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Jammu and Kashmir: Ladakh - Lamayuru, Alchi, Likir, Basgo and Khardung - La
Lamayuru is the moon land. It hosts the oldest gumpha of Ladakh. The area faces bitter coldness. It falls en route of Srinagar Leh, and can be viewed en route too. Because of the hostile winds and the climate, the hills here are devoid of any vegetation and have been heavily weathered. On the lower part of the gumpha, there is a Shiva Temple. There is also the 1000 handed Buddha idol temple. A Mani wall has been built here to protect the town from searing winds. A bit far off his Khalse, which has gained archeological importance due to its stone seals carved in 200BC. The bus will stop at Khalse for Lunch. The Rizong monastery at Khalse has provisions for a night stay too.
Alchi Gompa: 37 kilometers from Khalse and 67 kms from Leh is Alchi Gompa. There is an apricot orchard here. The religious enclosure or Alchi Choskhor is through this orchard. Beside the main temple, newer temples have been built. They are Du – khang, Sun – tsek, and Manjushri. There is a 20 feet high idol with thousand heads and thousand hands, called abalokiteshwar. You will also be able to see thousands of years old fresco paintings, wooden carvings, and old documents. The walls bear paintings of both Buddha and Hindu deities. There are a few hotels with basic facilities in the area too.
62 kilometers off Leh is Likir gompha, and if you are travelling by a hired car or jeep, then you can check it out on your way.
Basgo is known for its ruined fort, and is 14 kms off Leh. There was a war fought between Namgayal and the Mongols, and the fort was barricaded for 3 years. The Buddha idol is different in the gumpa here.
Khardung – La:
The green valley of Khardung La is at a height of 5300 meters, and is 46 kilometers off Leh. It sports the highest motorable raod of the world and also the highest bridge of the world at 5578 meters. A village called Gonglas at 12500 feet height, highest in Leh, provides for the water requirement of Leh. This valley connect the Zanskar and the Siachen base camp, and has immense defense and military importance. Only Indian citizens are allowed subject to preparing of indentification papers with six copies of photographs. It is thrilling, to say the least, to travel here. Also visit the Shiva temple here, known as Khardung La Baba’s temple. You can also get Khichri Prasad here. It is also home to the endangered double humped Bactrian camel and the wild ass.
Get your permissions done from J&K Govt. Tourist office, Leh or from Development Commissioner, Leh.