Top 10 places to visit when you are in Ladakh


  1. Leh: the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. 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 dominated by the ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace-the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Leh is at an altitude of 3524 metres (11,562 ft), and is connected via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway. In 2010, Leh was heavily damaged by the sudden floods caused by a cloud burst.Leh is the capital of Ladakh and also the largest town there.
    Leh being the capital of Ladakh Kingdom has many historical places and monasteries. It has become a tourist hub and is connected with Srinagar and Manali by road and can even be reached by air. It is a bagpacker’s heaven with cheap hotels, good food, hospitable locals and exotic culture and destination. You would find decent commuting options in Leh to visit most of the places in Ladakh.


  1. Kargil: is a district of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. It is located 60 km and 204 km from Drass and Srinagar to the west respectively, 234 km from Leh to the east, 240 km from Padum to the southeast and 1,047 km from Delhi to the south.
    Kargil is the second largest town in Ladakh. The town is a valley surrounded by mountain on all sides. There is not much to see in Kargil but it has an old world charm. There are many places to explore around Kargil.


  1. Pangong Lake: is a salt water lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. Altogether it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. It is not a part of Indus river basin area and geographically a separate landlocked river basin.The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.Pangong Lake seemed to be the favorite destination for many tourists visiting Ladakh. A few years back it was a beautiful brackish lake known to very few people. It was relatively unknown before it got popularized by the blockbuster film 3 Idiots. After that tourists have increased manifold. Pangong Lake may be perhaps one of the most beautiful high-altitude lakes in the world. It can be reached after 6 hours drive from Leh.


  1. Lamayuru Village and Monastery: is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Lamayuru, Leh district, India. It is situated on the Srinagar-Leh highway 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of the Fotu La at a height of 3,510 metres (11,520 ft).
    The Lamayuru monastery is the most beautiful monastery. The village is centered around this ancient monastery and is worth a visit. It is the center of Buddhism and is one of the most revered Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. The small village is also the host for many annual events and religious festivals. Don’t miss the strange, out of this world ‘moonscape’ just near the village.

Tsomoriri lake

  1. Tsomoriri Lake: also knows as the “Mountain Lake”, is a lake in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The official name of the land and water reserve here is the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.The lake is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes entirely within India and entirely within Ladakh in this Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region. It is about 16 miles (26 km) north to south in length and two to three miles (3 to 5 km) wide.
    The lake has no outlet at present and the water is brackish though not very perceptible to taste.The lake is fed by springs and snow-melt from neighboring mountains. Most water enters the lake in two major stream systems, one entering the lake from the north, the other from the southwest. Both stream systems include extensive marshes where they enter the lake. It formerly had an outlet to the south, but this has become blocked and the lake has become an endorheic lake. The lake is oligotrophic in nature, and its waters are alkaline.Accessibility to the lake is largely limited to the summer season, though Karzok on the northwest shore and the military facilities on the eastern shores have year-round habitation.


  1. Sand Dunes at Hunder: Nubra valley is full of surprises. It is also one of the greenest valleys you will come across in Ladakh. Hunder is a beautiful village in the middle of this valley known for its mysterious sand dunes. It is believed to have been formed out of a river bed that dried or got washed off by forces of nature like rain and wind. It also offers camping facilities. It has a small population of two-humped camels called Bactrian camels, that can be spotted and are like an attraction of Hunder.


  1. Khardungla Pass: is a mountain pass in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. The pass was built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m (17,582 ft). Local summit signs and dozens of stores selling shirts in Leh incorrectly claim that its elevation is in the vicinity of 5,602 m (18,379 ft) and that it is the world’s highest motorable pass.Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hunder, in the area north of the pass. During World War II there was an attempt to transfer war material to China through this route.

hemis monastery

  1. Hemis Monastery: is a village in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located in the Leh tehsil, 40 km southeast of the Leh town, in LadakhHemis is well known for the Hemis monastery that was established in 1672 AD by king Senge Nampar Gyalva. The village hosts a colorful festival held in July. It is close to the Hemis National Park, an area that is home to the endangered snow leopard. The national park was created in 1981.

alchi monastery

  1. Alchi Monastery:  is a Buddhist monastery approximately 50 Kilometres from Leh, known more as a monastic complex – of temples in Alchi village in the Leh District, of the Indian state under the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council of Jammu and Kashmir. The complex comprises four separate settlements in the Alchi village in the lower Ladakh region with monuments dated to different periods. Of these four hamlets, Alchi monastery is said to be the oldest and most famous. It is administered by the Likir Monastery.Alchi is also part of the three villages (all in lower Ladakh region) which constitute the ‘Alchi group of monuments’; the other two villages adjoining Alchi are the Mangyu and Sumda Chun. The monuments in these three villages are stated to be of “unique style and workmanship’, but the Alchi monastic complex is the best known.The monastery complex was built, according to local tradition, by the great translator Guru Rinchen Zangpo between 958 and 1055. However, inscriptions in the preserved monuments ascribe it to a Tibetan noble called Kal-dan Shes-rab later in the 11th century. Dukhang or Assembly Hall and the Main Temple (gTsug-lag-khang), which is a three-storied temple called the Sumtseg, are built in Kashmiri style as seen in many monasteries; the third temple is called the Manjushri Temple. Chortens are also an important part of the complex.The artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and the Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are reflected in the wall paintings in the monastery. These are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh. The complex also has huge statues of the Buddha and elaborate wood carvings and art-work comparable to the baroque style. Shakti Maira has vividly explained the beauty of this small monastery.


  1. Likir Monastery: is a Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, northern India, located approximately 52 kilometres (32 mi) west of Leh. It is picturesquely situated on a little hill in the valley, in Likir village near the Indus River about 9.5 kilometers (5.9 mi) north of the Srinagar to Leh highway. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and was established in 1065 by Lama Duwang Chosje, under the command of the fifth king of Ladakh, Lhachen Gyalpo.Although Likir is relatively isolated, it was once on a major trade route which traveled via Tingmosgang, Hemis and Likir to Leh.

Note:  Both Indian and Foreign tourist are required to carry tourist permit while traveling to Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley and other destination bordering Tibet. The permit is valid for 7 days and can be acquired from any travel agency in Leh.