Places to explore around Leh city
“A journey to ancient times in modernity” there is no better phrase to describe Leh city which sits in the lap of mountain deserts of Northern India. In recent times the city has managed to make headlines on the traveler’s list owing to its scenic ancient views and peaceful environment. The rough and raw beauty of Leh brings out the adventurous traveler in you and at the same time connects you to the spiritual energy which flows throughout the local Buddhist stupas. There is a ground-sky difference between seeing a place through your window screen and visiting the place, as it requires a lot of effort in choosing the places which will be worth your time and gives you a wholesome experience in Leh. Leh and Ladakh are not only about the places you visit but also about that journey in majestic mountains which somewhat brings you closer to your being.
Here are some of the key places that you should visit on your trip to Leh –
1. Leh Palace
Lachen Palkar Palace, the adobe of the former royal king will give you an insight into the history and culture of Leh and Ladakh. The beautiful architecture is elevated from the rest of the city so you can get a bird- eye view of the entire city. The palace is home to the original Tibetan art and jewelry, so if you are looking to explore the essence of the city, there is no better place than Leh palace to begin your journey.
2. Hall of Fame
Unlike Hollywood, this hall of fame carries a patriotic sentiment to itself. Hall of fame is a museum constructed to honor the brave martyrs of the Indian army, the
excellent display of weaponry and credentials of soldiers will swell up your heart with pride and love for the nation. The place is a very good example of the fact that no matter what, our army stands proudly even in one of the roughest places in the world.
3. Shanti Stupa
As the name suggests, Shanti Stupa was built by Ladakhi and Japanese monks to promote peace in the world and also to celebrate the 2500 years of Buddhism.
The stupa is built at a high altitude so you get a spectacular view of the whole city and the marvelous design of the Stupa will leave you in awe. The scenic views will give you picture-perfect moments for your Leh-Ladakh diaries
4. Leh Main Market
A trip is incomplete without local shopping, Leh main market is one of the most colorful and busiest places in Leh, from local artistic artifacts to street food you
will witness the full-fledged colors of Leh culture. Whether it be woolens, local spices, dry fruits, world-famous apricots you will find almost everything of local taste in this market
5. Zorawar Fort
: In the past owned by one of the greatest warriors, known for his victory against the Chinese, General Zorawar Singh Kahluria built this fort. It is one of the best
attractions in Leh and has a spectacular collection of specimens of new stamps and coins. It is just some fifteen minutes away from Leh market, so it’s convenient to cover this marvelous architecture.
6. Spituk Monastery
One of the best tourist attractions, Spituk Monastery is located in Spituk which is just eight kilometers away from Leh. Spituk Monastery is home to hundreds of monks and has a wide collection of antique arms, ancient masks, and famous Buddhist paintings also known as thangkas. The place itself has a very peculiar charm and is also very photogenic
7.Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib:
Located on Leh-Kargil road, this place holds a great reverence of both the Sikh and Buddhist communities. Guru Nanak Dev in one of his many expeditions reached here to free the locals from a terrorizing demon, as the story goes when the demon tried to crush Guru Nanak with a boulder, the boulder turned into the wax and since then the imprint of Guru Nanak has been on the boulder. The place is a must-visit, as it is only twenty-five kilometers away from Leh and it is exemplary of the
dynamic culture of India
8. Magnetic Hills
One of nature’s best optical illusions, the scenery creates an optical illusion of such where a road that is going downhill, seems as if it goes uphill. So if you see a car moving upslope, it is the opposite. The Place is thirty kilometers away from Leh and due to its unusual significance and scenic beauty, it has become very popular
9. Hemis Monastery
Hemis Monastery is one of the richest monasteries of Leh and Ladakh, it is situated around forty-five kilometers away from the capital and is famous for
its collection of Tibetan books, gold statues, thangkas, and stupas embedded with weapons, precious stones. The monastery is said to have existed even before the 11th century and its Tibetan-style architecture will enchant your heart and soul.
10. Thiksey Monastery
It is the largest monastery of central Ladakh and is famous for forty-nine feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha in the lotus position which covers two floors
of the monastery. The monastery is built on top of a hill and its structure is made in a unique hierarchical manner, which makes it a very attractive visiting site. The monastery is surrounded by snow-clad mountains which adds a very aesthetic vibe to the whole place and attracts visitors from far away places
11. Shey Palace
: Located fifteen kilometers away from Leh town, the palace was home to the royal family till 1834 AD, and was also the summer capital of Ladakh. The palace has a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha which is made of copper and also the palace has murals of buddha in various mudras and a library with various manuscripts
12. Stok Monastery
Surrounded by majestic mountains, this Tibetian architecture will surely take your breath away. Stok Monastery used to be the adobe of the royal family in the past but now it has turned into a historic spot of Leh and Ladakh. The palace is just 15 Km away from Leh, so it is time-saving and worth seeing.