Trekking and camping in Nubra Valley, known as the 'orchard of Ladakh'
Biking at Khardung La, the world's highest motorable road
Leh Palace, especially the prayer room
Pangong Tso, the highest lake in the world
Spituk Gompa, a famous 14th century monastery
Pava, a mixture of peas and barley flour
Chalak, made of tea, butter, sugar and Tsampa
Thukpa, noodles served with a flavoured meat sauce
Curd made from yak milk
Moe Moe, steamed Tsampa dough served with meat or vegetables
Paintings, postcard and wooden dragon statues from the Hemis Museum
Matho Nagrang Festival is celebrated in the March in the village of Matho
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An erstwhile Himalayan kingdom, Ladakh is a vast landscape of unspoilt beauty. Once the capital of Ladakh, the picturesque town of Leh is an ideal base for exploring Ladakh! Tibetan influences are heavy; in fact Ladakh is known as Little Tibet. Steep mountains, pristine lakes, colourful Tibetan monasteries, a vibrant culture, numerous trekking trails, rugged terrain – Leh-Ladakh draws nature lovers and adventure junkies in equal numbers. Here are some of the places you must visit in the region.
Built in mid-16th century, the palace was the world’s highest building at that time. Make your way around its dark corridors and hidden passageways, gaze upon the murals depicting the Buddha’s life and find peace in the palace’s prayer room.
The white-domed structure perched on a hilltop was built by Japanese monks to promote world peace. Not only is it of religious significance, but it also offers one of the best views of Leh.
Stok Palace & Museum
The palace is home to the exiled royal family. It houses a museum where royal artefacts, jewellery, and costumes are displayed. Some of the thangkas (paintings on silk) are said to date back to the 16th century.
This late 14th century monastery is perched on a hillock near Spituk village. It houses a golden-roofed shrine, Skodong Lakhang, as well as ancient masks and arms. There is also a massive statue of Mahakal that is unveiled during the Spitok festival.
Situated at a height of 4,250 metres, Pangong Tso is the highest lake in the world. With its crystal clear water, the surrounding mountains and the tranquil surroundings, it’s not hard to imagine why Pangong Tso means “the enchanted lake” in Tibetan.
Known as the “orchard of Ladakh”, Nubra Valley is a vegetation rich landscape ideal for trekking and camping. The Diskit Monastery situated on the hill above the Shyok River is also worth a visit in the Nubra Valley.
The Khardung La Pass is the world’s highest motorable road and is used by the Indian Army to carry provisions to the Siachen Glacier. It’s a great place for carrying out driving and biking expeditions.
This Tibetan-Buddhist monastery was established in the late 17th century, but its origins date back to the 11th century. Try visiting this place during June when the annual Hemis festival is held.
The Drass Valley in Ladakh is particularly known for its trekking routes, including the 3-day trek to Suru valley and the trek to Amarnath’s holy cave.
Located on the banks of the Indus River near Matho village, this monastery dates back to the 15th century. The Matho Nagrang Festival is one of its attractions. During the festival, blindfolded monks act as oracles and are known to predict the future.