leh. The Leh Shey palace is a famous tourist destination in Leh Ladakh. Shey Palace is reconstructed in the mostly ruined state
c)Leh Palace-located on the top of the deserted Tsemo Hill, Leh Palace is the former residence of the erstwhile royal family of Leh. The palace shares a resemblance to the Potala Palace of Lhasa. Slightly smaller in size, it is built up of stones, sand, wood, and mud. Also known as Lachen.
d)Hemis National Park -Located in the eastern Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Hemis National Park is called the Snow Leopard Capital of India. Established in 1981, this national park is best known for sheltering the highest density of snow leopards in the world. Another highlight of Hemis is that it is the only national park towards the north of the Himalayas. Besides, it is home to 16 mammal species and 73 bird species as per records.
e)Sindhu ghat Leh –SindhuGhat is in Leh and it is 10-11 km ahead upwards from the Indus River near Shrey. It is also considered one of the most peaceful banks. Sindhu as well as the Indus River are close to Mt Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet and then enter Pakistan and India by flowing through the Leh Valley. In Sanskrit, Sindhu means ‘large water body’ and the river is also one of the essential rivers in the history of India.
The name of the country is after this river and the people in this country are known as Hindus which comes from the Sindhu name in Arab.
f)Stok Palace Museum Leh-This four-story palace of the royal family of Ladakh is located a short distance across the Indus River, near Leh. It was the official residence of the royal family of Ladakh, constructed in 1814 by Ladakh’s last ruler. There are more than 80 rooms, only five of which are open to the public. It is a small museum with a collection of Buddhist art, weaponry, coins, seals, thangka paintings, other items from the royal household.
g)Hemis Monastery Leh –Around 40 km south-eastwards of Leh, Hemis Gompa is the largest and the most popular monastery of Ladakh. This monastery was constructed under the ruler of Ladakhi King Singge Namgyal in1672 AD. Hemis is the headquarters of Red Hat Drukpa order and all Ladakhi gompas. The young lamas are given training here.
Every year, the Hemis festival is celebrated here. Its highlight is a holy masked dance performance by the local resident Lamas.
Famous for its white-sand deserts and double-humped camels, Nubra Valley is certainly one of the best places to visit in Ladakh.
Valley is the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated about 150 km from Leh, Nubra Valley is known as the Orchard of Ladakh and was originally called Ldumra which meant the valley of flowers.
It is not just the scenic natural beauty of Nubra which attracts tourists. The valley is predominantly Buddhist and boasts of several centers of Buddhist learning.
Nubra is still important as it is a major trade center for woolen textiles made of Pashmina wool and horticultural crops. Locals produce fruits like apples, walnuts, apricots, almonds, and staple crops like wheat, barley, etc
Located at an elevation of 18,379 ft, Khardung La is the world’s highest motorable road and serves as a gateway to Shyok and Nubra valleys in the Ladakh region.
Khardung La (in Tibetan, La means pass) is situated about 40 km from Leh. The pass offers amazing views of the valley and the roads winding up the mountain. The clear air, scenic vistas, and the feeling of being on top of the world have made Khardung La a popular tourist attraction.
In order to make traveling through the pass smoother for tourists, vehicles from Leh towards Khardung La are allowed only from 9 am to 1 pm and those from Khardung La to Leh are allowed from 1 pm to 5 pm.
3.Pangong Tso Lake
Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 4350 m and is one of the biggest tourist attractions.
Situated in the Himalayan range it is approximately 140 km from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.
The name of the lake Pangong was got from the Tibetan word Banggong Co which means a narrow and enchanted lake.
Lamayuru is one of the largest and oldest gompas in Ladakh, with a population of around 150 permanent monks resident.
Lamayuru is popularly known as moonland by the locals due to its peculiar land surface which closely resembles the surface seen on the moon.
Lamayuru is host to two annual masked dance festivals in the second and fifth months of the Tibetan lunar calendar when all the monks from these surrounding gompas gather together to pray.
Alchi is a beautiful tiny hamlet, placed on low land. It lies on the banks of the Indus River, at a distance of around 70 km westwards of Leh. The village is known to have fertile land. You will notice the apricot trees on both sides of the road as you explore the place.
Alchi Monastery is the oldest Buddhist learning center in North India and is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the present era.
Ladakh is one of the best places to visit in the world. Majestic in its scope and fascinating in the depth and variety of its experiences. Ladakh gives you an experience of a lifetime.