Leh – Thiksey – Hemis
|About Leh||Leh is the largest town of Ladakh region in State of Jammu and Kashmir. The beauty of this town is so enchanting that one cannot get over it. Your eyes will get tired but your heart will yearn for more. This land of Lamas also has some of the finest monasteries and palaces. The combination of nature at its best and fantastic creations by man makes Leh – ladakh a dream destination. Beat the heat this summer by visiting the cool Leh where you can enjoy the lovely nature, fun adventure sports, magical monasteries, loads of shopping, ladakhi food and much more.|
|Places to visit in Leh||
1. Leh Palace – Standing high in the heart of Leh is the Leh Palace. This 9 storey palace was the original residence of Royal Family. The museum of the Palace houses extraordinary collection of ornaments, vessels, apparels, crowns, furnishings and Tibetan thangka or sooth paintings. Presently the ruined Palace is being restored.
2. Shanti Stupa – This marvelous white edifice is situated on the Chanspa Hill in Leh. It was built by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu under the mission for worldwide peace and inaugurated by Dalai Lama. The structure holds the relics of Lord Buddha at its base. Shanti Stupa is a popular attraction amongst travelers due to religious significance and also for the splendid scenic view it offers of Leh town.
3. Military Hall of Fame – This gallery / museum is maintained by the Indian Army to honour the heroes of India – Pakistan wars. The ground floor of the 2 storey building displays images of Indo – Pak Wars and photos of the brave soldiers who lost their lives during these wars. The 1st floor showcases the various weapons used by India during war and also the weapons of Pakistan army captured by us. A section on the 1st floor is dedicated to Siachen area, demonstrating the dress, hut and lifestyle of soldiers guarding on the glaciers of Siachen. Do not miss the adventure park on the back side of the building where you can enjoy yourself with army workouts and training.
4. Sangam of Indus and Zanskar rivers – It is such a wonderful sight to watch the unison (sangam) of the two rivers – Indus and Zanskar. Indus (Turqouise) and Zanskar (Dark Blue) merge and flow as Indus. The landscape of barren hills and snow peaked mountains add glam to the union. It is a very romantic and picturesque point to visit.
5. Magnetic Hill – There are many points in Ladakh that will surprise you. Magnetic Hill is one of those. It is believed that the hills of this point have magnetic power and so they attract things (as heavy as car also) towards them. However the truth is that the roads at this point are actually sloping but they look straight, this makes things move without any external force. Fantastic vistas of this point will glam up your photographs.
6. Thiksay Monastery – The vast monastery in Thiksay is world renowned for the temple premises, prayer halls and the 40 feet high statue of Future Buddha (Maitreya Buddha). The vibrant and colorful works of art on wood and walls and the morning prayers shall mesmerize you. Do try the delicious butter tea offered to monks and other prayer partaker during morning prayers.
7. Hemis Monastery – The Gompa at Hemis is the largest of all the Gompa’s in Ladakh. The temples, prayer halls, courtyard, kitchen and museum are open for public to visit. The museum houses collection of vessels, weapons, apparels, furnishings, statues and other artifacts which gives a glimpse of the heritage and culture of Ladakh and Buddhism. Do not forget to roll the prayer wheels.
8. Shey Palace – The Shey Palace and monastery are adjacent to each other. The monastery is popular for the 7.5 meter high statue of Lord Buddha decorated with precious metals, stones and gems. Another thing worth seeing here is the largest Changchup Chorten (Victory Stupa), the top of which is made of pure gold. The Palace lies in a devastated state after the Royal family shifted to Stok Palace in 1834 AD.
9. Holy Fish Pond – Exactly opposite to the Shey Palace is a pond of fishes. Locals say that these fishes are holy. Fishes can be easily sighted in the pond but due to low maintenance the pond water is dirty which makes the fish look dirty.
10. Rancho’s School – Bollywood blockbuster ‘3 Idiots’ have boosted the tourism factor of Ladakh. Many scenes of the movie are shot in Ladakh. These shooting points have become tourist points now. Druk Pema School more popularly known as ‘Rancho’s School’ tops the list of such points. The school has been renamed after Aamir Khan’s character Rancho in the film. A guided tour around the school campus shows the shooting point in the premises. Wall of the building where shooting was done is painted with famous scenes of the movie. A café – Rancho Café, in the school campus is open for tourists.
11. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib – A revered place of worship of the local lamas and Sikh community is the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. A huge stone with imprint of Guru Nanak’s back and shoulder is worshipped here. The story of how this imprint was developed and the building of Gurudwara is quite interesting.
12. Stok Palace – This magnificent Palace was formerly used as a summer resort of the Royal Family. A glimpse to the rich history of Ladakh and its culture can be witnessed here. The Palace rooms have been converted into museums showcasing lifestyle, jewelry, weapons, vessels, statues, clothing and other artifacts of the Royal family. Few rooms of the Palace have been transformed into hotel where one can enjoy the Royal life amidst the peace and beauty of countryside.
13. Riasi Fort (General Zorawar’s Fort) – Riasi Fort was the treasure house of the Dogra dynasty. Built above the Leh Palace and Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, the fort is named after General Zorawar – The Conqueror of Ladakh. Exhibition of coins and other valuable treasures of the Dogra dynasty attract tourists to the Fort. There are 2 temples in the premises – one of Goddess Durga and other of Goddess Kali. Another attraction of the Fort is the water spring flowing inside the Fort giving a spectacular view. The view of surroundings from this wrecked Fort is impressive.
14. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa: This monastery near Leh Palace is ancient and majestic.
15. Likir Monastery (50 km from Leh) – Gompa at Likir is one of the oldest and outstanding monastery in Ladakh. It is located on a picturesque hill around 50 Kms from Leh. A 75 feet high statue of Lord Buddha attracts tourists to Likir Gompa.
16. Basgo Monastery (40 km from Leh) – Amongst the oldest Gompa’s of Ladakh, Basgo Monastery is located just 40 Km from Leh. Known for its Buddha statues and Murals, this Gompa is documented as 100 most rare heritage sites.
17. Alchi Monastery – Around 60 Kms from Leh is the Alchi Monastery. Unlike other monasteries in Ladakh, this one is not located on a hill. Being situated on the banks of river Indus adds charm to this lovely monastery.
18. Khardungla Pass – Khardungla is a Mountain Pass connecting Leh to Nubra Valley. It is the Highest Motorable Road in the World at a height of 18380 Feet. Around 40 km from Leh the route of the pass offers fabulous scenic views especially when covered with snow. You will enjoy every bit of your ride to and fro the pass. Also the feeling of being on the top of the World is incomparable.
19. Changla Pass (75 Km from Leh) – The 2nd Highest pass in the World connects Leh and Changthang (Pangong Lake). This Pass is also beautiful and a little risky like all other passes of Ladakh. The Indian Army serves people at this high altitude too. A camp where tea, drinking water, first aid and washroom facility are available (without any charges) is setup by the Indian Army at a height of 17000 feet.
20. Tanglangla Pass (111 Km from Leh) – It is the 3rd highest pass of the World at a height of 17582 feet. This pass connects Manali and Leh. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on the top. The colorful mountains on the route will make you enjoy every bit of your ride through this Pass. The roads are good (thanks to BRO) but be careful at bends as they may be risky. The hilarious quotes on road side banners by BRO will make the journey more fun.
21. Lamayuru (127 Km from Leh) – Lamayuru is known for its Monastery and the Moonscape mountains. It is believed that over 400 monks lived here centuries ago. The monastery is amongst the oldest monasteries of Ladakh. The paintings on the walls of the monastery alongwith the collection of Thangkas, Murals and Statues of Lord Buddha are enchanting. There are several interesting legends regarding the monastery. It is an ideal stopover for those who travel from Kargil to Leh.
22. Uleytokpo (70 Km from Leh) –Popular as camping site, Uleytokpo has attractive landscapes. It is surrounded by monasteries namely Alchi Monastery (17 Km), Lamayuru Monastery (45 Km), Rizong Monastery (1 Km) and Likir Monastery (22 Km). Thus being at Uleytokpo you can enjoy in the lap of Mother Nature alongwith easy trips to different Monasteries.
23. Other Monasteries around Leh – In the land of Lama there are 100’s of monasteries. Some important monasteries near Leh other than the ones specified above are listed below with their distance from Leh: Spituk Monastery (7 Km), Phyang Monastery (20 Km), Sankar Monastery (4 Km), Serzang Temple (40 Km), Stakna Monastery (43 Km), Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery (8 Km), Chemrey Monastery (44 Km)
|Best season to visit||May to September|
|Shopping|| 1. Pashmina Shawls and other woolen items
2. Apricots and items made from Apricot like jam, etc.
3. Ethnic Jewelery
5. Prayer Flags
|Hotels & Accommodation|
Road: Leh is accessible by road from June to September through: 1. Srinagar and 2. Manali
|Tour Planner / Guide||World Vision Tours and Travels (Tundup Gyatso)
Contact No. – +91 9469177473
If your an adventure freak you will love Leh. At Leh and in nearby surroundings there are great opportunities for trekking, camping, bike rides, white water rafting and much more.
If you are planning to visit Leh and surroundings please take care of the following points: