Ladakh and its capital, Leh, are one of the best gorgeous places on Earth. Its hilly vistas, bright blue lake, and picturesque road trips have drawn visitors from all over the world. Aside from the alluring scenery, there are several sights to enjoy, ranging from the gorgeous monastery and exquisite palaces to charming towns and high-altitude routes want to know which one of these beautiful sites should be on your bucket list? Explore our list of the top 5 best places to visit in Ladakh.
A charming hamlet located near Kargil and Leh. Lamayuru is nicknamed "Moonland" because of its moon-like topography. If the name isn't enough to persuade you that it belongs on our list of the top 5 places to visit in Ladakh.
This monastery is located between two hills and has an exceptionally stunning setting. The trek here is tough, but once you reach the top, you are rewarded with one of the most breathtaking vistas. This is a genuinely unusual location that any explorer should visit.
According to history, a lama named 'Naropa' roamed this area while it was underwater. The river retreated at his request, allowing him to build what is now known as the 'Lamayuru Monastery.' One of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh, its interiors are filled with exquisite paintings and frescoes. A grotto beside the prayer hall featuring statues of Naropa and his disciples is one of the shrine's highlights.
Because the Lamayuru village is approximately 125 kilometers from Leh, it is recommended that you spend the night there and thoroughly experience the tranquility and quiet of Lamayuru. Many individuals opt to remain in Lamayuru for weeks or months at a time to practice yoga. Hotel Moonland, Siachen Guesthouse, Dragon Hotel, and more lodging alternatives are available in Lamayuru. The Lamayuru monasteries, as well as various tourist hotels in the area, provide lodging alternatives. So, get out there and enjoy a bike ride to this stunning and amazing scenery location.
When is the best time to visit Lamayuru Monastery?
The best time to visit the Lamayuru monastery is during the Yuru Kabgyat festival in July/August. In general, the periods of May through October are ideal for visiting Lamayuru Monastery since the weather is pleasant. The climate is favorable, and routes to Ladakh are open both from Srinagar and Manali around that period. As a result, the best time to visit Lamayuru monastery also happens to be the best time to visit Leh Ladakh. That is, between May and September/October when the routes connecting Srinagar and Manali to Leh Ladakh are open. However, you may always visit Lamayuru's moonland during the colder months.
Niranjana Lamayuru Restaurant, located at the Lamayuru monastery, serves delicious meals. Even if you're not resting in Lamayuru, this restaurant is a famous location to eat lunch on the route to Leh from Kargil. The delivery is a little sluggish, but your taste senses will be completely gratified.
There are several high-elevation lakes in Ladakh, but nothing compares to Pangong Tso. It was made famous by the film 3 Idiots,' and it is currently the best-visited tourist destination in Ladakh. Walking along the banks of the azure blue lake, surrounded by hills of brownish hues, is like living in a postcard. Its distinctiveness comes from the shifting colors of the lake throughout the day. Prepare your cameras to capture this mystical phenomenon live. Watch the sky surrounded by a million stars as you camp close to the lake at night.
Air: Leh is well accessible to other key Indian cities. Leh is connected by daily flights to Delhi, Jammu, and Srinagar.
Train: Leh closest railway station is Kalka. To go to Manali from Shimla, you may take a bus or a cab. Taxis and buses run frequently between Manali and Leh.
Road: Pangong Tso is accessible by car after a five-hour trip from Leh. From Leh, one must go across the Changla Pass and then Tangste. The state road transport corporation operates normal bus services (J&KSRTC). Taxis are available from Leh to Pangong Lake. Motorcycles, cars, and jeeps are also reasonably priced. Because there are no petrol stations near Pangong Tso, be sure you fill up in Leh and bring extra fuel.
You can refer to these nice stay alternatives surrounding the lake for a full list of accommodation options like hotels or camping around Pangong Tso Lake. Please bear in mind that, as of 2018, the LEH DC has issued a judgment ordering the removal of all unlawful Pangong Lake hotels and camps. Before finalizing the contract, double-check with your hostel or campground staff.
The greatest season to visit Pangong Tso Lake is during the summer season, from May to September, because the environment in winter is intense and the lake freezes, making the site less pleasurable for travelers.
Due to the isolated location, you will either dine at Spangmik Village's homestay or at the camps/tents where you will be spending overnight. Pangong Lake's dining options are generally restricted to wayside cabins, guesthouses, and camping grounds.
Leh Palace, perched on a mountain, is one of the best specimens of medieval Tibetan construction. The castle is composed of rocks, woods, clay, and dirt and is sometimes likened to Lhasa's world-famous Potala Palace. The palace's walls provide warmth in the winter and a cool environment in the summer.
Crowns, traditional gowns, jewelry, and magnificent artwork embellish the interiors. Some are more than 450 years old and made with powdered stones and diamonds. Murals engraved on the walls recall former golden days. If that isn't enough, the palace offers breathtaking views of the neighboring mountainous region and valley below. This is unquestionably one of the top five places to visit in Ladakh.
The precise location of Leh Palace is Namgyal Hill in Leh, Jammu, and Kashmir. It is around 700 meters from Leh's major market.
Leh Palace is easily accessible by automobile and is located 4.5 kilometers from Leh Airport. You may take a cab from the airport to Leh Palace.
The ideal time to see Leh Palace is during the summertime. From May through September, the seasons provide views of vivid countryside under clear skies. In any event, the post-monsoon weeks of October are also considered ideal for covering this extensive castle tour.
Good restaurants may be found in Leh main market area. Because Leh is the capital, there is a lively market with numerous food options.
The Shanti Stupa is a white-domed structure perched on a steep incline. It was constructed by an unusual blend of Japanese Buddhists and locals, and it overlooks snow-capped peaks. It commemorated and honored 2500 years of Buddhism while also serving as a sign of harmony. The stupa has a golden Buddha statue as well as pictures depicting his birth and death.
The stupa's vantage point offers uninterrupted views of the valley below. When lit up at night, it takes on a new beauty. If you want to watch a breathtaking sunrise or sunset, this is one of the beautiful places to visit in Ladakh.
It is about 3 to 4 kilometers from Leh Main Market to Shanti Stupa, so take a taxi or hire a bike. Once there, you must climb steps to reach the mountaintop.
Visit Shanti Stupa between July and September. During this time, the roads stay clear, and the weather is pleasant and sunny. Sunrise and sunset are ideal times of day for the greatest views.
The Shanti Restro & Cafe, Street Food Shop, Yama Coffee House, Cafe food planet, and more hotels & cafes.
Hemis monastery is Ladakh's biggest monastery. It is well-known for hosting the famed Hemis festival every June. Its stunning architecture, tranquil environs, and views of nearby mountains make it a must-see on any vacation to Ladakh.
The monastery's accumulation of Thangka paintings, murals, Buddhist texts, and silver and gold stupas is one of the most valuable in the world. The walls of the monastery are decorated in magnificent Buddha artwork. If you attend during the festival, you may witness masked artists perform, listen to traditional songs, see people roaming around in colorful dresses, and eat excellent local cuisine.
Air: The closest airport to Leh is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, which is linked to several key Indian airports.
Train: The closest train station to Leh is 812 kilometers away in Jammu Tawi. Easily hire a cab from the railway terminal to get to Leh. The journey takes three days to complete.
Road: To travel to Ladakh, you may take a cab or a bus, and you can ride your vehicle or bike to Hemis. If you're going from Srinagar, you may take the Leh-Srinagar route to the monastery.
From May to October, you have the best chance of visiting the Hemis Monastery. You may visit the monastery to discover more about Buddhism during the Hemis event, which takes place in June and July. Roads connecting Srinagar and Manali to Ladakh are open throughout this period, making it a good time to travel.
There are several food stalls surrounding the Hemis monastery where you may get short snacks, but it is best to bring food and drink with you for the day because it will be a busy day touring the local sights. The monastery has a dining/rest hall where complimentary tea/coffee and pastries are given.