Ready to plan a Trip to Leh and Ladakh? Well in this post I am sharing some amazing hangout places in Leh and Ladakh. So, stick with us.
There is the treasure of Buddhist monasteries [Gompa], images and artifacts, of which about a dozen are situated on or near the upstream of Leh. There are monasteries of Thicksey [17 km], Stakna [25 km], Hemis [40 km], Chemrey [47 km], Takthak [50 km] and Matho [26 km]. Hemis, the largest the largest monastery of Ladakh, was established by King Singe Namgyal in the 17th century. Takthak incorporates a cave which is associated with the journey of Padmasambhava to Tibet. Matho monastery is famous for the two oracles which make the public appearance during an annual festival. Downriver from Leh are where the monasteries of Spituk [7 km], Phyang [17 km], Likir [53 km], Alchi [69 km], Rizong [73 km] & Lamayuru [125 km]. Lamayuru is an oldest monastic foundation, it was originally believed to be a holy site of the pre-Buddhist Bon religion. Culturally, however, Alchi is Ladakh’s most valuable heritage known as Chhos-kor [religious conclave], its five temples have exquisite murals dating from the 11th-12th centuries.
North of Leh is the Nubra Valley [alt. 3,200 m] on the erstwile silk route nestling along the foothills of the Great Karakoram range. The road to Nubra runs across Khardung-la [5,578 m], the highest motorable road in the world. Prominent places to visit here include the capital town of Deskit [118 km] with its hilltop monastery and just across the rolling sand dunes Hundar [125 km] which has a small population of double-humped Bactrian camels, a legacy from the central Asian trade caravans North of Deskit, in the valley of the Nubra River, is Sumur [115 km] where the hillside monastery of Samstaling is the main attraction. Further up the valley is Panamik [140 km]. Famous for its hot springs, used as a traditional spa by throngs of local people for curing various ailments further stream is the known Siachen Glacier.
High Altitude Lakes
Pangong Lake [150 km/ 4,267 m], is about 130 km long and 5-6 km wide, straddling the border between India and China. The ochre hills of the Chang-Chenmo range surrounding it from the north provide a spectacular backdrop to the blue and green expanse of its brackish waters.
Tso-moriri [220 km/ 4,572 m], set is the desolate landscape of Rupshu is famous as the breeding ground of the rare bar-headed geese and home to a number of other rare bird species. The small village of Korzok, with its hilltop monastery, is the only habitation in the area, which is otherwise inhabited by the nomadic Change-pa tribe.
Ladakh offers many challenging options for adventure tourism.
Trekking is the most popular activity and is done during June through September. The 10-day Markha Valley trek is the most popular, while the 20-day trek from Lamayuru to Darcha is the longest and involves crossing of the Zanskar and the Great Himalayan range. The most challenging trek, however, is the week-long winter walk between Leh and Zanskar on the Chaddar route which is formed by freezing of the Zanskar River.
River Rafting options are aplenty in Ladakh. The stretch of Indus between Karu and Spituk offers half-day scenic floating amidst beautiful landscapes and rural scenery. For white water expeditions, River Zanskar provides the ultimate challenge, comparable to the course of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
Mountaineering is yet another activity for which Ladakh is very popular. The most popular site is Panamik, Saser Kangri, Siachen Glacier, in Leh area, the nearest site in the Stok Khangri chain [6,150 m], which has 5 known peaks. Mountaineering expeditions are required to obtain proper clearance from Indian Mountaineering Foundation [IMF], New Delhi or a branch office at Leh.
How to Reach
The main overland approach to Ladakh is the 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway, which is open from May to November. This historic road passes through Kashmir’s picturesque countryside till Sonamarg [86 km] before ascending the Zoji La pass[3,529 m], it also crosses Fotola [4095 m] and Namkila [3737 m]. The other land approach is 473 km Manali-Leh Road [open July-September] which runs across 5 passes, the lowest being Rohtang-La [3,878 m] and the highest Taglang-la [5,360 m]. J&K State Road Transport Corporation [J&K SRTC] operates regular bus services between Srinagar and Leh while HP Tourism operates coaches on the Manali – Leh Route.
Major airlines operate regular flights to Leh from Delhi, and shuttle services to Srinagar and Jammu [once and twice a week respectively]. Leh Airport is 6 km from the city center.
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