Leh (district)Earth : Asia : South Asia : India : Himalayan North : Jammu and Kashmir : Ladakh : Leh (district)
- Choglamsar: Almost close enough to Leh to be a suburb, Choglamsar is an important Tibetan refugee community, and centre for Buddhist studies with both the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Mahabodhi Meditation Centre here.
- Stok: across the Indus and a few km up a side road, Stok is a pleasant village with the old King of Ladakh's palace.
- Shey It was the capital of Ladakh until Leh took its place. The Kings of the time paid for the construction of numerous chortens (Stupas), and Mani walls that now crowd the area around the road. There is a Gompa, now under restoration, with a 12m high Sakyamuni Buddha statue.
- Thiksey Gompa: 17 km from Leh, is excellent place to visit, well maintained, active and interesting Geluk (the sect headed by the Dali Lama) Monastery. The two storey tall Matreya statue is stunning, and features on numerous photographs seen around the world in all sorts of contexts.
- Tak Tok Gompa: up a quiet side valley, it's a small Ningma Monastery built around a cave that Padmasambhava is said to have meditated in.
Pangong Tso: A beautiful lake with deep blue waters, surrounded by tall mountain peaks. This lake lies on the Indo - China boundary, with only one fourth of the lake being in India. The road to this lake passes through Chang-la, the world's third highest motorable road. It's a 4 & Half hour drive (149 Kms) from Leh to this place. If one is staying in Leh please leave around 4 in the morning. The problem in reaching Pangong Lake is that around 5 kms before the Lake, water from the snow melting blocks the passage by 1 O’clock in the afternoon & it doesn’t clear up until 8 in the evening. So, unless you want to get stuck there till late, leave early. The passage is also very tough to cross by car. So a four-wheel drive car is recommended. Experienced biker’s should not have any problem.
Most people coming to Leh District are going to be going to Leh itself, see the Leh for details on getting in.
The Get Around section of the Ladakh article applies to the Leh District.
The sights consist mainly of Gompas (Buddhist Monasteries).
Khardung-La (La means Mountain Pass) : commonly claimed to be the worlds highest motarable road (approx. 42 kilometers or 26 miles from Leh town), on the road going to Nubra valley.
Pangong Lake : Pangong Tso (Tso stands for "Lake") is 40 miles in length and nearly 2-4 miles in width at a height of 4267m above the sea level What strikes the eye in coming first in view of this lake is the lovely colour of its water, especially towards evening, which is of the richest deep blue, over the whole expanse, at morning time, it is of a lighter a very brilliant colour. The water of the Lake is not that salty as sea water.
Nubra Valley : The fertile Valley of Nubra formed a part of the overland route between Tibet and Turkestan, prior to the partition of British India, and even until the Indian/Chinese war of 1967. Once dotted with garlands of camel and yak caravans, this Silk Route is also known as the 'Valley of Flowers' of Ladakh, and is amongst the greenest valleys in the region, you may also be able to spot feral camels descendants of the caravan trade.
The romance of the Silk Route still hangs in the air as you cross the formidable Khardung La (pass)- the highest 'motorable' pass on the planet that connects Leh to the Nubra Valley. The road from Leh rises steeply to meet Khardung La and then dramatically plunges into a whirlpool of bends and turns to gradually unfold itself along the rushing Shyok and the Nubra Rivers.
Diskit Village is one of the main villages in Nubra famous for its apricot plantations and a 350 year-old monastery. Dotted with guest houses and budget hotels, Diskit is a major halt for tourists. The road which leads to relatively smaller Hunder Village from Diskit winds through a stretch of desert sand dunes and its here where one can spot the famous double-humped Bactrian camels. Hunder Village, the last stop where tourists are allowed in Nubra Valley, is home to an ancient monastery which treasures old frescoes and a statue of Buddha. Samtanling Gompa in Sumur Village has a good collection of tangkhas, Buddha idols and frescoes. The village of Panamik is famous for its hot water sulphur springs.
Enjoying a typical Ladakhi meal in Nubra is quite a delightful experience. Chang, a local brew (type of ale or beer) and butter tea are must haves in Nubra. Camel safaris are yet another way to see the valley. Bactrian camels, which were once used as pack animals are quite popular today as a convenient mode of transport for the locals. There are a row of shops in Diskit. Trekking to gompas and villages rewards with endless scenic vistas from snow-covered mountains to gorges and deep valleys for the adventure buffs. Saboo to Khalsar and beyond is a good trek option to start with. Close to the village of Sumur, lies a beautiful camp site by the river. Camping is suggested for a day or two.
Tourism info: Leh Tourism
Dy. Director Tourism
Leh-(Ladakh) - 194101 Telephone: 01982-252297, 252095
Along the eastern edge of Karakoram Range lies Nubra Valley, at an altitude of around 10,000 ft above sea level. Situated along the ancient caravan route of Central Asia, enigmatic Nubra Valley can be reached only by road through Khardung La (18,380 ft), the highest motorable road in the world! Khalsar along the Khardung Pass is the point where two roads bifurcate, one leading to Diskit and Hunder while the other one reaching the town of Sumur and Panamik. This high-altitude Ladakh valley unfolds a bizarre blend of landscapes, with gushing rivers, flowers orchards, desert sand dunes and green fields. Open to tourists since 1994, Nubra Valley draws adventure enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Nubra means Ldumra or the Valley of Flowers. True to its name, Nubra is covered with colourful roses and beautiful lavender bushes throughout the warmer months. Quaint villages and Buddhist monasteries against the beautiful backdrop of snow-clad peaks add charm to this valley of contrasts. Since Nubra is close to the borders of Pakistan and China, an Inner Line Permit is required before visiting the valley.
- Botho Guesthouse is located in Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The small rural village is located 15 km south-east of the busy capital Leh. The village is surrounded by spectacular mountains. The rooms are very cosy. Prices (incl. breakfast and dinner) are between 500 and 700 Rs per night/person. Email: [email protected] http://www.lehguesthouse.com/
- You can stay at Oriantal Guest House near Santi Sthupa.