Ladakh Range Things to Do Tips by call_me_rhia Top 5 Page for this destination
Ladakh Range Things to Do: 59 reviews and 115 photos
the counrtyard of Stok Palace.
The Royal Palace o Stok is where the Ladakhi Royal family used to live. They have no power whatsoever anymore, but there's still a queen recognised by the Ladakhi people. However, she doesn't live in this palace, anymore. The palace is now a tiny museum with several interesting things to see.. my very favourites were the jewels of the crown: a oddly-shaped crown (like a traditional ladakhi hat) covered in coral and turquoise stones. Interesting are also the Royal seals, and the ornated silver teapots: one for the king and one for the queen. Photography is not allowed inside the exhibitions, so you have to take my word for it.
Directions: not far from Leh, and very near Stakna gompa
detail of lamayuru gompa
Lamayuru is the oldest and largest monastery in Ladakh - more than 200 monks live here permanently. It was founded, according to a legend, by a monk called Naropa, who spent his life meditating on top of a small bit of land emerging from a lake. He wanted a monastery here, so the lake dried up and the monastery was built. Lie in the monastery is meant to be strict: the monks sleep on the grounnd, they have no windows and no electricity. However, this which should be one of the most interesting of all the gompas, turned out to be quite a delusion: very few halls are open to the publilc, and not all are particularly interesting. lamayuru, after all, is worth visiting for the amazing landscapes on your way there.
Directions: about 200 kilometres from Leh, along the lower Indu valley
an ancient doorway at alchi
Alchi is a village in the lower Indu valley full of interesting and ancient temples. It's at Alchi that you can see the most spectacular frescos of Ladakh. In the Du-Khang temple you can see several tiny Bodhisattvas and guardian figures, as well as mandalas and sacred forms that illustrate the structure of Buddhist cosmology. Sum-tsek is a templehas a stunning wooden façade and inside the hall the walls are decorated with mandalas, and figures of Bodhisattvas, Manjushri Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya Buddha. The two twin temples of Lotsawa Lha-Khang and Manjushri Lha-Khang are interesting, too. The walls are covered with thousand buddhas and in the centre of the hall there are four large plaster images of Bodhisattva.
Directions: about 90 minutes from Leh, in the lower Indu valley
the meeting of the waters
A wonderful sight to behold is the place where the Zanskar river and the Indu river meet - or to be more precise where the Zanskar enters the Indu. The darker river on the left, whose colour is vaguely olive, is the Indu river; the one on the right, which is more grey-ish, is the Zanskar river. It's supposed to be a nice quietish stretch of river to raft, and that the canyon that you float through is extremely spectacular, basically worth for the scenery if not exactly for the descent itself - however don't quote me on this, as I did not try it myself but I'm relying on the tale of two Italian friends
Directions: west of Leh, along the lower Indu valley
the hanger loop
Luang La road, also called Hanger Loops, is the stretch of high road that goes from Khalsi to Lamayuru, and eventually goes on to Kargil and Srinagar in the state of Kashmir. It's a beautiful road that reaches above 4000 metres above sea level, and it's full of twists and turns. There's also a low road along the Indu river, but normally these road can only be taken on your way back from Lamayuru, since the army is trying to keep the traffic going one way. From the top of this pass, there are great landscapes and views, especially over the Moon Land.
Address: Khalsi to Lamayuru
Directions: The army check point at Khalsi will point you there
going up the kardung la, leh side
Kardung La is a mountain pass that plays host to the highest motorable road in the world - it's winding, long and extremely scenic, there's really beauty at every corner - with three notable exceptions: the army camps of North and South Pullu and the top of the pass, at 5602 metres above sea level. If there's a road that needs to be driven in Ladakh, it's this one: you come face to face with towering peaks and glaciers - you really feel like you can touch them with your hand, true beauty at your fingertip.
Address: Kardung Lâ
Directions: About 2 hours drive from Leh to reach the top, and two hours down to reach the Nubra Valley
part of the chortens' field
Between Tikse and Shey there's a 4 kilometres path across desert landscape that crosses on of Ladakh's largest chorten fields. There are tousands of these white shrines that seem to glitter in the barren lunar-ike landscape of the area. Intermingles among these shrines there are smaller constructions that look like tiny tombs - some of which are even brightly decorated. These are not tombs but places where dead people are put in order to be burned. Even if you're not willing to walk the entire path, it's worth to stop at the side of the road and go for a walk in the area: the experience is surreal
Address: between Shey and Tikse
Directions: About 15-20 kilometres from Leh. Parts of the chorten field can be seen from the main road half way from Tikse and Shey
Shey's golden chorten spire
Shey in the past used to be the capital of Ladakh - in fact what you visit is the ancient Royal Palace. Shey means "mirror", and this name was given to the place because of a lake at the foot of the palace, in which it was reflected. Most of the lake is dry now, and you can't see any reflection. What you can see is the remains of the palace, a small Gompa and a profusion of prayer flags. Thepride of the place is a golden chorten spire and a huge 1633 metal Shakyamuni Buddha, which is believed to contain housands of precious stones. The Shey festival (Metukba) takes place every year in July
Directions: 15 kilometres south east of Leh
from the roof of Hemis gompa
Hemis gompa is another gompa in the Leh area. Once you eave the main road, the twisting road that leads to it is absolutely spectacular: you pass some mountains that seem to have been squashed in the past by the geological activity, and then you come across some very long and impressive mani walls. The gompa itself is is dedicated to Guru Padmsambhava. and it's very important for Ladakhi people, who are supposed to visit it at least once in their life. There are nice frescos, several gold statues decorated with precious stones and beautiful tankas on the walls. The Hemis festival usually takes place in the month of June.
Directions: about 45 kilometres from Leh, in a side valley across the Indu river
Tikse gompa is one of the nearest gompas to Leh, and a spectacular one. It's scenically perched on top of a hill, like most gompas, and it belongs to the Gelupka order. It's a large gompa complex and there are lots of attractions, scenery aside. There's a rich and colourful collection of handwritten Tibetan books and, especially there's a large buddha statue. It's about 5 metres high and its has beautiful details: differently coloured painted hands and feet, a peaceful and sweet face and rich decorations. Inside some courtyards there are bright murals - not old - but surely tasteful. Tikse has an important festival with mask dances (Tikse Gostor) on the 18th and 19th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar.
Directions: 17 kilometres south east of Leh
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