is one of the favorite tourist destinations located in the northernmost
parts of the country. The capital of the Ladakh district, Leh is towards the
eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Lapped in the snow-covered fringes of
the Himalayas, Leh has been the center of Tibetian-Buddhist culture since
ages. It's Gompas have attracted devout Buddhists from all over the world.
Besides, it is also a favourite trekking and hiking spot and is known for
some of the best hikes and treks in the country.
Sightseeing at Leh -
Leh Palace : A miniature version of the Potala in Lhasa, the Leh Palace is one of the major attractions here. The palace was built in the 17th century and is now dilapidated and deserted. It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh's victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century.
The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa : Built in 1430, it consists of a three-story high Buddha image and ancient manuscripts and frescoes. The fort above this gompa is ruined, but the views of Leh from here are breathtakingly beautiful.
Sankar Gompa : The Sankar gompa is located a couple of kilometers north of the town center. The gompa belongs to the Gelukpa order and has an impression of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshwara Padmahari or Chenresig.
Shanti Stupa : The Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese order and was opened by the Dalai Lama in 1985. One can view the exotic locales nearby from here. The stupa is located at a distance of 3 km from the Fort Road.
Alchi Gompa : Seventy kilometers from Leh, on the banks of river Indus, is the Alchi gompa dating back to the 11th century. It is a famous monastery with a widely renowned collection of paintings.
Hemis Gompa : At a distance of 45 km south of Leh, Hemis is one of the biggest gompas in Ladakh. Built in 1630, it belongs to the red sect, Brokpa.
Matho Gompa : Situated on the opposite bank of the Indus across Thikse, the Matho gompa was established in the first half of the 16th century and has a valuable collection of old and beautiful thangkas, some in the form of 'mandalas.' Its annual festival of oracles in early March is an important event in the Ladakhi religious calendar.
Shey Gompa : Until the 16th century, the Shey gompa was the royal residence. It is located at a distance of 15 km south of Leh. This Palace Monastery has the largest statue of Maitreya Buddha (the Buddha to come) in Ladakh.
Spituk Gompa : At a distance of 8 km from Leh, standing majestically on top of a hillock overlooking the Indus Valley, lies the Spituk Gompa. It was built in the 15th century and houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, icons and thangkas. Higher up the hill is the Mahakal Temple, containing the shrine of Vajrabhairava.
Hemis National Park : Hemis High-Altitude National Park in Leh is the largest high-altitude reserve of India. This is a place worth visiting.
Best Season to Visit : The climate of this region is one of the extremes (-40 degrees in winters). March to September is the best time to visit Leh.
Reaching Leh -
Air : There are regular flights from Delhi to Leh that are run by the Indian Airlines. There are direct flights once a week from Leh to Srinagar and twice a week to Jammu. The Delhi flights are overbooked throughout the year.
Road : There are two overland routes to Leh-the roads from Srinagar and Manali. The Leh-Srinagar road is usually open from June to October, while the Leh-Manali route is open from July to September.
ISD/STD Code for Leh
If calling from within India ------ 01982 (number).
If calling from outside India ------- ++91-1982 (number).
Shopping in Leh
For regular shopping Leh has several markets. For gift items and souvenirs the tourists at Leh may check out the Ladakh Art Place in the old town, the Ecology Center and some shops behind the Main Bazaar road. If you happen to be in Leh during the Ladakh festival then you must pick up the local handicrafts and clothes from the captivating stalls.
The Land of Endless Discovery : (13 Nights / 14 Days)
Delhi / Agra / Jaipur / Delhi / Leh / Delhi
Markha Vally Trek : (20 Nights / 21 Days)
Delhi / Leh / Delhi
Khardungla Pass Biking Tour : (14 Nights - 15 Days)
Delhi - Manali - Marrhi Nallah - Rohtang - Koksar - Sissu - Gondla - Tandi - Keylong - Gemur - Jispa - Darcha - Patseo - Baralacha La - Bharatpur - Sarchu - Brandy Nallah - Gata Loops - Naki la - Lachungla - Pang - More Plains - Tanglangla - Rumtse - Gya - Upshi - Karu - Leh - Delhi
Motorbike Safari : (12 Nights - 13 Days)
Delhi - Shimla - Kalpa - Kaza - Losar - Jispa - Ride - Brandy Nullah - Rumtse - Sumdo - Leh - Khardungla - Leh - Delhi
Mountain Bike Tour Manali to Leh : (15 Nights - 16 Days)
Delhi - Manali - Marrhi - Gondla - Jispa - Zing Zing Bar - Sarchu - Takh - Pang - Rumtse - Upshi - Leh
Indus Rafting : (08 Nights - 09 Days)
Delhi - Leh - Thiksey - Spituk - Leh - Delhi
Ladakh Tribal Tour : (07 Nights - 08 Days)
DeLeh - Tso Moriri - Leh