Leh being the former capital of Himalayan Kingdom, now is a part of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is the second largest district in the country after Kutch, Gujarat with an area of 45,110 km2. Since the 1999 war with Pakistan, and the consequent development of the Manali-Leh highway, it has become a bustling tourist town, with large numbers of Kashmiri traders. Leh is a small town and most places are at a walking distance. Situated on an elevation of 3555 meters(11,490 feet) makes the risk of altitude sickness high.
Attractions of Leh
Palace of the King Of Ladakh
Built in the 17th century, the palace is the most noticeable place in Leh. The palace is undergoing restoration so there’s not much to see inside but you can catch good views out of the palace.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa: Built in 1430 above the Palace of the King, it is only open from 7 am-9 am for the morning worship.
Soma Gompa: It is situated near the Main bazaar of Leh. It’s a large modern Gompa.
Karma dupgyut Cheoling: It is a monastery in the Karma Kagyu tradition in Leh.
Pangong Tso: A deep blue water lake in the middle of Tall Mountain peaks. This beautiful high altitude lake at 4359 meters lies on the Indo-China boundary with only one fourth of the lake in India.
Monasteries in Ladhak
A Buddhist monastery is meant to be the main center for worship, isolated meditation and religion teaching. These monasteries are also a major attraction for tourists in Ladhak along with its scenic beauty.
This museum at Leh showcase the war efforts, history, glory & the sacrifices of Indian Army in its wars against Pakistan. One can see photographs of those Indian soldiers who gave their lives for the nation. Its top floor exhibits all the war equipments seized by the Indian Army during the war with Pakistan. Also known as the Hall of Fame, it has the fascinating display on the siachen battlefield-the highest and the more arduous battlefeild in the wolrd.
Thrills & Fun
Every Holiday destination in the world offers some thrill, adventure and fun to do. And when its about adventure in India, Ladhak is on the second position of most adventurous places. And doing something adventurous in Ladhak has its own meaning and taste. And there are a lot of adventure sports and activity at Ladhak to choose from.
Climbing session in Ladhak starts from the mid-May till the mid-October, Leh is the place to prepare for a trekking in Ladakh, which offers a huge number of possible trekking routes. The area nearest to Leh is Stok-kangri Massif in the Zanskar Mountains, south of Leh. The Nun-Kun in The Great Himalayan Range is an area which is frequented by climbers from all over the world. Easily accessible from the Kargil-Pudum road and the shortest possible approach march to the base camps, and that’s what attracts the climbers to this destination in the Great Himalayas.
A vacation in Ladhak without Cycling through the zigzag roads, beautiful local villages, with an interesting backdrop of the snow-laden Himalayas is a loss trip. Many popular gompas also lie on the route of cycling in Ladhak. You can also tickle your taste buds with food items like momos, noodles with beans, pancakes with jam, dal with rice after a hard day of cycling and experiencing the local scenes and the Himalayan backdrop.
A Yak Safari brings you closer to the local culture and style in Ladhak.Yak or dong as Ladakhis call it, is the largest animal in cold deserts of the trans-Himalayan Ladhak. Yak safari in Ladhak is a unique experience in itself. It offers breathtaking views of high peaks of this rugged land. The Safari is booking based and organized on prior booking. One should Respect the humble attitude of this majestic animal to enjoy and have a good experience of the Yak Safari.
How to reach there ?
Airlines like Indian Airlines and Jet Airways provide world class services to the tourists. Leh, has now become gateway to the world by any connecting flight from Delhi. Aviation services from Chandigarh & Jammu Kashmir to Leh.
Schedules of different airlines
|Leh -Jammu-Leh||Monday & Friday||Rs.4905|
|Delhi-LehLeh-Delhi||Daily except Saturday||Rs.7770Rs.7795|
Note: Those arriving by air are strongly advised to rest for atleast one day after the journey, in order to acclimatize to the high altitude to avoid the altitude sickness when leaving, please carry a printed copy of your ticket with you, otherwise you will not be able to enter the airport
Since 1989, the 473-km Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second land approach to Ladakh.But there are two main routes available to Leh, one is from Manlali (Himachal Pradesh) in the south and the other one is from Srinagar in the west. The Srinagar-Leh road remains open for trafiic from early June to November only.
Private deluxe buses and State buses from Srinagar are available towards Leh. From Manali the HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation),deluxe buses that stops overnight in Keylong (or Kyelong or Kyelang) between July and September cost around Rs.2000.
HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs state buses ply the road during the officially opened period which stops at places along the way which costs Rs.130 (Manali-Keylong) + Rs.513 (Keylong-Leh).
Jeeps are the fastest way to reach Leh from Manali, it is a one long day trip of about 20-24 hrs as opposed in two short ones on the bus. But a one day journey comes with a risk of being stranded near five thousand meters without being acclimatized, with severe altitude sickness as a result. The shared jeep ride can cost around 1500 for a seat. Tickets for jeep ride must be bought in advance of the day of departure. But if you forgot to do that, then, the main street in old Manali is full of ticket touts, you won’t have to find them for yourself. Tourists coming from Srinagar, can go to #1 taxi stand in town. Sumo taxi jeep to Kargil is the best option to book your tickets for, which will cost 500. A night stay is good after that journey. Then, book your seats from Kargil to Leh and pay 400 upon arrival in Leh. Traveling in Cabs to Leh is bit expensive but the most comfortable and convenient way though.
A journey on a motorbike is always fun and the road from Manali to Leh is often known as a Biker’s paradise. You can rent a Bike at Manali. One popular place to do so is Hardev Motors which is located behind the private bus parking ground. It is advisable to travel at a slow pace while Biking to Leh to allow acclimatization.
Itinerary of a bike ride to Leh
Day 1 Manali – Jispa (110 km; 68 mi)
Day 2 Jispa – Pang (130 km; 81 mi)
Day 3 Pang -Leh (130 km; 81 mi)
Essentials to carry
Puncture repair kit
Spare clutch cables and other important repairing tools
Good carriers (to hold luggage)
Jammu is the nearest railway station, which is about 734 km from Leh. Trains from Pathankot or Chandigarh. The newly added railway station linked by rail to Jammu is Udhampur.
What to Wear
Warm clothes and a windsheeter or raincoat along with good waterproof shoes are advisable for trekking, while an extra pair of shoes or sandals, a good spacious rucksack and a warm sleeping bag are also an asset while trekking above 4000 m.