People often visiting Leh have this question in their mind as to what are the things to do in Leh? Leh is a very beautiful destination located in the northern part of India. It is located in the Leh district at an altitude of 3524 m (11562 ft.). It is desired for its natural beauty. So it is the tourism hub of India.
1. Are Leh And Ladakh Same?
We have conceived that Leh and Ladakh are the same. But if we look geographically they both are two divergent entities, who are just spelt together. Leh is a part of the Ladakh region.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into three regions, namely Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Ladakh is one of the Indian Union Territories
During the historical era, Ladakh had only one district but lately, it has two districts – Kargil and Leh. So technically Leh is just a part of Ladakh and not Ladakh itself. Leh is the capital city and the largest district of Ladakh.
Leh is famous for tourist attractions as it is filled with natural beauty. Ladakh separately has not many attractions, but it is Leh that makes Ladakh a true beauty.
Hence, it is clear that Leh and Ladakh are not the same but indirectly they are the same. Leh and Ladakh are like two souls which are inseparable. And so tourists spell Leh and Ladakh, simultaneously.
2. Why Should One Make a Visit To Leh Ladakh?
Leh Ladakh is a very pleasing place to visit. It’s an alloy of greenery, mountains and rivers. The local culture enlightens it. If you want a change in your daily routine and a place for escape, Leh Ladakh is the right destination to visit. The lush green pastures, the snow-clad high peaks, the floppy rivers, the calm atmosphere, the breathtaking views, everything is just bewildering.
But what should you do, when you visit Leh Ladakh. Here is a list of places and things to do during your trip to Leh.
3. To Do List For Leh Ladakh Trip
3.1. Pangong Lake
If you love calmness, Pangong lake is the right place to visit. It is one of the highest altitude lakes in India. The still water and the tranquil atmosphere make this place more soothing. Water is crystal clear which prepends the view. Pangong lake is a photogenic place. You can click innumerable pictures at this place. Pangong lake is also known as Pangong Tso lake. It is 12 kilometres long and flows between China and India.
The lake is crystal clear, because of the brackish and salty water. This is the speciality of Pangong lake. Because of this brackish water, aquatic life is absent. The temperature ranges between -30 to -10 degrees, so this could be another reason for the absence of aquatic life. The lake is very chilly so it also forms ice sheets in winters.
The scenic beauty gets more enlightened when birds migrate here in winters. The brackish water attracts, birds and so they migrated to Pangong lake during winters. Pangong lake is a huge source of attraction for photographers, as it’s the best place for photography. You should surely visit this place, it would be a blessing if you do so.
3.2. Khardung La Pass
If you are an adventurous person, you should go to Khardung La Pass. It is one of the highest motorable passes on the globe. It is the most visited place by hikers and adventure seekers. It has many unexplored mountain peaks also. Khardung la pass is the best place for mountain biking. Khardung la pass is located in Leh, the district of the Indian union territory, Ladakh. It is located at an elevation of 5359 meters.
Peeping into the history, we find that it links Leh to Kashgar in Asia. It has been known that this pass is maintained by the Border Roads Organization. This route is considered important for the Indian army as well, as it helps to carry goods to Siachen Glacier.
You can take a bus or taxi from Leh, to visit Khardung La Pass, and the best time to visit this is between March to May, June to August or January to February.
So you should visit Khardung La Pass if you visit Leh Ladakh. It’s worth a visit.
3.3. Magnetic Hill
A magnetic hill is a mysterious place, where it has been observed that the car moves in an upward direction on its own when parked. It is located on the Leh Kargil Baltic National Highway. Magnetic hill is one of the queer places in the country. It is elevated at 14000 feet, this small cyclops hill disregards gravitational force. The local people believe that this spot is a direct stairway to heaven.
You can try it yourself once you visit Leh. There is a board that has been kept, with the name Magnetic Hill on it. At this spot, you can park your vehicle in neutral gear, and you will notice that your vehicle will move in an upward direction, with a speed of around 10 to 20 km/ hrs.
There are some scientific theories which depict that this is an illusion and there is no such force with which your vehicle moves upwards. And then there is also a magnetic theory of Earth which suggests that the interior magnetic forces of Earth pull the vehicle upwards.
Whatever the theory is, Magnetic hill is a must-visit place. You can also capture beautiful and astounding views from this spot, as it is located at a great height.
3.4. Nubra Valley
They say that your trip is incomplete if you did not visit Nubra valley. Nubra valley is a cold desert located at a high altitude. It is an extension of the Tibetan Plateau, which has its other half in China. Nubra valley detaches the Ladakh range from the Karakoram Range. The average altitude of the Nubra valley is 10000 ft or we can 3048 m above sea level.
Nubra valley is really a beauty, with the best scenic view of the moon. It has many wonders like Diskit Monastery, Hunder Sand dunes, Samstanling Gompa, Yarab Tso lake and villages of Turtuk and Panamik.
It was made popular by traders and travellers of the silk route. It is a valley covered with mountains and a beautiful river flowing through them.
It is located at a distance of around 160 km from Leh and is popular for its scenic beauty. This also is the gateway to higher locations like Siachen. The famous hunder sand dunes make it scenic for every new visitor as it changes frequently. People can also ride on Bactrian camels, through the dunes. The towering statue of Maitreya Buddha blesses the whole place. You can also go Quad biking, this is also a great experience.
The best time to visit this place is April to June and September to October. This is because there would be no rains or snowfall during this period and you get the best experience.
3.5. Tso Moriri Lake
Tso Moriri lake is also a very beautiful lake, just like Pangong Tso lake. This lake is almost 4000 meters above sea level and is about 29 km long and 8 km wide. A perfect place to enjoy. It is covered by snow-clad high peaks, which gives a beautiful view. There is a lot of peace and calm in this place and it is one of the best things to do in Leh.
Apart from giving the best view, Tso Moriri lake is known as the largest high-altitude lake in India and it is managed by the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve Area. A lot of birds migrate here, so the best place for bird watchers and nature lovers. Tso Moriri Lake is also a photogenic place and is cherished by photographers for its natural beauty.
It is located on the Changthang plateau and the best time to visit this place is June to September.
3.6. Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru Monastery is located at an altitude of 3510 meters and is one of the oldest and largest monasteries of Leh. It is one of the pacific tourist attractions in Leh. This monastery belongs to the Red hat sect of Buddhism and over 50 monks reside here.
It is a serene Buddhist monastery of all and the scriptures, sculptures, the paintings make it more scenic. The architecture is astounding, and this is one of the reasons why tourists get attracted to this place.
The timings to visit this is 6:00 am to 6: 00 pm and best time to visit is between May and September
3.7. Royal Leh Palace
The Royal Leh Palace is a must-visit place. It was built back in 16 the century and it is as high as a nine-storey building. The Leh Palace was designed with proper planning where the royal family resided on the top floors and the lowers floors were for storerooms and animals.
From the top, you can see Zanskar valley with clear blue skies. This view is quite aesthetic. If you are a person who loves history and old architecture then this is the best place to visit. You can also witness old Chinese paintings which are almost 450 years old.
Leh Palace is a good place, with an astonishing view from the top.
3.8. Enjoy Festivals of Leh
There are many festivals which you can celebrate in Leh and all these festivals depict the local culture of Leh. Some of the festivals are Hemis festival, Losar festival, Dosmoche festival, Sindhu Darshan, Tak Tok festival, Matho Nagrang festival, Ladakh festival and much more.
Ladakh is a Buddhist region, and so all the traditions here are related to Buddhism. It is a beautiful destination with cold deserts and a cool climate, a high mountain range and much more. During the festivals, sports like archery and polo are organized for men and buddhas also meditate during this time. Like all other cultures in India, this culture is also enriching, and should not be missed. If you get a chance to look at the festivals of Leh Ladakh don’t miss it.
3.9. Tso Kar Lake
Tso Kar Lake is also a beautiful lake to visit during a trip to Leh Ladakh. It has rusty water and is around 9 km long. The river is surrounded by nomads and you will surely find them during your visit there. It is a soothing place which would influence you to visit it again. This is a lovely and calm place with still water.
3.10. Namgyal Monastery
Another must-visit monastery is Namgyal Monastery. This place is quiet and calm, and locals call it Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is a captivating place to visit. The monks here enchant their prayer and so the whole atmosphere is spiritual here. If you want to calm your mind, then you must visit the temple of the Dalai Lama.
3.11. Hall Of Fame
The hall of fame was built for keeping alive the sacrifice of soldiers. The Indian army has done a lot of sacrifices to save the nation. So it is a memorial built for them. This museum is divided into two parts, in which the upper part is full of weapons and arms, and the other part holds apparel worn by soldiers. The lower floor is full of paintings and scenes from the Kargil war.
3.12. Sangam Point
The name itself suggests, the confluence of two rivers. Whenever two river meets, the view is pleasing to the eyes. This is a place where two rivers of Leh namely, the Zanskar river and Indus river combine.
Another speciality of this combination is that both these rivers are of different colors, so when they meet they give an amazing texture which is really mesmerizing. The texture of the Zanskar river is green whereas that of the Indus river is brown. So when two of them combine, the view is really soothing to the eyes.
Also, this destination falls on National Highway 1 and this is on the way to Leh, so you don’t need to take another route for this.
You should not miss this destination, it is really astounding.
3.13. Ripchar Valley Trek
If you are a trekking person and love adventure, you should go for the Ripchar valley trek. The trek includes parallel mountain ranges of Karakoram, Zanskar and Greater Himalayan ranges. The views from the top are astonishing.
The Ripchar valley is surrounded by villages and so you can also talk with locals around. Trekking is always fun and gives the best views. So if you love treks you should go for this one.
3.14. Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey monastery is also a really good monastery and is located on the top of the hill. It is a Tibetian-style monastery around 19 km from Leh. Thiksey monastery is one of the largest gompas in central Ladakh. The architecture is astounding and you must visit it.
3.15. River Rafting
Apart from all these things, you can also go river rafting. If you love adventures then you should try it. River rafting is not much appreciated in Leh Ladakh but if you love adventure sports then you should give it a try. River rafting is done at the Zanskar river. It is an amazing experience which becomes a lifetime memorable moment.
3.16. Bike Trip
If you are a biking person, you can take a bike trip to Ladakh. Bike trips are always amazing with the right company. The unknown roads lead to amazing destinations and it is a great experience. You can take your adventurous bike trip with a motorcycle from Leh Manali highway. This will take 10 – 15 days to reach Leh and Leh Manali Highway is an amazing route for a bike tour.
3.17. Take a Sip Of Butter Tea
Butter tea is a popular drink in Ladakh. Po cha is another name for butter tea. It is made from tea leaves, yak butter water and salt. Tourists usually try this butter tea on their visit to Ladakh. Butter tea is one of the local dishes of Leh. Other local dishes are momos, thukpa, skyu, chhutagi and much more.
3.18. Shanti Stupa
It is a white-domed Buddhist monastery. It represents the peace of Ladakh. It is surrounded by mountains, so it gives an amazing view from the top. The architecture is really astounding and should be visited definitely.
3.19. Donkey Sanctuary
The name itself suggests that it is a place where you can onlook donkeys. The donkey sanctuary was built by Stany and Joanne with the idea of providing shelter to a donkey. Old and sick donkeys reside here. The sanctuary is situated in Khakshal village and you can visit it any time of the year.
3.20. Frozen River Trek
Go for this if you love trekking. You can embrace the beauty of the frozen waterfall. The view would be amazing. On the way, you can interact with the locals of Zanskar village. The frozen river trek is actually an astonishing one.
From the above-mentioned things to do in Leh, you can also visit Hemis Monastery and Hemis National Park. Snow Leopard which is seen very rarely in the entire world, is seen in the Hemis National Park.
You can also go for shopping in local markets and shop their traditional antiques.
There are many Ladakh tour packages available and you can choose the tour package at your convenience.
This place does not deserve a few days but a lot more. It is a must-worth place to visit. You should visit this place with your friends and relatives.