Leh Ladakh

Discover Leh Ladakh

Travel to

Pangong Lake, Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Sangam,Shanti Stupa Ladakh, Tso Moriri, Magnetic Hill, Thiksey Monastery, Zanskar Valley, Shey Monastery and Palace, Stok Palace, Hemis Monastery, Rafting in Ladakh, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Kargil, Likir Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Diskit Monastery, Bactrian Camel Safari, Leh Palace, Tso Kar, Hemis National Park, Chadar Trek, Hunder Village, Phugtal Monastery, Lamayuru, Stargazing, Chang La Pass, Chemrey Monastery, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, Jhunglam Hemis To Padum Trek, Lamayuru To Alchi Trek, Lamayuru To Darcha Trek, Kang Yatse and Dzo Jongo Trek,Sankar Gompa, Lachung Temple, Druk White Lotus School, Shopping In Leh Ladakh, Dha Hanu,Sindhu Darshan Festival, Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Nyoma, Mountain Biking in Ladakh, Panamik Hot Springs, Yarab Tso Lake, MoonLand, Darcha Padum Trek, Maitreya Buddha, Shyok Valley, Handicrafts Industrial Cooperative Shop.

Ladakh is a union territory in the Kashmir region of India. Formerly falling in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh was administered a union territory on 31st October 2019. Extending from the Siachen Glacier to the main Great Himalayas, Ladakh is a land like no other. Dominated by dramatic landscapes, Ladakh is known as the world’s coldest desert.

Stunning Gompas (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries), fluttering prayer flags, whitewashed stupas, Ladakh is a riot of intricate murals and red-robed monks. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time. With a culture similar to Tibetan culture, the people of Ladakh are friendly and welcoming to tourists.

Ladakh is an adventure playground for rafting and high-altitude trekking. Note that Leh Ladakh is inaccessible by road outside the summer months. The route passes close altogether from around October to May, and the only way to reach is by air. Chadar trek on frozen Zanskar river takes place in January to the end of February.

For those of us living in the constant confusion about the difference between these twin locations, Leh-Ladakh, here is something that might help you. Ladakh is divided into two districts: district Leh and district Kargil. The former district has a famous town, “Leh”, and is a great tourist attraction because of its beautiful monasteries nearby, Shanti Stupa, cafes and Leh Bazaar defining the place’s culture.

Pangong Lake:  The most popular tourist attraction in Ladakh, Pangong lake is an endorheic (landlocked) lake situated at 4350 meters. Also known as Pangong Tso it is 12 kilometres long and extends from India to Tibet. Almost 60% of Pangong Lake lies in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. A unique feature of the lake is that it does not remain blue throughout the year or even the day, rather it changes colours from azure to light blue to green and grey too! It is famous amongst tourists as Ladakh lake, the spot where the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” was shot. Since the enthralling Pangong Lake falls on the Sino-Indian Actual Line of Control, an inner line permit is required to visit it. The Indian Nationals can easily obtain individual permits while other foreign nationals need to obtain a group permit, with at least 3 persons in the group, accompanied by an accredited guide. The permit can be obtained at the tourist office in Leh, for a small fee. Owing to its altitude, the Pangong Lake temperature ranges from -5°C to 10°C as a result of which it freezes completely during winters in spite of its salinity.
Khardung La: Khardung La, also known as Khardzong La, is a high mountain pass in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, near Leh. It serves as the gateway to Shyok and Nubra Valley. Khardung La is popular as the highest motorable road in India at an elevation of 5602 metres. However, contrary to the belief, its actual elevation is 5359 metres making Dungri La the highest motorable road pass in India.
Nubra Valley:  Nubra valley is a dash of lush greenery in Ladakh’s dessert and moonlike landscapes and slopes, being almost 3000m lower than Leh. Snuggled between the Karakoram Range and nourished by two rivers, Nubra is brimming with Sea buckthorns and Alfalfa. During summers, the whole valley is carpeted with Pink and yellow roses and by Autumn in oodles of wild lavenders which, like almost everything around it, a sight beyond simple natural beauty. To travel to this place, tourists require an Inner Line Permit that they can obtain in Leh.

Sangam: Sangam is the confluence of Indus and Zanskar Rivers in Ladakh. It is located 35km from Leh in Nimmu, on the Leh Srinagar highway. The two rivers can be separately seen meeting at this point. While the Indus River appears as shiny blue, Zanskar River appears muddy green. It is a spectacular site to witness. The flow of the two rivers at Sangam changes according to the season. While Zanskar River is swollen and rapis in summers, Indus River is calmer. In winters, Zanskar slows down and almost freezes while the flow of Indus is even lesser.
Shanti Stupa Ladakh: The Shanti Stupa in Leh is a magnificent white-domed Buddhist monument located atop a steep hilltop at a dizzying height of 11,841 feet. It is a religious place for the Buddhists as it holds the relics of Buddha, consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama. It is also popular amongst tourists as it offers a sweeping view of Leh and the nearby Changspa village. Shanti Stupa looks exceptionally beautiful during the full moon night when it is naturally illuminated by the moonlight. Shanti Stupa was constructed in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist, Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The construction was jointly done by the Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhists to mark the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace. It is a part of the peace pagoda mission, which aims to spread peace through the preaching of Buddha. Shanti Stupa is a perfect getaway for both- those looking to obtain peace from offering prayers to God and those waiting to be mesmerised by nature’s wondrous beauty.
Tso Moriri Lake is the largest high altitude lakes in India situated at an altitude of 4,595m. Located between Ladakh and Tibet in the Changtang region, it is a twin to the Pangong Lake. This lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquillity flanked by mountains, measuring about 28 km in length from north to south, and 8 km wide. An inner line permit is required for visiting Tso Moriri.
Magnetic Hill : The popular Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is a cyclops hill where vehicles defy the force of gravity and move upwards on the hill when parked at the marked location. To experience this phenomenon, park the car in neutral gear in the yellow box marked a few metres ahead of the Magnetic Hill road. From this point, the car starts moving at a speed of 20 kmph.
Hall of Fame Ladakh: Located at approximately 4 km from Leh on the Leh-Kargil Road, the Hall of Fame is a museum was built in memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting for India at the Indo-Pakistan war.Maintained by the Indian Army, the Hall of Fame showcases seized arms and amenities of Pakistani Army, pictures and biographies of brave soldiers. A section of the museum also displays Siachen area, exhibiting apparel and amenities used by the Indian Army in the region. Apart from this, one can also witness items related to Ladakhi culture, history, vegetation and wildlife found across the globe.
Thiksey Monastery: Thiksey Monastery is a tibetan-style monastery located 20km south of Leh, on Leh Manali highway. The twelve-storey monastery is located on top of a hill, giving magnificent views of the town and the Indus valley below. The main highlight of Thiksey is the Maitreya Temple which houses a 15-metre high Maitreya Buddha statue. It covers two-stories of the building and is the largest such statue in Ladakh.
Zanskar Valley: Located in the Kargil district to the east of Ladakh (around 105 km) lies the bewitching Zanskar Valley. Pronounced as Zahar or Zangskar locally, it is separated from Ladakh by Zanskar mountain range which is a part of The Tethys Himalayas. Zanskar is known for raw landscape and is mostly travelled to for trekking and river rafting. The semi-desert region is flanked by snow-capped mountains and sparkling clean rivers along with distinct flora and fauna. The easiest way of reaching Zanskar is from Kargil through Suru Valley. It is cut off from the rest of the world for over 9 months of the year because of heavy snowfall in the region. The only way of reaching Zanskar during the winter months of December to February is undertaking the challenging Chadar Trek.
Shey Monastery and Palace : Shey Monastery or the Shey Palace is an ancient monastery located 15km from Leh. It once served as the summer capital of Ladakh but is mostly in ruins now. Located on top of a hillock, it offers stunning panoramic views. The highlight of the monastery is 39ft tall Shakyamuni Buddha statue which is the second largest Buddha statue in Jammu & Kashmir. A special permission needs to be taken to visit the monastery. Shey Monastery is often visited along with the surrounding Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Stakna Monastery, and Matho Monastery. The monastery complex is adorned with various murals and rock carvings of Buddha.
Stok Palace:  Located around 15km from Leh, the Stok Palace is the summer home to the royal family of Ladakh and descendants of King Sengge Namgyal. It was established in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal and was opened to the public in 1980 by the Dalai Lama. The Stok Palace has been converted into a heritage hotel and houses the Stok Palace Museum and Temple. The rustic interiors of the hotel emit royal antique decor alongside some quirkily decorated rooms as well. Besides, the Stok Palace is a well-preserved traditional piece of the Buddhist culture too.
Hemis Monastery:  Hemis Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located 45 kms south of Leh. Built by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal, it is ranked as one of the wealthiest monasteries in India. Hemis Monastery is most visited during the annual Hemis Festival, held every year in early June. Hemis Monastery houses a spectacular copper statue of Lord Buddha along with stupas made of gold and silver, thangkas (a painting on cotton or silk, depicting Buddhist deity) and murals. The vast courtyard and a picturesque verandah are adorned with colourful paintings of Buddhist Kalachakra.
Rafting in Ladakh: River rafting is one of the top adventure sports in Ladakh. Besides offering a unique rafting experience, the Indus waters in Ladakh also traverse through spectacular sceneries, monasteries and villages.  Rafting expeditions on the Zanskar River also marvellous.  Known as the Grand Canyon of India, this region holds high cliff-like gorges at certain places. With varying rafting choices depending on the season, personal physical fitness, cost and experience, Ladakh offers grade one to grade four range of rapids.
Pathar Sahib Gurudwara: Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is a beautiful gurudwara, dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev. It is located 25km from Leh on Leh Kargil road. The gurudwara is highly revered as it houses a rock which resembles Guru Nanak’s back. It is built at the site where he is believed to have vanquished a demon. The gurudwara is looked after by the lamas and the Indian army. The locals believe that in the 15th century, Guru Nanak stayed at this location which was dominated by a demon. When the locals sought his help, the demon threw a boulder towards Guru Nanak that turned into wax on touching his back and took its shape.
Kargil: Usually a stopover for people travelling towards Leh from Srinagar, Kargil is a tourist hotspot that’s small enough to be explored by wayfaring. Situated close to the line of control, Kargil is also a volatile region. However, apart from its glorious past, Kargil is bestowed with natural beauty and adventure. Kargil has a war memorial which is the main attraction of the region.It is the home to the famed Nun Kun Peaks and has excellent potential for mountaineering and trekking. Kargil rests on the banks of River Suru and also offers unique opportunities for river rafting. Kargil has a rich history dating back to the 16th century, amalgamating Buddhist and Turkish architecture.
Likir Monastery: The Likir Monastery is the oldest monastery in Ladakh, located around 52 km from Leh in the scenic Likir village. Belonging to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the main attraction here is a 75 feet large seated statue of Maitreya Buddha gilded in gold. There are also various paintings of guardian divinities, murals and thangkas that adorn the walls of assembly halls. The Likir Monastery is the oldest monastery in Ladakh, located around 52 km from Leh in the scenic Likir village. Belonging to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the main attraction here is a 75 feet large seated statue of Maitreya Buddha gilded in gold. There are also various paintings of guardian divinities, murals and thangkas that adorn the walls of assembly halls.
Alchi Monastery:  Located in the Alchi Village of Ladakh, Alchi Monastery is a complex of Buddist temples of which Alchi Monastery is the oldest and most famous. Cemented on a flat ground unlike other monasteries in Ladakh, the traditional architecture of the monastery is a monastic complex which has 3 separate temples, known as Dukhang, Sumstek and the Temple of Manjushri. Apart from the historical and cultural factors, Alchi Monastery is also a place for adventure lovers. Rafting is a popular choice among people who visit this monastery due to its location being close to the Zaskar River, which is an added advantage for the rafters. The foundation of the monastery was laid down in the 10th century by Rinchen Zangpo, an eminent Tibetan scholar.
Spituk Monastery: Spituk Monastery also called Spituk Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery located about 8 kms from Leh. One of the most dazzling monasteries in India, it houses 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali, which is unveiled during the annual Gustor Festival held every year. It is famous for its collection of Buddhist objects of antique arms, icon, ancient masks and numerous Thangka paintings. Known as Pethup Gompa among the locals, the Spituk Monastery was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od when he came to Maryul in the 11th Century. The site was blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung.
Diskit Monastery:  Also known as Deskit/ Diskit Gompa, the Diskit Monastery is the oldest and largest monastery in Nubra valley. It holds a strong bond with the Tibetan myth. This holy site is believed to have been the very residence of an anti-Buddhist Mongolian demon. Although this evil being was killed several times close to the monastery, it always came back alive. It is said that Diskit Monastery houses the disintegrated head and hand of this demon. This monastery also houses a school which is run in collaboration with an NGO named “The Tibet support group”. The school provides computer facilities and also teaches the Tibetan kids science in the English language.
Bactrian Camel Safari: Nubra Valley is famous for the Bactrian Camel Safari. These camels are known for their two humps, rather than the one-humped camels usually seen. They were the major mode of transport to travel to silk route. These are now used for the safari in the region is hugely popular among the tourists. The best time to enjoy the Bactrian camel ride in Nubra Valley is from July to September. These Hundur camels have a capacity of carrying 2-3 people at a time.
Leh Palace:  The Leh Palace, also known as ‘Lhachen Palkhar,’ is a 17th-century former royal palace and one of the central attractions in Leh. Built under the patronage of by King Sengge Namgyal, it used to house his family. The nine-storey dun-coloured palace now houses a museum and a prayer room, while the highlight is the sweeping view of Leh and the surrounding Zanskar mountain from the rooftop. The Leh Palace is modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet), and a considerable part is now in ruins due to the Kashmiri invasion that took place in the 19th century.
Tso Kar: Tso Kar is a fluctuating salt lake located in the Rupshu Plateau of scenic Ladakh Valley. It is popularly known as the White Lake owing to the white salt deposits it leaves on the shores. Tso Kar Lake is the most peaceful and calm of the three high-altitude lakes (Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri) and also the smallest of the three. Tso Kar hosts varied flora and fauna attracting a horde of bird watchers, especially during the migration season. The common birds found here are Brahmin ducks, bar-headed geese and great crested grebe.
Hemis National Park: The Hemis National Park is located at an altitude ranging between 3,300 and 6,000 metres above sea level. Home to rare snow leopards, this park is known to be the highest in the world. It is the largest park in South Asia as well. Founded in 1981, the Hemis National Park is also a site to six villages, housing over 1600 residents. Some of which are great camping sites. The park also sites the four-hundred-year-old Hemis Monastery. This national park is also well-known for trekking and hiking options.
Chadar Trek: Imagine walking across frozen sheets of ice, with mountains enveloped by snow on one side and a stream, slowly freezing or melting right on the other, as you walk alongside it. And while that seems fascinating, look up, ahead and around; to witness surreal beauty for as far as you can see. This is the Chadar Trek , the Frozen River Trek, only multiplied a hundred-fold. The Chadar Trek or The Frozen River Expedition is one of the most unique and challenging treks in India. The 6 day chadar trek across the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh takes place during the latter part of January till end of February or sometimes even in the first week of March, depending on the weather.
Hunder Village:  Hunder is a remote village located in the Nubra Valley region, 7km from Diksit Monastery. It is known for its sand dunes, cold desert and bactrian camel rides. It is also home to forests of sea-buckthorn, which is a medicinal plant. Hunder is popular amongst trekkers. Tented accommodations by private operators are available here. Hunder village has a vast expanse of green and breathtaking beauty. The Hunder Gompa located here is one of the oldest monasteries in Nubra Valley. The village is located close to Siachen Glacier the Pakistan border, and the area beyond is under the control of the army. Indian visitors do not need an inner line permit to visit Hunder Valley.
Taglang La: The Tanglang La is a high mountain road located on the Leh-Manali highway just a few kilometers from Leh. It is at a height of 5,358 metres, is the second-highest mountain pass after Khardung-La Pass, and is also the 12th highest motorable pass. This popular spot in Ladakh is known for being the second highest mountain located in Zanskar range. The pass summit is breathtaking and is adorned by a number of prayer flags. The Tanglang-La has in the past served as a trade route and a religious centre.   Known for its amazing and dramatic landscape, the Taglang La pass provides a blissful experience in the Himalayan trails with greenery.
Turtuk: Turtuk is a small village located in Nubra Valley region of Ladakh, on the banks of Shyok River. It is the northernmost villages in India lying very close to the India Pakistan border, in the Baltistan region. Turtuk is an unexplored and offbeat place, opened to tourists only in 2010. There isn’t much to do in Turtuk apart from trekking and visiting the 2 monasteries and the Royal House. The picturesque village with its tiny houses and fields is surreal. It remains cut off from Ladakh for 6 months during winter. The charm of Turtuk is its people and culture. It is one of the few places in India to experience the Balti culture as Turtuk is one of the four Baltistani villages under India’s control. The rest are controlled by Pakistan. The postcard village houses a few homestays and guesthouses with locals welcoming tourists with warmth.
Hundur Monastery: Hundur Monastery is a hilltop temple located in the Nubra Valley, quite close to the Diskit monastery and Lachung temple.This ancient Buddhist religious site is also known as the Hundur Gompa, which is basically a small Buddhist fortification, enclosing years of Buddhist learnings and lineage.  However, this part in Hundur marks the extent to which tourists are allowed into the village.
Phugtal Monastery:  The Phugtal (Phuktal) Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated in the south-east part of Zanskar region in Ladakh. Situated at the mouth of natural cave on a cliff, it is one of the most isolated monasteries in the region, built around 2500 years ago. The Phugtal Monastery looks like a honeycomb from a distance. Phuk means “cave”, and tal means “at leisure” in Zanskari dialect. The monastery can only be reached by foot and requires arduous trekking. Trekking lovers would find this as a great getaway full of enchanting sights and sounds.
Lamayuru: With a peculiar landscape on Leh-Kargil road, Lamayuru is a tiny village that’s popularly known as the Moonland of Ladakh. Lamayuru is immensely popular for housing one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh. However, its claim to fame is accredited to the surreal breathtaking view of moonlike landscapes carved into the mountains. A large lake long ago dried up, and the protrusions looked like the surface of the moon. Tourists from various places visit this relatively serene destination to immerse in this scenic beauty. It has also been said often, that on a full moon night, the area is an extraordinary sight to behold, something one doesn’t get to see every day. It is an ideal stopover between the Kargil-Leh route.
Stargazing: Leh-Ladakh, as already mentioned earlier, is a must visit place for all photography lovers – especially, Astro-photographers! The Major reason why Ladakh is a favourite among astrophotographers is because it provides clear night skies to complement the scenic beauty. Cities don’t generally have such pellucid skies owing to the pollution around.
Chang La Pass: Chang La Pass is a high mountain pass and one of the highest motorable roads in the world. It is located between Leh and Pangong Lake and is the main gateway to the Nubra Valley region. The 15km long pass is especially popular amongst bikers. The roads are mostly paved and are driveable by any vehicle. Changla is open for tourists from Mid May to October. To avoid high altitude sickness, doctors suggest not to stay at Changa La Pass for more than 20 minutes. The Pass is guarded and protected by the Indian Army as it is located close to the Chinese border.
Chemrey Monastery:  Chemrey Monastery is a 400-year-old yet unexplored Buddhist monastery located approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Leh in northern India. It is known for housing a staggering statue of Padmasambhava (almost a storey-high)and a collection of ancient scriptures with the text emboldened in gold letters with the titles in silver. The Chemrey Monastery belongs to the Drugpa monastic order and was founded by the Lama Tagsang Raschen and dedicated to King Sengge Namgyal in 1664. The grand edifice houses shrines, two prayer halls, and a Lama temple.
Namgyal Tsemo Monastery: The Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is a Buddhist ashram located in Leh. Built by Ladakh’s King Tashi Namgyal in 1430, is a crag-top shrine situated close to Tsemo Castle. It houses a three-levelled golden statue of a futuristic Buddha. Besides offering mesmerising views in its vicinity, the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery also sites sacred scriptures and artistic watercolour paintings within. The monastery also has sculptures of Alokisteśvara (also known as Padmapani) and Manjushri, both of which are revered elements of the Buddhist faith.
Jhunglam Hemis To Padum Trek: This trek runs through beautiful monastery of Hemis and Latza Kongmaru and then passes through Zalung Karpo La, Tilat Sumdo, Zangla Sumdo, and ends at Padum. Lamayuru To Alchi Trek– The trek offers a chance to interact with people from remote villages. A number of monasteries are also spotted across the route.
Lamayuru To Darcha Trek: Regarded as one of the world’s most thrilling trekking trail with a peak altitude of 5000 meters, Lamayuru To Darcha Trek is well connected to the Zanskar valley. The monasteries, such as Lamayuru, Phuktal, and Lingshed are sure to lift up the spirit of the trekkers on this route.
Kang Yatse and Dzo Jongo Trek: Undertaken mostly by professional trekkers, this route offers spectacular views of Zanskar, Karakorum, and Stok ranges from the Ganda La pass. It is a wonderful experience including the dopamine-enhancing camping en route, the view of the wildlife at Hemis National Park, hike through valleys, and the visit to monasteries.
Sankar Gompa: Sankar Gompa or Sankar Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist monastery located 6 km from Leh. Traditionally believed to be a subsidiary of Spituk Monastery, it serves as the residence of the Abbot of Spituk, the senior incarnate lama of Ladakh, making it an important religious site. The main attraction is the statue of Avalokitesvara with 1000 arms and heads. Since the Sankar Monastery is home to various attractions that illustrate the history and the heritage of the traditional building, it is ideal for those people who have a fascination for art and culture. The view of Namgyal Tsemo Hills from the monastery is breathtaking. The monastery itself looks resplendent when lit up at night.
Lachung Temple:  Located in the Nubra Valley, Lachung Temple is a religious pilgrimage found in the Diksit village. Besides housing some of the most colourful and narrative paintings, this temple is also one of the oldest holy sites in the region. Dedicated to the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Je Tsongkhapa, the Lachung Temple also sites a massive statue of him as well. The insides of this temple enclose intricately carved sections portraying the various stories about Buddhism and the chronology of its culture.
Druk White Lotus School: The Druk White Lotus School, also known as Druk Padma Karpo School, is a Buddhist cultural school located in the Shey valley, close to Shey Monastery and Palace. It is popular as the Rancho School from the famed Bollywood movie 3-idiots. It has become a popular tourist attraction, even though it is a not public tourist spot. The main attraction here is the Rancho Wall, which was orginally the building where “Chatur” was given the electric shock. After it was destroyed in the 2010 flash floods, a replica of this wall has been created at a corner of the school campus. A 15-minute guided tour is available of the Rancho School. There is also a Rancho’s Cafe and a souvenir shop inside the school premise.
Shopping In Leh Ladakh: It is hard to go to a place and come back empty-handed to your folks waiting with wagging tongues for your exploits. You never disappoint them – that’s rule number one to living a long life. What’s harder still is to rip your eyes and heart off the pristine terrain and people, the spiritual, happy culture, vibes of freedom and the taste of bliss that are presented on a platter in Ladakh, without as much as bringing home souvenirs and memorabilia that will assist you down the path of retrospection. The pristine land lost in time has become increasingly tourist friendly. Credit it to the movie 3 Idiots if you must, but thank the soul-searchers, backpackers and tourists who explored the land before you did and created a vivacious market for ‘tangible memories of Ladakh’ to carry home with them. From pocket-friendly tokens to pieces of sartorial luxury, and adornments for home, there is much for everyone’s taste while shopping Ladakh.
Dha Hanu: The villages of Dha (also called as Dah) and Hanu are amongst the only few villages that are home to the Drogpa (Brokpa) tribe of Leh. These are located 163 km northwest of Leh in the Kargil region. The tribe, which is different from the Ladakhi tribe found in the rest of the area are quite hospitable people. Dah Hanu villages are a must visit for those who are interested in cultural diversity. The Drogpa tribes are known for their distinct ornaments and headgears. They are culturally, racially and linguistically different from the rest and are said to be the only living descendants of the original Aryan (Indo European) race. The villages have been visited by countless photographers who absolutely enjoy clicking photographs of the people of this tribe.
Sindhu Darshan Festival: The Sindhu Darshan festival is celebrated along the banks of the river Sindhu in Leh Ladakh region, every year on the full moon day. Celebrated over three days, this is a celebration of River Sindhu, the former Indus Valley Civilisation, with the motive of endorsing the river as an icon of communal harmony in India. The Bollywood movie “Dil Se” was shot at the first Sindhu Darshan Festival. The first edition of the festival was held in 1996 during October. However, all the subsequent versions of the event have been held during June, to coincide with the full moon day, Guru Purnima.
Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:  The Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is located at an altitude of about 4000-9000 feet in the Ladakhi Changthang Plateau in the Leh district. The vast range of exotic flora and fauna attribute the sanctuary to be the second-largest nature reserve. It houses the three popular high altitude lakes – Tso Moriri, Pangong Lake and Tso Kar. The sanctuary is also close to Korzok Monastery which is one of the highest villages in the world.
Nyoma:  Nyoma is a quaint village located 150 km from Leh on the banks of the Indus River. The main attraction of this unexplored village is a Buddhist monastery and the long walks in the peaceful lanes. Nyoma is best visited as a stopover when travelling to Chumathang from Leh. An inner line permit is required to visit Nyoma and its monastery.
Mountain Biking in Ladakh:  Often termed the paradise of mountain bikers, Leh Ladakh has thousands of tourists coming in every year to experience the thrill of driving on its steep slopes and adrenaline gushing paths. For adventurous daring mountain bikers, Leh-Manali highway is spectacular road while enjoying the picturesque landscapes. Mountain Biking in Ladakh is best possible or opens in late May and closed by September end when the snowfall reclaims the high passes.
Panamik Hot Springs:  Panamik village is located around 140 km from Leh, nestled close to the Siachen Glacier, and is famous for the hot sulphur springs. These hot springs are located 10,442 feet above sea-level and believed to have medicinal properties. Travellers need to obtain a permit to reach Panamik in Nubra Valley which is easily available from the District Magistrate’s office. Panamik is the last frontier village of India that lies close to the Indo-Tibetan border. It is the only hot spring village in India. The hot spring here has separate pools for men and women and there are cabins for shower and changing.
Yarab Tso Lake:  The holy Yarab Tso lake, often referred to as “the hidden lake”, is the best-kept secret of Ladakh. Located near the Sumur Village, approximately 15 km from Diksit in the Leh Ladakh region, this gorgeous lake can only be reached by hiking uphill for 20 minutes. Regarded as one of the holiest and high altitude lakes in the Nubra Valley, Yarab Tso is highly revered among the locals of the region. It is advised not to wash your feet or try to swim in this enrapturing lake. Simply sit by the rocks, breathing in the unpolluted mountain air, relishing the site of colourful prayer flags fluttering around the crystal clear aquamarine water and experience the sense of calmness it brings.
MoonLand: A peculiar landscape near Lamayuru on Leh-Kargil Road is the MoonLand. It is called so fondly, because the landscapes here are said to be like that of the moon. It has also been said often, that on a full moon night, the area is an extraordinary sight to behold, something one doesn’t get see everyday, making it a must visit area of the town.
Darcha Padum Trek:  Located on river Bhaga, Darcha is a small Lahaul region in the Himachal district of Spiti. Whereas Padum is among the two primary capital cities of the Zanskar society. There are plenty of camping sites en route, spread across a variety of nomadic sites travellers would pass by. The Darcha-Padum stretch is about 127 kilometres and would take at least 10 days to complete this trek. However, the duration is subjective given any possible deviation during the trail. Witnessing incredible mountain ranges, expanses of absolutely quite lands, a couple of mountain animals and small streams are some of the guarantees on the Darcha-Padum trek.
Maitreya Buddha:  Near the Diskit monastery stands a 32-meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha facing towards the Shyok river. This statue has been recently built, with 8 Kg gold which was donated by the head of Gompa and was sanctified by the Dalai Lama on 24th July 2010. It is said that this statue was built to protect the village from wars and to promote world peace.
Shyok Valley:  Shyok Village is a hidden gem located in the Nubra Valley region, between Leh and Pangong Lake. Located on the banks of the Shyok River, this tiny hamlet is an offbeat location with only a few houses and families. It is the perfect place to slow down, breathe in nature and get away from the daily routine. Shyok village is located on one of the old caravan routes connected to the Silk Route. The entire village runs on solar energy while high electricity appliances are banned. There are man-made irrigation channels spread throughout to conserve water.
Handicrafts Industrial Cooperative Shop  This place is good to buy souvenirs for friends and family. Wooden choktse tables carved with images of mythical beasts are available from the Handicrafts Industrial Cooperative Shop.