Leh, Jammu Kashmir- Passage to Heaven
Have you ever wondered if it is doable to escape all this lunacy? Have you had a craving to live the tranquil life of the eras gone by – no mobile, no television, No internet, No senseless hustle-bustle? Leh is just the right answer for your hunt for serenity. Once here, you would not get tired of praising the rejuvenating powers of nature that has encouraged countless verses since the inception of mankind. A land of incomparable magnificence yet undamaged by the destructive tools and machines of advancement or urbanization as they call it, Leh promises a delightful and fascinating experience for its guests.
Carefully enveloped between the Karakoram Mountains and Trans Himalayas, situated on the banks of river Indus which originates from Tibet, Leh is stands tall at a height of 11000 ft. from ground. There is contradiction in its landscape, while you’d see barren fields on one side, if you look across you would find lush green fields. There is a beauty in its austerity.
Culturally rich, Leh is the capital of Ladakh and once upon a time used to be the meeting point for traders from central Asia and remote area of India. Known for its brilliance in craft work like metal craft, weaving, painting and wood carving, Leh has a number of monasteries and is known to hold religious ceremonies and festivals round the year.
Climate– day time, it’s usually warm, temperature ranges from 10 to 25 degrees, nights are cooler with a temperature ranging from 8 to 14 degrees. It snows heavily during winter and many a times temperatures falls below 0 degree Celsius.
When to visit– Leh would be a great place to visit round the year, but winters are preferred less considering the extreme cold conditions and also chances of road blockage due to heavy snowfall. June- November is considered the best time to pay Leh a visit.
How to reach– you could board a flight to Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe airport, which happens to be the nearest airport to the city located at a distance of just 4kms.
If you’re planning to travel by rail, nearest station would be Jammu Tawai which is 690kms away from Leh. You could also plan a road journey to Leh; the 473kms Leh Manali road remains open from July to September while the 434km Leh Srinagar road is functional from June to October.
Places to visit- Popular for its wheel of life, Hemis is one of the biggest monasteries in Ladakh. The annual festival which is held every summers in the honor of Guru Padma Sambhava ‘s birth anniversary is one of the key attractions.
You could also pay a visit to Shankar Gompa monastery, which is widely known for its architecture, gold statues and interesting art works. Situated 70kms away from Leh is Alchi Gompa, more than thousand year old monastery; it has its walls painted showing the various events in the life of Budhha. The Shey monastery was once the residence of the royal family. You need special permission from the Lama to visit this place. Apart from this, there are many places to visit in Leh- Lamayuru, Likir, Thiksey and Stok are among the other famous ones.
Leh is a popular tourist spot, hence has a lot of eating joints and markets some specially focusing on the needs of the tourists. You would find flavors from all over India scoring a place for themselves in the menu cards here. The Ladakhi festival is a must attend. This festival gives you an open opportunity to understand the culture of the city, to know about its traditions, rituals, sports, clothes and eating habits.
Leh would indeed win your heart and become your secret passage to heaven.