Ladakh, an abode of wonders that can cast a magical spell on anyone right after visiting these Top 16 Best Places to visit in Leh Ladakh. Leh means the land of masses. It is a well-known region located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. This region currently extends from the Kunlun mountain range to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent.
So, if you are planning a Leh-Ladakh tour, the first question will come across your mind is Where to go and What to see in Leh?
Let’s check it out, here…
This wonderful place is famous for its homespun Buddhist monasteries that can woo anyone in the first visit. Ladakh is also home to some hypnagogic high-altitude lakes like Pangong and Tso Morori, which is embellished with ultramarine water. Magnetic hill, Nubra valley, Kargil, Shanti Stupa and Diskit monastery are few major Leh attractions spots, that one shouldn’t miss out. Trekking, camping, rafting and Bike trip are few must include adventurous activities in your Ladakh tour plan like along with sightseeing.
The large mountain ranges of Ladakh are the most beautiful treat to the eyes. To rejuvenate and get free from the stress of life, a trip to Leh-Ladakh is the best thing one can do. The steep terrains remain wrapped up with the blanket of snow that simply makes your soul happy. The enthralling white rivers running through these mountains make a perfect combination of natural beauty.
Table of Content:
1)Top 16 Places to visit in Leh and Ladakh:
2)Best time to Visit Leh
3)How to Reach Ladakh
4)Things to do in and around Leh Ladakh
5)Do’s and Dont’s in Leh-Ladakh
Best Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh
1. Pangong Lake – Soak your tiring soul in the blue water
If you remember the movie-Three Idiots, you will also remember the unending Pangong-Tso Lake. Pangong Lake travels across the boundary of India and Bhutan. The lake is one of the good places to visit in Ladakh.
It is an amazing destination for camping and it is also the hotspot for a number of travelers. However, boating in Pangong-Tso lake is not permitted. But during winter, the lake freezes and if you love to ice skate, then you can enjoy it at the bank of the lake.
2. Tso Moriri Lake – An extremely mesmerizing spot to visit in Leh Ladakh
Tso Moriri lake is like a canvas paper painted with the blue-white horizon and the blue-green mountains with white shades at the top along with the lush green undulation. The Tso Moriri lake is probably not known to the people as like Pangong Lake, but it is a beautiful place to visit in Leh Ladakh.
3. Kardungla Pass – The ultimate place for bike riders
Kardungla Pass is the gateway to the North. It is a major tourist spot for Leh road riders and is usually managed by the Border Roads Organization. Located at a height of about 5400 feet above the sea level and so one has to be very careful while traveling through the pass.
You can find a number of Tibetan flags swinging on the air which is regarded as holy and they ward off bad spirits.
4. Nubra Valley – Where you can feel like Aladdin of The Arabian Nights
When you are planning a trip to Ladakh, then thinking about the desert is a really uncommon thing. But Nubra valley is all set there to give you an Arabian night experience. One of the famous places to visit in Leh Ladakh offers a different treat to the eyes, with the sand dunes of the desert and the famous two-humped camels.
It is said that the origin of this place supposed to be from the Tethys Sea from the depths of which the Himalayas are said to have risen.
5. Magnetic Hill – The place which makes you a Superman
This place holds scientific importance. It is observed that when you leave the vehicle behind at the base of the hill with the brakes unlocked, this will start moving uphill slowly on its own. Feel the superpower.
6. Spituk Gompa – The place which will bring out the inner peace
Spituk is known as the spot of the monks and monasteries and rightly so. This is famous for its beautifully carved location at the top of a hill. Suited nearby a taller hill, one of the best places to visit in Leh-Ladakh to enjoy the true nature. The wind speed and chillness will be high and sometimes it may freeze your bones.
Also, check out the 7D/6N Ladakh tour packages with top places to visit in ladakh.
7. Namgyal Monastery – The place of spirituality
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, a must see attraction spot in Leh Ladakh with a majestic Buddha statue. It is one of the popular places around Ladakh which has previously been visited by the Dalai Lama himself. This monastery will also allow volunteers to stay and help with the daily chores while enjoying a few peaceful days here.
8. Hemis Monastery – Major Tourist Attraction In Leh Ladakh
The biggest monastery in Ladakh is the Hemis Monastery. Every year in the month of July, an annual festival takes place in Hemis for 2 days. The main highlight of the festival is the masked parade and is also one of the most sacred rituals. There are many best places to stay in Leh Ladakh nearby Hemis monastery at an affordable rate, one can also book those via online.
Every year, on the 10th day of Tibetan Lunar month named as Tse Chu, the Monastery holds this two-day celebration to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmanabhanagar who is often said to be a reincarnation of Buddha.
9. Lamayuru Monastery – A night with the stars
One of the best places in Leh Ladakh to enjoy the star gazing and to perform spiritual things. The best spot in leh to enjoy nights of star-gazing in your life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. May to September is the best time for stargazing in Leh Ladakh, so plan accordingly.
10. Likir Monastery – The place showcasing sculptures and the beautiful artwork
Likir Monastery, one of the popular places around Leh represents the best woodwork and it’s all beautiful. One of the ancient works that one will find in Ladakh.
11. Suru Valley – The ultimate spot for adrenaline junkies
Ladakh is truly an amazing spot for all the mountainous adventure sports. The trek through the Suru Valley to the Drang Drung glacier is one of the best treks. This best place to visit in Ladakh offers you with all the possible activities that you can do in mountains. This is famous among the adventure lovers. However, this trek is risky as well and so it is recommended for experts and not amateurs.
12. Shanti Stupa – A place to meditate and find inner soul
This is the best place in Ladakh to invoke some thoughts from within. As the name suggests, one can truly find peace from within. One of the major reasons to plan a trip is to find some time from the busy schedule and reassess their lives, Shanti Stupa simply offers the perfect location for the same. This place is the best location for all the travelers who are fond of meditation.
13. Leh Palace – The must visit for the Historyphilic souls
This is one of the ancient monuments present in Ladakh. Though the palace might have lost its grandeur, it is a must visit place in Leh Ladakh. Now, the building is under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This old palace offers a magnificent view of the Stok Kangri and Zanskar ranges across the Indus Valley.
These Ladakh tourist places attract a number of people throughout the year. It still touches the heart especially to those who love history and architecture. This 9-storeyed Leh palace was built by the Namgyal king in the 17th century.
14. Chadar Trek – The place to soothe your tiring eyes
The Chadar Trek is very famous for trekking over the frozen rivers to the adventure enthusiasts. The trek over the Zanskar river is the most popular and many travelers show their interest to be a part of this trekking. November is the best month to trek at Chadar when the river is frozen and safe too. Ladakh tour plan must include these wonderful activities. Ladakh trekking is famous worldwide.
The best time for some of the most challenging treks in the region is from May to October. Spituk to Stok, the Markha Valley trek and the Kang Yatse trek.
15. Zanskar River – The place with panorama and adventure
Leh-Ladakh trip must include the sightseeing of white water of the mountain rivers. Zanskar is considered to be one of the best rafting destinations in India. Rafting is done in summer as well as winter over here. But the water during winter is too cold that it can freeze you. But it is surely going to give you some extra adventure. It is definitely a must visit spot in Ladakh.
16. A Donkey Sanctuary – A shelter for donkeys
This is a matter of surprise that there is a special sanctuary for donkeys. It gives shelter to a number of aged and sick donkeys and strictly follows the animal rights. The place in Leh-Ladakh is a lively barn. It never fails to bring a smile on the faces of the children.
Best time to Visit Leh Ladakh:
The best season to travel Leh Ladakh is Summer (July to September), when the Ladakh roads are open and the snow starts melting. During winter, the leg roads will be closed to due to heavy snowfall.
|Months||Temperature||Things to do||Festivals|
|April-July||3° C – 17° C||Hemis Festival, Ladakh Festival, Sindhu Darshan|
|July-September||15° C – 30° C||Trekking, Mountain climbing, river rafting, Stargazing||Karsha Gustor, Polo Festival|
|October-March||0° C – 15° C||River rafting, Iceskating and trekking||Ladakhi Losar, Thiksay Gustor, Domosche|
Best Ways to Reach Ladakh:
The 3 Best ways to reach Leh are
- By Road.
- By air.
- By train.
a) By Road:
Ladakh trip is a dream for wanderers. There are a few of you who are planning for an amazing bike trip to Ladakh. The beauty of Ladakh can be best enjoyed through a bike trip. You can find that there are two different routes that lead to Ladakh- one from Srinagar and the other from Manali: Srinagar to Leh and Manali to Leh. Riding through the mystic mountains is surely a lifetime experience.
Route 1: How to reach Leh from Srinagar?
If you are traveling from Srinagar, then you have to cover a distance of about 434 km.
Route: Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Kargil – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh.
Route 2: How to reach Ladakh from Manali?
If you are taking the route of Manali to Leh then the distance will come around 490 kms. Thus, traveling and enjoying the beautiful panorama is a thing to cherish for.
Route: Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Karu – Leh
Bus ride: If you wish to experience a bumpy ride, then you can travel by bus from Srinagar to Ladakh by Zoji la Pass (opens between June and October).Ladakh is connected to Jammu and Srinagar by roads. Another route is traveling to Ladakh from Manali by Rohtang Pass(Opens between June and September). It is a 4day journey from Delhi
Jeep Safari to Leh-Ladakh: One can also take a jeep from Manali to reach Leh. Ladakh is 434 km from Srinagar and 494 kms from Manali. The estimated cost for the Jeep expedition from Manali to Leh is around Rs 15K.
b) By air:
There are different flights flying during peak season to Ladakh. Leh Kushook Bakula Rimpochee airport is the main airport. It is all associated with Delhi, Srinagar and Manali.
If you are planning to travel by train, the closest railroad station to Ladakh is Jammu Tawi from Delhi. It is located about 700 km from Ladakh and is associated with Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The other nearest railroad stations to Leh are Chandigarh and Pathankot. It is a three-day transport ride away. This is the one that most travelers would like to opt for.
Adventurous Things to do in Leh Ladakh:
i) Trekking in Leh Ladakh:
Ladakh is one of the favorite spots for adrenaline junkies in India. It offers a good deal of trekking routes for trekkers. Trekking trip to Ladakh is surely a lifetime experience.
The Trekking possibilities include short day trips and long walks up and down over the slopes of the splendid mountain. On the way, you can also visit the isolated villages as well as the ancient monasteries. And if you are lucky, you can come across a number of rare species like Tibetan wild ass, snow leopard, Ovisammon, Black-necked crane, gazelles, and Yak etc.
Nun-Kun massif, one of the popular trekking spots in Ladakh for foreigners to treat their soul with an adventure trek. The accessibility to this region is easier from the Kargil – Padum road and the shortest possible approach march to the base camps. This makes it a wonderful destination to visit in the Western Himalaya.
Suggested read: 21 most exciting things to do activities in Leh Ladakh.
Some of the best trekking places in Leh Ladakh are:
- Zanskar trek.
- Chardar trek.
- Nubra valley trek.
- Stok Kangri
- Markha valley trek.
The best Ladakh Trekking season is Summer (March to September)
ii) Mountain Climbing:
This is one of the most interesting activities in Ladakh. Among all the known peaks, Stok Kangri which has a height of about 6150m is best for Mountain Climbing. The view is amazing and one can truly experience the wonderful scenario of the Indus Valley.
The ideal period begins from June to September because during this time Ladakh remains unaffected by the monsoon. Foreign climbers have to get permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
Best time for mountaineering in Leh is April to September.
Mountain climbing spots in Leh –Ladakh:
- Stok-Kangri (6153m).
- Nun Kun (7135m and 7077m).
- Kang Yatze (6400m).
- Chamser (6634m) and Lungser (6665m) Kangri.
- Markha Valley with Stok Kangri (6150m).
iii) River rafting in Ladakh:
Another important activity that takes place in Leh-Ladakh is the river rafting. A wide range of rafting options is available on the Indus and its major tributaries. This activity is counted as a favorite to the adrenaline junkies. Leh Ladakh river rafting draws the attention of a large number of adventure lovers.
Rafting season in Leh starts in the months of July, August and September. Because, the rivers get frozen in winters and start flowing in summer, getting to heavy flow in the monsoon.
Best Places for Whitewater River rafting in Ladakh is
- Phey – Nimo route.
- Phey – Saspol.
- Upshi – Kharu route.
- Saspol – Khaltsey.
iv) Bike Trip in Leh Ladakh:
Ladakh is famous for worldwide road trips. For safety issues, these roads are always monitored. You can easily find bikes for rent in Ladakh and in the vicinity areas. Bike riding at Khardung-la pass is one of the best adventure activities in Ladakh.
Ultimate Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Guide for adrenaline junkies.
If the bike is your first love and you are passionate about bike riding, then Leh Ladakh bike trip is a must. The bike rentals are also available in Delhi as well as in Manali who offer a great deal like INR 800-900 per day. A right time to travel Ladakh is in the summer season.
Leh Ladakh Best Bike trip Routes:
Route1: Srinagar to Leh and Back:
Delhi → Jalandhar → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh.
Route 2: Manali to Leh and Back:
Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil.
Best time for Leh Ladakh bike trip is from June to September
v) Shopping in Leh:
Leh Ladakh local market holds treasure for the shopaholics. Most of these things are from the Tibetan market. All these products are genuine and the different varieties are surely going to grab your attention. If you are planning to take gifts for the loved ones, shopping here is the best option. One major attraction is the Pashmeena Wool Dresses. Along with shopping, Ladakh sightseeing is definitely one of the best experiences in life.
Leh-Ladakh is truly an amazing place and it is a must visit. The photophilic must capture natural beauty through their lens. Because stargazing from the top is surely a lifetime experience.
vii) Watching Snow Leopards and other wildlife:
Ladakh region is very much rich in both flora and fauna. Snow Leopard is a special kind that is found in Ladakh. One who is fond of wildlife, local zoos will offer you with the best experiences.
Do’s and Dont’s in Leh-Ladakh:
Things to consider while planning a Leh Trip:
1)Consult a doctor before starting the trip as this place is located at a very high altitude.
2)Carry multiple thin layers during trekking because during trekking as you will go above, the temperature will be gradually changing.
3)Rest and acclimatize.
4)Save the research file on Leh-Ladakh before-hand because internet issues are there.
5) Get yourself a BSNL post-paid mobile connection from your hometown before-hand as most of the other prepaid networks doesn’t work here.
6)Keep a copy of emergency numbers in your purse or wallet.
7)Carry the first aid box for safety purposes.
8)Take prior permission before clicking pictures in Monasteries
9)Drink plenty of water as hydration is a must at high altitudes.
10)Keep multiple photocopies of your driving license, PUC, insurance, vehicle registration papers and PAN, voter-id card or passport for swift security check at check posts.
1)Don’t take heavy meals if you are prone to motion sickness.
2)Avoid wearing short dresses while visiting Buddhist Monasteries as this might hurt their sentiments.
3)Don’t harm the flora and fauna of the place by littering or plucking the flowers.
4)Avoid planning for the trip if you are asthmatic.
5)Try to avoid opting high speed in motorbike if you are riding by bike.
6)Depending on the internet should be avoided as there is a signal issue.
7)Don’t follow the GPS blindly.
8)Avoid sleeping on highways while driving as these roads are very risky.