Places to visit in Leh

When you travel to Leh, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Leh, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Leh to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Leh things to do can include exploring Leh attractions and visiting the places of interest.

Spituk Gompa was founded in the 14th Century and is located at about 5 km from the Leh. On the top of the Gompa is a three-tiered shrine. The statues inside the Gompa are of Buddha and Tsongkhapa.

Gelukpa Shankar Gompa features Kushok Bakula Rinpoche who was the former Lama of Ladhak. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is located above the palace and is open to the public for two hours from 7 am to 9 am.

Gurdwara Pathar Sahib is situated on the Leh Kargil road. This Gurdwara was built in 1517 when the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak visited this region. Tibetan Buddhists consider Guru Nanak to be a Saint. The name Pathar is a large boulder where Guru Nanak had apparently rested during his visit. The Gurdwara is currently looked after by the Indian army.

This magnificent stupa was built by the Japanese in 1991 to promote World peace and harmony as part of their Peace Pagoda Mission. This grand stupa is located on top of a hill in Chanspa. At the base of the Stupa, some relics of Buddha is buried and the 14th Dalai Lama enshrined the Stupa. The stupa has become a huge attraction for tourists not just for religious reasons but the fantastic view it commands.

Victory Tower is located on top of the Leh Palace and it was built to honor the Ladhaki troop’s victory over Balti Kashmiris.

War Museum in Leh is managed by the Indian Army. This Museum highlights the history of the Armed forces, their activities which include some very fantastic displays of the World’s highest battlefield Siachen. It also highlights the various types of tools and equipment the Army uses. The idea is to spread awareness of the activities of the Armed forces.

Pangong Lake is located at an altitude of 4300 meters on the Indo China border and is around 150 km from Leh. This lake on the Indian Territory is just 1/4th of its size and the rest is inside China. The road from Leh to Pangong takes you through the famous Changla pass situated at 5400 meters. On this route, there is a camp for Yak safari. Near this lake during peak season mid and high-end camp and hotels are available.

Nubra Valley which is located at the base of the Karakoram Range can be reached by car. Here are the famous sand dunes called Hundar. Here one can hire a two-humped camel for rides and during peak season camping on the dunes are possible.

Drogpas areas are a part of the tour packages where five villages have been thrown open to tourists. The villages are Doha, Biama, Darchigs, Garkon, and Batalik. The entire population in these villages are the remnants of the Dards who were said to have been the last of the Aryan race which had stayed back in the Indus valley.

The Community Centre is a place one should visit as it offers insights of traditional Society of Ladakh. On December 22nd and 23rd Ladakh celebrates its New Year and it is called Losar festival. This is perhaps the most important event that the Ladhakis celebrate. A number of traditional and cultural events highlight this festival along with religious prayers by the Buddhist monks to their various deities. In this festival, one can see lots of events including the famous Ibex Deer dances and join the celebrations by dancing and having dinner with friends.

Sindhu Darshan festival was started in 1997 and is held on Guru Purnima that is a full moon in the month of June. This festival is held for 3 days and it is a celebration where River Indus (Sindhu as it is known amongst Indians) which the festival recognizes as the symbol of Unity of India.

Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century.

This 16th-century Tsemo (Victory) Fort crowns the top of Palace Ridge. You should not miss out Tsemo Gompa. It has two little 15th-century temple buildings. One of it has an 8m-tall gold-faced Maitreya.

If you swear by adventure, you may opt for the rafting excursions offered here in Leh. Mountain biking is another activity which is very famous here. Several cycle back tours are also organized here. With so many options, you will surely be spoilt for choice.

Those who just want to relax can join Meditation and Yoga classes.

Tourists can also opt to volunteer to work with numerous Non-Government Organisations who are actively working to support various projects and causes in this region. Only thing is that the tourist who wants to volunteer will need the required permission from the Government to work. Volunteering under tourist visa is not permitted. Tourists can also opt to study Buddhism. Regular classes are held by various Buddhist organizations and the fees are very reasonable.

There are a number of restaurants in Leh serving dishes ranging from Tibetan, Chinese, Indian and Continental. Some of the popular ones are Lala’s Art Café which is located in a mud brick house in the old town, Nirvana Garden an open-air hangout, KC Garden, Gravit. In, Chopsticks Noodles Bar, Tibetan kitchen, Norlakh Restaurant, Eclectic Kitchen etc.

Dishes 

Leh receives tourists from all over India and other countries. As a result there are a number of restaurants that not only serve Indian dishes (mostly North Indian dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala, tandoori chicken, Nan etc) but also dishes from other countries like Italian dishes (ranging from spaghetti, risottos, pizza), Chinese dishes (Noodles, chicken items cooked in various sauces etc), Tibetian dishes (Momo, Thukpa etc), Continental, South African and Israel cuisines.

 

If you are searching for the typical nightlife concept of pubs in bars in Leh, you will be disappointed. Most of the shops and restaurants close early. However, Leh does promise of giving a nightlife experience which is unparallel. Nature, the sky with twinkling stars are a magnificent sight indeed.

The main bazaar is full of souvenir shops, travel agents, and restaurants. Tourists are encouraged to buy locally sourced organic food from various shops who promote eco-awareness.

Pearl market is a unique place to buy semi-precious stones, coral jewelry, and pearls.

There are a number of souvenir shops in Leh and some of the popular shops are J&K Government Emporium and HH The Dalai Lama Charitable Trust Handicraft Emporium. In most of the souvenir shops in Leh, one can get wooden furniture, wall hangings and also the world famous Pashmina shawl.

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