Jammu and Kashmir: Leh

 

Leh:

You can fly to Leh, check the link at the bottom of the page to get fare and schedule. Flights are always booked, so get your tickets well in advance. However, note that you may face difficulty if you fly to Leh, because of the rarefied air and lack of oxygen. If you have mountain sickness or high altitude sickness, call 2560  or 2212. And definitely spend a full 24 hours before moving out of Leh.
It is better to go by road, as the body gets enough time to acclimatize. You will also be subject to the beauty en route.

In the months June to October, buses ply from Srinagar to Leh and from Lalchowk to Leh. The Kashmir Ladakh border is at 110 Km from Srinagar. Further, at a height of 3230 meters, is Dras, world’s second coolest place, where temparatures come down to as low as -55 degree celciuos in winters. There are hotels and rest houses as Dras. As soon as you cross the zojila paas, you can feel that the nature has transformed to one similer to the Siberian topography. 204 kilometers from Dras is Kargil where the bus stops for night halt. On the second evening,the bus will reach Leh. Your photo identification may be checked quite a few times en route.

It is possible to reach in one day hiring your private taxi, but the journey will mar your ability to appreciate the beauty of the route. It is advised that you take a night break in your journey.

On your journey, you will be exposed to some of the best of the beauty of India. You will come through Martian, famous for Draupadi kund and Pancha pandav shinga or panch mountains. A 20 ft high idol of Vishnu in Buddha form built in 11th century can be seen at the Buddhist village of Mulbek. Another 15 kilometers of uphill and you will reach Mamika la, meaning land of Sky, steps and pass. After another 34 kilometers, you will reach the highest point of this area, Fatu la, at a height of 13,478 feet. Here there is The grand view of moonland, from where the Ladakh below literally looks like the topography of moon. The Indus river will be accompanying you for the whole journey.

Whenever you go, be sure to check the recent status of the road and journey at Traffic Police Head quarters, Maulana Azad road, Srinagar.

From July 15 to October 15, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development also organizes a Delhi – Manali – Leh – Delhi tour package from Delhi.

There are many hotels in Leh. Still it is advised that you book your hotel in advance before reaching Leh. Refer to the link at the bottom of the page.

Leh is at a height of 3527 meters, situated about 434 kilometers from Srinagar. Most of the local population is Buddhists. The Leh monastry or Gumpha is the major attraction of Leh as it excels in scenic beauty. Houses are built one after an another mostly of stone. Narrow alleys and streets abound. You will find Ladakhi women selling their merchandise on these streets. The bulk of the Ladakhis are fun loving. In spring, the whole of Ladakh celebrates the archery festival, complete with fun, frolic, dancing and parties. The birthday of the revered Dalai Lama is also a big event on July 6th. Yi-dam dance by the Lamas wearing colorful masks is a big draw.

The Tibetan market sports a great variety of merchandize, but bargaining a rule followed everywhere.
The overall ambience may force you to think that you have been brought to a city of the middle ages.
Take the main street off bus stand and keep walking. At the end of the town, you will reach the Leh Palace, which have been sold to the Indian archeology department by the royal family. You can visit the palace between 6am to 9am in the morning and 5 pm to 7pm in the evening. The Tsemo monastery at the peak of the palace is a notable attraction. Here, there is a seated golden Buddha. The palace comprises 9 stories.

Other places nearby are the Mosque built in1594, the Mani wall, and the Shanti stupa.

Khardungla PassLadakh is all about Monastries, there are 12 important ones. First day, you should travel on foot and check out the Leh town, as described above. The next day you can hire a vehiecle and go for Khardungla Paas and Nubra valley. Spend your night at Deskit.
The next day, use the same vehiecle to travel Hundar and Panamik, and return to Leh by the evening.
Next day, take a car to Tsomoriri lake, and put up tents to spend the night there. Return to Leh the next day.
Next day, check out Hemis, Thikse and Show palace and in the evening check our Shankar Gumpha and the market.
The next day take a bus to Spitak, come back and spend the day in Leh. Spend one more day in Leh to get over your tiredness, and enjoy the rustic beauty for one final time, and the next morning, start for home.
While returning, you can also spend the night at Kargil, and check out Padum and Zanskar valley from there, and reach Srinagar the next day.

If possible, hit Ladakh in time of a festival. For example, Hemis festival happens at June July, the 11th month of Buddhist calendar results in celebration of Losar, and the 4 days long Ladakh festival in August. A festival will help you experience the Yi Dam dance by Lamas, polo, and Ladakhi mock marriage.

We now provide you with more details on the places of tourist attractions. Just click on the links below:

Kargil and Zanskar   Pangong Lake, Hundar and Tso Moriri  
Lamayuru, Alchi, Likir, Basgo and Khardung - La   Spituk, Phyang and Mulbekh
Stok Palace, Shey Palace, Sankar Gumpa and Ecological Development Center  
Thiksey Gompa and Tik Tok Gumpha   Hemis Gumpa

Back to Jammu & Kashmir