A divine view of the snow capped stupa

A divine view of the snow capped stupa

The stunning mountain rim around Ladakh

The stunning mountain rim around Ladakh

A beautiful day in Ladakh

A beautiful day in Ladakh | Photo credit: Vivek Chauhan

The best of Leh at the enchanting Pangong Lake

The best of Leh at the enchanting Pangong Lake

Destination Snapshot

  • Travel Style

  • Culture Vultures
  • Adventure Buffs
  • Lovebirds
  • Nirvana-aah
  • Relaxation Bliss
    • Language

      Balti, English, Ladakhi, Nepali, Hindi
    • Altitude

      11,000 feet above sea level
    • Time zone

      IST (UTC+5.5 hours)
    • Theme

      Mountains, Religious

Can you recall the last time you stood 18,000 feet high, lit a fire by a 135 kilometre long saltwater lake, got lessons in Buddhism at the top of the world and heard beautiful silence? No? Then it’s time you visited Leh!

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You will like

  • Serenity

    Leh is by far the most peaceful place you’ll visit. No matter in which direction you head out to, peace is ubiquitous.

  • Rivers and Lakes

    The rivers and lakes around Leh are a spectacle you won’t come across any place else. On various excursions, you’ll see rivers such as Zanskar, Indus, Shyok, Chandra, Siachen and lakes such as Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri.

  • Monasteries and Spiritual Life

    Leh is a spiritual town, with more than 90 per cent of the population following Buddhism. Dotted with centuries-old monasteries, nunneries and Buddhist schools, you’ll love exploring the spiritual life here.

  • Shopping

    The Leh Market might be the only option here, but it is a good place to shop for all kinds of curios. The prices too are competitive and bargaining is well-entertained.

  • Weather

    The weather around June is perfect for a visit – the cold winters are long gone and the monsoons are still a month away.

Be prepared

  • No Nightlife

    Leh is a place for avid explorers, inquisitive trekkers, peace-lovers, and people who want to relax amid silence and fresh air. Nightlife in Leh goes as far as an 8:30 pm dinner in a nearby restaurant.

  • Altitude Sickness

    No one can escape this. The headache and nausea will come, stay for a day and leave as if nothing happened.

  • Extreme Cold and Frostbites

    One thunderstorm can change the sunny amicable weather of Leh to harsh cold in a jiffy. You’ll need to take care of your head, hands and feet. Keep yourself well-covered.

  • Lack of Connectivity

    Prepaid phones do not work in Leh. Post-paid ones will seldom find connectivity. However, Leh market is peppered with public phone booths. You won’t find it hard connecting with loved ones back home.

Describing It

Temples, monasteries, stupas, river confluences, valleys, museums, and a hill that can pull your car uphill – the roads in Leh can spring up a trick, a surprise or a beautiful view at every bend.

Different kinds of tourists will find different ways to keep themselves entertained in this quaint little town. While the stay-at-homes can get in touch with the hotel staff and ask them to organize a cultural show for them, the adventurers can head out to Zanskar for an adrenaline-gushing rafting expedition. The explorers may find their calling while driving on the smooth roads of the city, or heading out to the monasteries of Alchi, Likir, and Lamayuru.

For families and couples, Leh has an excellent selection of sightseeing options that include centuries-old monasteries, serene stupas, precariously-perched palaces, museums and places to which some really adventurous and picturesque long-drives are possible. Hire a cab and hit the silky-smooth BRO roads for daylong sightseeing tours to places such as the Leh Palace, Spituk Gompa, Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Sham Valley and Sangam Valley (Confluence of Indus and Zanskar). Watch the skies play with hailstorms and bright sunshine in the same valley. Laugh your heart out reading funny BRO (Border Roads Organisation) signage like “Love Thy Neighbor, But Not While Driving” and “Donate Blood in Hospitals, Not on the Road”.

You can also plan out group excursions to Nubra Valley (via Khardung La Top) for a camping night-out, or to visit the multi-coloured Pangong Lake via Chang La. These two are unquestionably the most amazing mountain excursions one can ever take.

You can also enjoy shopping in local markets full of Tibetan curios, and all of them are open to some hard bargaining. Leh’s Tibetan refugee market is full of Buddha heads, kitschy jewellery, prayer wheels and flags, T-shirts and many other touristy must-buys.