exciting places in leh ladakh 2024

exciting places in leh ladakh

know the exciting places in leh ladakh

Section 1 – Local Sightseeing in Leh

Out of the innumerable and exciting places in Leh Ladakh, lets start with the places that are perfect for local sightseeing in Leh and other nearby places. I would recommend that you take 2 days to cover the good part of what I am about to mention in this section:

1. Leh Palace

Royal Leh Palace overseeing the village of Leh
Photographed by Kenny – on Wikimedia Commons

Built in 16th century by Sengge Namgyal, Leh Palace is a testament to the pride of Namgyal dynasty. Leh Palace has become quite the popular tourist place in Leh for the splendid views it offers and how majestically it overlooks the charismatic Ladakhi village of Leh. The palace now houses a small exhibition detailing about the history of the palace and Leh in general. It is a short hike up from the Leh Main Market if you are on foot.

2. NamCgyal Tsemo Gompa

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa - One of the places to visit in Leh
Photographed by Goutam – on Wikimedia Commons

Built in 15th century by the king Tashi Namgyal is a place famous for its Buddhist principals and teachings. Idols in Namgyal monastery are still worshipped and monks lights the lamps on a daily basis. It is at a walking distance from Leh Place and offer some splendid views for photography.

3. Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa - One of the places to visit near leh
Photographed by Sarabjit – on Wikimedia Commons

Shanti Stupa is one of the more popular monastries exciting place in Leh Ladakh. Every monastery offer peaceful and positive vibes and in that regard Shanti stupa is no different. Built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura, it is a white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa. Make sure you head here for some peace of mind and the perfect sun-sets!

4. Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame - one of the places to visit near Leh
Photographed by Vickey Chauhan – on Wikimdeia Commons

Hall of fame was built to memorialize the bravery and names of all those soldiers who fought and were martyred in the Indo-Pakistan war. It is to honor the Indian soldiers and serves as the reminder of the fact that their service to the nation will never be forgotten. Run by the Indian Army, the Hall of Fame houses, weapons, history exhibits & a souvenir shop as well.

5. Leh Main Market

Leh Main Market - In late evening during July

Leh Main Market or Leh Main Bazaar is one of the liveliest and exciting places in Leh. It is always brimming with people and is popular for shopping, eating meals in the cafes, the delicious street food, buying souvenirs, pashmina shawls, Buddhist relics or jamming with strangers to perfect tunes, this market has it all. One of the best places to spend an evening in Leh.

6. Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey Monastery - one of the places to visit near Leh
Photographed by Caesardeka – on Wikimedia Commons

Thiksey Monastery is a thing of beauty. This 12 storeyed gompa is a home to more than 500 monks. This monastery is one of the largest in central Ladakh and you should definitely visit, if you want to know more about the Buddhism culture in general and more specifically see all the beautiful artwork and stupas up close.

7. Hemis Monastery

Hemis Monastery - one of the places to visit near Leh
Photographed by Michael Day – on Wikimedia Commons

Just like Leh Palace, Hemis Monastery is another important place in the Ladakhi history, that can be attributed to the king Sengge Namgyal. For any traveller, Hemis almost always makes the list of exciting places in Leh ladakh. With all its murals, paintings and stupas it is a paradise for someone who can appreciate art or wants to learn more about the Buddhism culture. Hemis sees a huge influx of people during the annual two day festival which just makes the monastery absolutely vibrant.

8. Spituk Monastery

Spituk Monastery near Leh
Photographed by Redtigerxyz – on Wikimedia Commons

Spituk Gompa has as old a history as any other monastery out there. Having stood tall through the test of time, this beautifully carved monastery is home to more than 100 monks. Spituk Gompa (also known as Pethup Gompa) is about 8km from Leh. This serene monastery observes Gustor Festival from 27-29th of the 11th month of Tibetan calendar every year and it is a sight worth witnessing first hand.

Without a doubt, these are some of the must visit places in Leh. If you still end up with more time on your hand you can visit the following places – Zorawar Fort, Datun Sahib, Sindhu Ghat, Sankar Gompa and Phyang Monastery.

Section 2 – A Day in Sham Valley near Leh

It is important to note that all the places that I mention in this section are in between Sham Valley and Leh. A day trip on this Leh Srinagar highway till Sham valley and back can easily be done in a day. Read along to learn all that you can do in one day:

1. Gurdwara Pather Sahib

Gurdwara Pathar Sahib near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by Pranav Bhasin – on Flickr

Amongst the many beautiful monastries and in the land of monks stand a Gurdwara to pay homage to Gura Nanak Dev Ji. According to the legend, Guru Nanak conquered a demon at this very same place and forgave him for his sins. The Gurdwara is about 23km from Leh, on the Leh-Kargil highway and is maintained by the Indian Army. Did you know – this place is equally respected by Sikhs as well as Ladakhis. Make sure you visit the place to soak in its peaceful vibes!

2. Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by Kartikeya Kaul – on Flickr

Magnetic Hill is one of those places that you wouldn’t believe exists until you actually visit it it on your own. At about 27 km from Leh, there appears a yellow signboard after which the magic happens. You park your vehicle inside the marked box, switch the gear to neutral and voila, you appear to defy all laws of gravity. Two possible explanations are prominent: First, that it is just an optical illusion given the whole landscape and that you aren’t actually going uphill but rather downhill. Second theory, which is still unproven is that due to magnetic pull of the earth cars tend to move uphill on their own. Well, in any case you can only find out once you visit this intriguing place!

3. Sangam – Zanskar and Indus River Confluence

Sangam - Confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by Ankit Mehta – on Wikimedia Commons

At Nimmu, a simple yet a soothing view awaits you. This is where Indus river and Zanskar River meet. This place of confluence of these two rivers has also popularly came to be known as Sangam. Given the various factors, the rivers change their color as well as force of their flow throughout the year. When the Zanskar river freezes in winters, the ever so popular Chadar trek takes place wherein the experience of walking on frozen lake and seeing waterfalls that have frozen mid-air is quite a sight.

4. Basgo Palace and Monastery

Basgo Monastery or Gompa near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by Ronak Shah – on Wikimedia Commons

Basgo is quite popular for its ruins. At about 40km from Leh, Basgo Palace is stands tall atop a cliff. It houses three splendid temples that date back between 15th and 17th century. These temples are namely – Chamba Lhakhang, Serzang and Chamchung. Palace and monastery, given their position above the Basgo town, they offer some breathtaking views. This place has also been named in the world’s 100 most endangered heritage sites by the World Monuments Fund.

5. Likir Monastery

Likir Monastery near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by John Hill – on Wikimedia Commons

Likir monastery or Likir Gompa is quite deeply routed in the history of Buddhism. Built in 11th century, the monastery is believed to be protected by the serpent spirits. Some of the models are made of butter and yet they do not melt, how cool is that? The monastery is about 56km from Leh and one that you should not skip. Especially so, if you want to learn more about the Buddhist culture as there is a public library on the premises.

6. Alchi Monastery

Alchi Monastery near Leh on Srinagar-Leh highway
Photographed by Bernard Gagnon – on Wikimedia Commons

Located at about 66km from Leh, Alchi monastery or Alchi gompa is no more an active monastery and is maintained by the monks of Likir monastery. This monastery is one of the oldest ones in Leh. With such historic murals, sculptures and paintings, this monastery is a testament to an era gone by. There are camps as well in the Alchi village should you wish to spend the night here in absolute peace and away from hustle bustle of Leh.

Visiting all these places is sure to uplift your spirits, bring you quite a bit of joy and relieve the tensions of your daily lives. You can either choose to stay at Alchi or come back to Leh. Generally people travel back to Leh the same day. Should you end up with a lot more time on your hand feel free to visit Rizong Monastery and if you go further on the highway still you can visit the Hemis Shukpachan village for some photograph worthy views.

Section 3 – Rest of Amazing Ladakh

Now that we are done with places to visit in Leh and nearby areas, let’s move a little further. Even though the places in this section maybe a little distant from Leh they still are the ones that are most popular and on every ttraveller’s bucket list. If you plan on visiting all of them on this list it might take you about 3 days or so.

1. Khardung La

Khardung La (Mountain Pass) near Leh in Ladakh
Photographed by Samson Joseph – on Wikimedia Commons

Khardung La is one of the highest motorable roads around. At 17,852ft, this mountain pass offers the perfect challenge to ride to the top. This ride is the holy grail for bikers. Also, A few of the operators and cycle shop owners (on Leh fort road) are offering to drive you to the top and then you can come back down on a cycle for an exhilarating adventure. At such a height Khardung La offers some splendid views that are second to none. When you set out on the tour for rest of Ladakh this mountain pass will serve as the gateway to Shyok and Nubra valley.

2. Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley in Ladakh

Nubra Valley is one of the most beautiful places in all of Ladakh. About 160km from Leh, Nubra has it all, be it monasteries, lakes, cold desert, sand dunes or absolutely peaceful villages. Any soul that has stepped foot here has left with nothing less than pure bliss and a peace of mind. That figures, given the profound natural beauty of the valley. However, given the sensitivity of the region and its proximity to Siachen, essential permits need to be taken to visit Nubra valley. Read along for the various places that you can visit in Nubra Valley:

a. Diskit Monastery
Diskit Monastery - Statue of Buddha Maitreya in Nubra Valley

One of the oldest surviving monasteries in the Nubra Valley, the Diskit Monastery (Gompa) has become quite popular amongst tourists. It also features the statue of Maitreya Buddha, standing tall with an impressive height of 106ft. The monastery oversees the beautiful village of Diskit. The ministry also runs a school in association with the NGO, “Tibet Support Group”.

b. Hunder Sand Dunes
Bactrian Two-humped Camel at Hunder village in Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Ladakh is a cold desert and its terrain and beautiful landscapes are a testament to that. To add to that you can actually find sand dunes in Hunder village of Nubra Valley. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, how about the fact that you can find the Bactrian two humped camels here. Also, you can take a ride. Now, how cool is that!

c. Panamik Village
Panamik Village in Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Photographed by Elroy Serrao – on Flickr

Panamik is a small village by the Nubra river and offers some splendid panoramic vistas to soak in. It is popular for its hot sulfur springs which is believed to have medicinal properties. Also, should you visit Panamik make sure you shop from here for their Pashmina shawls and other Kashmiri and Tibetan artefacts.

d. Turtuk Village

Beautiful Turtuk village with river Shyok flowing through it

Turtuk is one of the northernmost villages in Ladakh. If you ever thought of having a place of your own amongst the mountains in a small beautiful village, well Turtuk is it. This village is surrounded by some of the most beautiful views you are ever likely to see. This untouched gem has now been open to tourists for some while. Locals are more than happy to share their stories and the cafes here serve good food. Do try Balti Kicthen, if you do choose to visit this place.

Other than these places Nubra Valley is also home to the Yarab tso Lake and Samstanling Gompa. Should you have more time on your hand and want to explore you can definitely try out these exciting places in Leh Ladakh

3. Pangong Tso

Evening view at Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake in Ladakh

Pangong Lake or Pangong Tso situated at a height of 14,270ft, it is the definition of calm. You could spend an entire day and still not get enough of it. 60% of the lake is in China while the rest remains within the borders of India and much lesser part of it is still accessible to public. And yet when you will look at it, you will only be able to see the lake till the horizon. Interestingly, given the time of day and year, you can see the water in the lake have different colors. The lake shot to fame after the movie “3 idiots” and has been on everyone’s bucket list when it comes to exciting places in Leh Ladakh.

4. Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh
Photographed by Raghavan – on Wikimedia Commons

Surrounded by towering peaks, Tso Moriri (or Moriri lake) remains quite secluded from the outside world. It is a lesser known/visited alternative to Pangong Lake. Like Pangong lake, Tso Moriri is frozen during the winters too. And owing to the landscape around it, this is quite the place for photography. Given that the lake is situated in the Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary, you may also be able to spot the likes of bare-headed goose, the Brahmin duck, the great-crested grebe and the brown-headed gull. Himalayan hares are popular as well around the lake.

With this comes the end to this section that talks about some of the most popular places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. If after visiting all this you still seem to have time on your hand for your dreamy and exciting places in Leh Ladakh, I would recommend that you rent a bike from Leh and traverse the Manali-Leh highway. You will see sceneries that you didn’t know exist and you will have an experience to cherish forever. I along with two of my best friends cycled from Manali to Leh on the same highway and those are the days that are etched in my memory as some of my best on this beautiful planet!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LEH LADAKHhttps://godlywebcreator.com/markets-to-visit-in-leh-ladakh/

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