The land where the rugged terrain complements the spectacular beauty of mountains – Ladakh is no ordinary place to visit. A Ladakh trip is often considered a ‘must-visit destination’ for every wanderlust traveller. Ladakh tourism serves us with a huge list of adrenaline-pumping adventures and magical Himalayan ranges. You will be amazed to see the number of surprises these mountains have in store for you! Let us get a peek into a complete seven-day itinerary for a great Ladakh trip!
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
You start your trip by arriving at Leh by morning or early afternoon. The first day of your Ladakh trip is reserved for you to acclimatize to the attitude. Ladakh is situated at an altitude of 11562 feet. It is important to keep yourself away from physical activities for this day, even if you are excited to explore the beauties of this land!
Things to do on day 1:
- Stay hydrated to avoid sickness due to the low oxygen levels
- Enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains from your hotel
- Treat yourself to the delicious Ladakhi food
- Avoid physical activities and give your body the time to adapt to the drastic altitude change
Day 2: Explore the local sightseeing in Leh
Your day starts with a light breakfast, after which you will be headed on a city tour of Leh. You will spend this day of your Ladakh trip exploring the rich architecture of this city, while still adapting to climate change.
A symbol of promoting world peace, the Shanti Stupa was built in 1999 by Japanese Buddhist, Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura to celebrate 2500 years of Buddhism. Shanti Stupa marks a remarkable architecture in Ladakh tourism where travellers visit the place to experience serenity and peace of mind.
- Location: It is at a distance of 3-4 kilometres from Leh Main Bazaar. You can hire a cab from the city to the stupa.
- Timings: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Entry Fee: No entry fee
- Best Time to Visit: During sunrise and sunsets
Tsemo Fort and Namgyal Tsemo Monastery
Another checkpoint in your Ladakh trip is at the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery. It is underneath the 16th-century old Tsemo Fort and is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges on all its corners. The main attraction of this monastery is the eight-meter tall gold statue of Maitreya Buddha.
- Location: It is situated at Namgyal Hill. You can rent a cab from the city.
- Timings: 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm every day
- Entry Fee: INR 20 per person
- Best Time to Visit: During the morning and evening prayers performed by the monks at the monastery.
- Attractions: Witness picturesque views of the Leh town and the nearby Zanskar Range from this monastery.
One of the most famed attractions in Ladakh tourism, the Royal Palace of Leh is another name for splendour. The Palace is inspired by the Potala Palace of Lhasa and has medieval Tibetian architecture and It is heaven for all history buffs. The museum in the Palace highlights the culture of India with its curated artefacts. It is marvellous to look at after sunset.
- Location: Situated 4 to 5 km from the Leh airport, you can take a cab to the Palace.
- Timings: 7:00 am 4:00 pm every day
- Entry Fee: INR 15 per person for Indians and INR 100 per person for foreigners
- Attractions: Enjoy the eye-appealing views of Stok Kangri and Zanskar range
Hall of Fame
Another great place for all history buffs on your Ladakh trip, the Hall of Fame is a museum maintained by the Indian Army for the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Pak war.
- Location: Around 4 km from Leh on the Leh Kargil road
- Timings: 9:00 to 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day
- Entry Fee: INR 10 per person for Indians and INR 50 per person for foreigners
- Attractions: The depiction of the soldier’s life in the Siachen Glacier
You will have leisure time in the evening. Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 3: Khardung La Pass and Nubra Valley
Ladakh tourism is known to be incomplete without an excursion to the Khardung La Pass. It is the highest motorable pass of Asia and the road which will take you to the most explored places in India. It is popular amongst the adventure seekers in Ladakh, situated at an elevation of 5,359 meters.
About Khardung La Pass
Khardung La Pass was built by the brave 201 Engineer Regiment of the Indian Army. It links Leh to Kashgar and will lead you to Shyok and Nubra Valley.
- Location: It is located approximately 40 kilometres from Leh. You can take a car or a bike to reach Khardung La within an hour and a half.
- Best Time to Visit: You must visit the pass between March to May to experience pleasant weather and a proper commute. September to October is also a good time to come here.
- Road Conditions:
- The first 25 kilometres till South Pullu is in a good condition to travel.
- Conditions start to degrade once you hit the North Pullu checkpoint for the next 15 kilometres.
- The conditions are better again from North Pullu to Nubra Valley.
- Things to do:
- Treat yourself to tea and a hot plate of Maggie at the highest cafeteria in the World.
- Visit the Indian Army Souvenir shop
- Essential Information:
- Do not wait for more than 20 minutes in Khardung La pass to avoid altitude sickness
- Carry your essential documents and medicines
About Nubra Valley
Once you cross the North Pullu checkpoint, you will experience one of the most beautiful landscapes in Nubra Valley. It is at the confluence of the Shyok and Nubra rivers. While the road will lead you to the Siachen Base Camp, civilians are only allowed till Panamik.
- Location and Altitude: Nubra Valley is approximately 160 kilometres from Leh. It is located at an altitude of 3048 metres above sea level.
- Best Time to Visit: April to June and September to October experience no rainfall or snowfall here and is the best time to visit.
You will check into your hotel in Nubra Valley and stay the night there.
Day 4: Excursion to Pangong Lake
With a power-packed breakfast, you continue your Ladakh trip by travelling to Pangong Lake. Located at an altitude of 14270 feet above sea level, it is the highest lake in the world. A part of it lies in India while the rest remains in Tibet. You will recognize this location from the climax of the popular movie 3 Idiots.
- Location: It is 140 kilometres away from Leh
- Best Time to Visit: The peak summers during June to August is perfect to visit the lake
- Main Attraction: The lake shows 5 different shades of blue as you drive along the coast
Check in to your hotel and overnight stay at Pangong.
Day 5: Pangong to Leh via Chang La Pass
The drives through the steep slopes and bumpy roads in your Ladakh trip will end on this day when you drive back to Leh. The distance between Pangong Lake to Leh is around 6 hours via the Chang La Pass. It is situated at an altitude of 17,590 feet above sea level
Chang La Temple
The Chang La Temple is known for its serene atmosphere and renowned beauty. This temple is devoted to Changla Baba and you must seek the blessings here before you cross the pass.
One of the richest monasteries in Ladakh tourism, the Hemis Gompa will lie on your way from Chang La Pass to Leh. The huge statue of Guru Rinpoche and the unique artefacts of the monastery are its main attractions.
Reach Leh and check into your hotel. Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 6: Excursion to the city of Leh
As you approach the end of your Ladakh trip, you will have a final day of exploring the city and picking up souvenirs. After a delicious breakfast, set your foot out for a city excursion.
Another unique architecture you can find in Ladakh tourism is the Thiksey Monastery. It is known for its magical aura when the monks chant the morning prayers. Visit the place as early as 7 am to experience the beauty of the gompa and the areas surrounding it.
Stok Palace is the summer home of Ladakh’s royal family. The place consists of different museums depicting the rich heritage of Leh. It is a heritage hotel where you can live like a king for a few days if you wish to. Chulli Bagh nearby is a magnificent orchard to take a stroll in.
Evening time is free to stroll around the area. Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 7: Departure from Leh
With your last breakfast amidst the beautiful mountains and exquisite Ladakhi lifestyle, you depart from Leh for your flight, taking a bagful of memories with you!
Leh is more than a mere travel destination. It is a collection of picturesque landscapes and mountains along with adrenaline-pumping drives through the roughest roads. A Ladakh trip can bring with it a rejuvenating experience for your vacation.
We hope this article helps you in planning your next Ladakh trip! Keep reading. Keep exploring!