Visit Leh in Ladakh
Leh is an ancient town of great historical and artistic value that is definitely worth visiting.
Located at over 3,500 meters above sea level in a small valley north of the Indus River within the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh is an ancient town of great historical and artistic value.
The historic center of the town, which lies at the foot of Namgyal Hill, is a maze of alleyways and houses. Very beautiful is the mosque that dominates the bazaar, built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, while just outside the center meet the Gompas of Namgyal Tsemo and Sankar.
Given the very high altitude, the climate of Leh is variable and deeply subject to the wind or less of the winds. The winters are very cold and rather dry, with sporadic snowfalls that tend to whiten the whole area from December to February, while in summer the mild temperatures can undergo drastic decreases connected to the arrival of sudden perturbations. If you decide to leave for Leh in the winter, you must keep in mind that many roads and some air connections may not be passable due to frost.
Top attractions to see in Leh
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. For celebrating the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace, this stupas was commissioned by Japanese monks. The walls have gilt panels that depict the life of Lord Buddha. Sunrise and sunset are wonderful from here.
Constructed way back in 1553 AD, 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 Potala Palace of Lhasa. Slightly smaller in size, it is built up of stones, sand, wood, and mud. Also known as Lhachen Palkhar, it is open from 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM (every day). This 9-storied structure now has a museum with royal belongings. The fort is slightly in a ruined condition but the views from the top are stunning.
Tso Moriri Lake
Nestled at an isolated spot in the greater Himalayan ranges, the pristine Tso Moriri Lake is known to be the largest alpine lake in India. Locate at an altitude of over 15000 feet above the sea level in rugged landscape, it looks like the gift of nature. Due to its high altitude and tough journey, it is visited by lesser number of tourists. The shadow of the surroundings can be seen in the azure blue waters of the lake.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Founded way back in 1430, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is located in the background of the Leh Palace. The monastery enjoys a wonderful setting and thus is one of the most popular places to visit in Leh Ladakh. The views of the plains, surrounding snow-covered peaks of the Zanskar mountain range, and the River Indus are stunning. The star highlight is the 3-storied high solid gold statue of Maitreya Buddha. Other attractions are statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. It also has a vast collection of wonderful frescoes. The walls of the assembly hall are adorned with brilliant paintings.
Khardung La Pass
Known as the ‘Gateway to Nubra and Shryok Valleys’, Khardung La is one of the highest motorable roads in the world, at an elevation of 5359 m above the sea level.
This road is quite popular amid motor biking enthusiasts. Enjoy tea and refreshment at the army canteen as you listen to the fluttering sound of the colorful Tibetan prayer flags. The views are awe-inspiring.
Located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltik national highway, around 30 km from Leh, Magnetic Hill is basically a gravity hill, which is renowned for possessing magnetic properties. This magnetism is so strong that it can even pull a neutral car uphill.
The hill lies at a height of 14,000 feet above sea level.
Hemis Gompa is the largest, the wealthiest 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 monastery has various paintings, gold-plated stupas, and statues of Lord Buddha. Every year, Hemis festival is celebrated here. Its highlight is holy masked dance performance by the local resident Lamas.
With a dreamy moon-like landscape, the quaint Lamayuru town lies sandwiched between Leh and Kargil. A sight to behold, it has crater type yellowish-orange formation in the brown colored soil. The beauty of this town cannot be described in words. Visit the beautiful Lamayuru Monastery here, which is not only a place of worship but also has thangkas, Buddhist guardian deities, and frescoes on display. This monastery dates back to the 11th century. The peace of the town is broken by the gushing sounds of River Sind.
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