Marvellous landscapes. Eye-appealing monasteries. Exciting adventures. A Ladakh trip is an ultimate getaway for you to soak yourself in serenity and rich Tibetian culture amidst the mighty Himalayas. The list of adorable places you can visit on your Ladakh tour is never-ending. Ladakh offers a range of places covering magnificent mountains, adrenaline-pumping activities and calm gompas. Let us dive into the top 20 places you must visit on your Ladakh trip!
20. Pangong Lake
The location where the iconic scooter was stationed in 3 Idiots, Pangong Lake is a renowned tourist attraction in Leh. The lake lies divided between India and Tibet, where 60% of it lies in Tibet. The sparkling blue lake changes its colour throughout the year from azure to light blue to grey.
- Location: Situated 160 kilometres from Leh, it is a 5-hour drive to the lake.
- Best Time to Visit: During summers from June to September
- Known for: Migratory birds, flora and fauna, shooting destination for Bollywood iconics
- Attractions: Camping, Ice Skating, Photography, Bird Watching
- Essential Information: Carry warm clothes and medicines for emergency while you visit the lake.
19. Khardung La Pass
If you an adventure buff, Khardng La Pass is a must-visit location for you on your Ladakh tour. The highest motorable road in India, Khardung La offers you a perfect way to blow off steam with mountain biking. The rough terrain of the region with the exquisite beauty around makes it a lifetime experience to travel through this pass.
- Location: Located 39 kilometres from Leh, at an altitude of 5602 metres
- Best Time to Visit: Summers, precisey from April to June and September to October
- Attractions: Mountain Biking, marvellous views of the Karakoram range, snacking at the highest cafeteria in the World.
- Essential Information: You must not stop in Khardung La Pass for more than 20 minutes to avoid altitude sickness.
18. Nubra Valley
Popularly known as the ‘Orchard of Ladakh’, Nubra Valley lies at the confluence of the Shyok and Nubra rivers. The scenic location is filled with picturesque gompas and landscapes giving you the true splendour of your Ladakh trip.
- Location: Approximately 121 kilometres from Leh, it takes 4 to 5 hours to drive
- Best Time to Visit: April to June, when the weather is clear and pleasant
- Attractions: Sand Dunes and Double Humped Camel Ride in Hunder, Diskit Monastery, Jeep Safari
- Essential Information: Inner Line Permit is required to enter Nubra Valley
18. Magnetic Hill
One of nature’s unique creations, the mysterious Magnetic Hill can make your vehicles go against the force of gravity. The vehicles tend to move upward when parked here. There are various myths associated with the optical illusion of the hills which makes it one of the most wanted places by tourists on a Ladakh Trip.
- Location: It takes approximately 40 minutes to drive from Leh
- Best Time to Visit: July to September
- Attractions: Mountain Climbing, Yak Safari
17. Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa is a white-domed Buddhist gompa structured to promote world peace on the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism. The Dharmachakra or the wheels of life are popular amongst the devotees who move the wheels while they pray to God. The Gompa looks exquisite during the night when the moonlight bounces on the pagoda-style roof.
- Location: Situated 5 kilometres away from Leh
- Opening Hours: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm everyday
- Attractions: The gold embelished statute of Gautam Buddha
- Essential Information: You have to climb 500 steps from the main road to reach the Gompa
16. Leh Palace
Oe of the medieval Tibetian landmark on your Ladakh trip is the Leh Palace. It is popular as ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ and is a royal palace in Leh, inspired by the Potala Palace in Lhasa. It is an ideal location for a royal stay in Leh as well as for history buffs to know about ancient Tibet and Ladakh.
- Location: An approximate 50 minutes drive from Leh airport
- Entry Fees: INR 15 per person for Indians and INR 100 per person for foriegners
- Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm on all weekdays
- Attractions: The musuem with the history of the Namgyal dynasty, sceneic views of area surrounding
- Essential Information: The Palace involves a tremendous amount of walking. Wear comfortable clothes and pack light for your excursion.
15. Tso Moriri Lake
Tso Moriri lies in a remote location compared to the other tourist attractions in Ladakh. It is the largest alpine lake in India and is accompanied by rough terrain on your Ladakh trip. It is a Ramsar site, i.e, tents or any other form of construction that can not take place at the banks of the lake.
- Location: 240 kilometres from Leh, which takes 6 to 7 hours of drive
- Best Time to Visit: The lake can be visited only during the smmers, from May to September
- Attractions: Camping in Korzok village, Rare bird species namely the Brahmini duck, bare headed goose, brown headed gull, etc. , wildlife excursions
14. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
A Ladakh trip can never be marked as complete without a spiritual retreat to the gompas. The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is one such effect location for a visual treat. The monastery dates back to 1430 and is situated in the Tsemo Fort.
- Location: 5 kilometres from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 20 per person
- Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
- Attractions: Three stroreyed Buddha statue, artistic watercolour paintings, sceneic views of the Zanskar Range
13. Zanskar Valley
The heart of adventures on an ideal Ladakh tour, Zanskar valley calls adventure seekers from around the globe. The captivating flora and fauna of this region make it one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Leh – Ladakh. It is also the home of a bunch of monasteries.
- Location: It takes around 10 hours to drive from Leh to Zanskar
- Best Time to Visit: June to September
- Attractions: Paragliding, Chadar trek, Suru Valley, river rafting, festival nights, monasteries
12. Hemis Monastery
Hemis Monastery is the largest gompa in Leh-Ladakh surrounded by the mighty Himalayan range. The Hemis Festival is the most visited time here where people are covered in coloured masks and attires.
- Location: One hour drive via Keylong-Leh road
- Opening Time: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
- Attractions: Hemis Festival, Buddhist sculptures, wall arts
11. Hemis National Park
There is no other place in India where you can find snow leopards, except the Hemis National Park. This scenic location is home to rare species of the World such as Red Fox, Tibetian Wolf, Golden Eagle, Vulture and many more.
- Location: 10 Kilometres away from Leh
- Opening Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Entry Fees: INR 20 per person for Indian, INR 100 per person for foreigners
- Attractions: Wildlife excursion, Trekking, Bird Watching
Kargil is another checkpoint in your Ladakh trip with a volatile surrounding and a glorious history. The India – Pakistan conflict in 1999 took place in Kargil. It is a land of magnificent natural beauty with a pinch of exciting adventures.
- Location: Around 5 hours drive away from Leh via NH1
- Entry Fees: INR 500 for per person
- Best Time to Visit: Summers, especially from June to September
- Attractions: Heritage, Mountaneering, Skiing, River Rafting, Trekking
9. Thiksey Monastery
There is no shortage of Gompas in Ladakh. But only a few such as Thiksey Monastery highlight a 15-metre high Maitreya Buddha statue. It is also home to the Buddhist monks in Ladakh. You will find the best views of the Indus Valley on your Ladakh trip from this gompa.
- Location: 40 minutes away from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 30 for per person
- Best Time to Visit: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm from May to November
- Essential Information: Women cannot enter the Lamokhang Temple in the gompa
8. Spituk Monastery
The house of 100 monks and a huge Kali statue, the Spituk Monastery is a dazzling architecture in Leh-Ladakh tour. The gompa showcases the statue every year at the Gustor Festival. It has a wide collection of Buddhist antiques and artefacts.
- Location: Located at a distance of 8 kilometres from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 20 for per person
- Visiting Time: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday
- Essential Information: Spituk Festival with the Kali idol, three masked dance by monks and prayers
7. Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary
Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the roughest destinations on your Ladakh tour. The climate here is harsh with difficult terrain. You can find endangered species and migratory birds surviving the harsh temperature here.
- Location: Located 153 kilometres away from Leh
- Attractions: Wildlife namely Tibetan Ass, Tibetan Wolf, Wild Yak, Brahmini Duck, etc.
6. Stok Palace
If you want to feel like a king in Ladakh, Stok Palace is where you head to. The place is a heaven for history buffs and travellers seeking a comfortable stay.
- Location: Taken approximately 30 minutes via cab from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 50 per person
- Attractions: Artifacts and royal souvenir, historical musuems
5. Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame is a tribute to the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Pak war. Maintained by the Indian Army, it highlights the Ladakhi culture and the lives of the soldiers.
- Location: 4 kilometres away from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 10 per person for Indians, INR 50 per person for foreigners
- Attractions: Section depicting the life of soilders in the Siachen Glacier
4. Likir Monastery
The oldest monastery of Ladakh, Likir Gompa belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It consists of a school run by the Central Institute of Buddhist studies and opens its libraries to the travellers who want to read old manuscripts
- Location: 52 kilometres away from Leh
- Entry Fees: INR 30 per person
- Visiting Hours: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Attractions: 75 feet huge gold statue of Maitreya Buddha
3. Phugtal Monastery
Appears as a honeycomb, Phugtal Monastery is the most secluded gompa in Ladakh. It attracts trekkers on a Ladakh trip as it is only accessible by foot.
- Location: Trek from Anmo Village
- Visiting Hours: 6:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Attractions: Trekking, Monastic School
3. Diskit Monastery
Diskit Monastery lies on the way to the Nubra Valley. The gompa has a historical story of the anti-Buddhist Mongolian demon who stayed here. The monastery runs a school with an NGO.
- Visiting Hours: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday
- Entry Fees: INR 30 per person
- Attractions: Festivals, Local Souvenirs
2. Chang La Pass
Another motorable pass, Chang La Pass attracts bikers and adventure seeks from all around. It has an eye-appealing beauty and the highest mountain ranges.
- Location: Between Leh and Pangong
- Best Time to Visit: May to October
- Attractions: Chang La Baba Temple
Lamayuru is a village in Leh-Ladakh with breathtaking beauty, peculiar landscape and huge monasteries. It is widely known as the ‘Moonland of Ladakh‘. You must visit the place during a full moon to experience its magnificence.
- Best Time to Visit: April to June
- Attractions: Sightseeing, Monastery hopping
One can never get enough of Leh-Ladakh and its awe-inspiring beauty. Ladakh is the land where beauty meets the eyes and adventure runs down the spine.
We hope this article was helpful for your next Ladakh trip. Keep reading. Keep exploring!