15 PHENOMENAL PLACES TO VISIT IN LADAKH
Have a knack for adventure? Do you grin ear to ear in the company of nature’s bounty? Does your wanderlust also make you crave for tucked-away destinations? If that’s a yes, then, Ladakh is the paradise of your dreams.
Here, under the patronage of the Himalayas, you will bask in the glory of Ladakh’s stunningly beautiful landscapes, untouched villages, and wilderness. Believe us; this tapestry of monochromatic colors will shine brighter than a diamond on your travel bucket list.
Enjoy the culture of high altitude regions, whilst soaking in Leh-Ladakh’s spiritual aura on a bike trip to Ladakh. You have a whole new universe to discover and some extraordinary rituals to unveil. The only question is do you know the right places to visit in Ladakh that will turn your Ladakh dream into reality? No? Don’t worry! We have your back. Here is the list of top places you should definitely visit on your holiday in Ladakh. So, pack your bags already!
1. Shanti Stupa – The emblem of peace
Shanti Stupa is a mountain royalty that shines like a pearl in the nutty vistas of Ladakh. After a bumpy ride, a glimpse of this ivory-white marvel is enough to furnish your heart with glee. Moreover, this marvelous human creation built by Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhists is a symbol of peace and 2500 years of Buddhism in the world.
Have a knack for mountain driving? Find Buddhism enticing? Love nature’s bounty? Then, we are sure you will happily tick off many of your bucket list items while revolving the Karma Chakras here.
Shanti Stupa looks over the mountains and is just 3 km drive away from Leh. Moreover, the most fascinating part is, that despite its lodging at an elevation of 3609 m, it is jam-packed with tourists almost every time during the day. Furthermore, it is one of the top Buddhist sites of North India according to many surveys. So, adding it to your Ladakh travel bucket list will only do wonders.
Entry Fee: No fee
Timings: 5: 00 AM – 9:00 PM
Nearby Attractions: Sankar Gompa, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, Leh Palace and Yarab Tso.
2. Sangam Valley- Unity of divine waters
When tranquil waters decide to meet up in the cradle of Himalayas, then, it is obvious that whatever will cross your way will be indefinitely beautiful.
Sangam Valley flabbergasts its travelers 48 km from Leh. Believe it or not, the topography here is capable of making you swoon in ecstasy.
Wondering how will you spot the confluence? Then, brace your luck because this union will be quite evident. Moreover, you will be able to spot clearly this union with the sights of crystal clear water of Indus and muddy water of Zanskar. So, take a chance of adding it your must-see list and you can thank us later.
3. Pangong Tso- The serene pop-culture attraction
Let serenity hit its very zenith at the most serene saltwater lake of India. This supposed heaven on earth has a view that is ethereal to its very inch. Untouched by vegetation or fauna, Pangong Tso is an escape that helps you in reflecting back on your life. Just standing here, gazing over the infinite sky and sparkling waters feels gratifying.
Gosh! Its company is so congenial, especially under the star-studded sky. In fact, at nightfall, the Milky Way is also on display here. Isn’t it enough of a reason to add Pangong Tso to the list of places to visit in North India? We bet it is.
Entry Fee: 20 INR per person.
Timings: 8: 00 AM – 5:00 PM
Nearby Attractions: Tso Moriri and Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary
Nearest Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh
4. KhardungLa- Gushed with adrenaline
If your heart screams with excitement every time you hear adventure, then, Khardung La is the real-life adventure you should be vouching for. A drive on this high altitude pass is capable of turning the even eminent biker’s blood cold.
Khardung La joins Leh with Nubra Valley and Siachen glacier. So, there is no chance that you will miss it on a trip there.
It’s better to prep yourself before the onset of your journey on this pass. Why? That is because steep routes, mystic landscapes, and less oxygen briefly describe this former highest motorable pass in a nutshell. So, it is better you expect the most from the view and less from the jagged terrain on this iconic trip.
Entry Fee: 20 INR per person with Inner Line Permit.
Timings: 9: 00 AM – 5:00 PM
Nearby Attractions: Nubra Valley and Shyok Valley
5. Nubra Valley- The silver sandy affair
Bedazzle your heart with the stunning spectacle of nature in the cold desert of Ladakh. This supposed moon on Earth feels no less than a cosmic paradise with three humped camels and a sparse population.
Nubra Valley is the heart and soul of Ladakh that rejoices in the hymns of the monastery nearby. There is a sense of belonging in this solitary heaven because of which the biting cold weather also seems comforting.
Best time to visit: Jun – September
Hunder dunes safari timings: 09:00 AM to 12 Noon and 03:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Places to visit: Diskit, Hunder, Turtuk, Sumur and Panamik.
6. Turtuk- the silent hamlet
Rural adventures in India have a unique charm to them that is beyond any description. One such rural wonder on our list is Turtuk lying at an altitude where even breathing is a task. Decked up in nature’s bounty this serene village on Shyok Valley is the only one in India where you can experience the Balti culture. Forget snow clad mountains, the apricots of this hamlet are enough for you to revere in joy.
Still, if you thought it’s just the homestays and scenic treasures that it can offer to its visitants, then, think again! Turtuk has a number of Gompas, waterfalls, a royal palace and the company of the very serene Shyok River to gladden your heart. So, don’t miss out on your list of places to visit in Leh and Ladakh.
Best time to visit: June – July
Timings: 09:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Places to visit: Chutang, Yul and Pharol
7. Hemis Monastery- A wholesome treat for the soul
Add colored filters to the monochromatic outlook of Ladakh at Hemis Monastery. Known for its beauty and Hemis Festival of India, this intricately crafted building in Ladakh calls out for a dive in the pool of spirituality. Besides, the beautiful architecture that gets you all excited, a glimpse of the two magnanimous statues in its vicinity is bedazzling as well.
Hemis monastery is an amazing travel destination of India that features a number of travel assortments to its visitors. It includes relics of Lord Buddha and several cultural items that flaunt the riches of the ancient culture here. Plus, if you happen to take this Buddhist tour to India around Hemis festival, then, dancing to the tunes of Cham Dance won’t come as a surprise.
Best time to visit: June or July (during Hemis Festival)
Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free
8. Leh Palace- the treasure of yesteryears
Does your inner history buff keep knocking the doors of your heart amidst the nerve-wracking adventure of Leh? Then, how about pampering it with one of the most beautiful structures of the region? Hell yeah!
Leh Palace is the life-size time capsule that takes you back to the royal days of the region. The best part about the palace jaunt here is that it brings you closer to its people and their history. Here in its small museum, you will find crowned jewels, artifacts, praying instruments and also, some hidden gems of Buddhism. Nine stories of royal tales, huh! Sounds like a deal to steal doesn’t it?
Best time to visit: May- September
Timings: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 15-Indians and INR 100-Foreigners.
Similar Places: Stok Palace, Dha Hanu and Panamik Village
9. Tso Moriri- the ultimate natural paradise
Crystal clear blue waters, nutty hillscapes and the company of the infinite sky, can any trip be better than this? We guess not.
Welcome to the wonderland of Ladakh that happens to house the largest high altitude lake of the nation Tso Moriri. Located in the Changthang region of Ladakh, this lake can be best reached via Pangong Tso. Wait, there is more!
A trip to this destination on our top places to visit in Ladakh list features the best scenic delights that you will ever come across. Moreover, it is a Ramsar site so you can image how endemic will be the fauna and flora here. However, camping is a no-no here, you’ll fall in love with just the sight-seeing too. So, make the most of it.
Best time to visit: May-August
Entry Fee: None
Places to visit nearby: Tso Kar, Nyoma, Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary, and Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
10. Zanskar- the mystic land
Have you ever been to a winter wonderland? No? Then, now is your chance to visit it on a startling North India trip.
Welcome to Zanskar, the embodiment of beauty and the home place of some jaw-dropping landscapes of India. This district breathes in the serenity of Buddhism and basks in the glory of its rich culture. And, that’s all we sign up for on a trip to Ladakh, right?
Here, you will get the chance to turn back time at Panikkar’s Fort. Moreover, rejoicing in the teaching of Buddhism at Gelugpa Monastery in Karpa is an added assortment. Furthermore, here are adventure sports, treks and so many natural assortments that getting over this destination can become a task.
Best time to visit: April-August
Entry Fee: Free
Places to visit nearby: Magnetic Hill, Nubra Valley, Khardungla Pass and Chadar trek.
11. Alchi- the religious suburb
Alchi is a quaint hamlet that is living under the shadows of an ancient monastery. There is a rhythm to its existence that its par ordinary. Moreover, you feel certain vibrations when you are in its vicinity and don’t even get us started on the rich history of this estate.
Alchi is a busy village with its gompas grabbing all the spotlights. Furthermore, the sounds of Indus flowing in the background add more charisma to its charms. Every turn here etches to the memory an awe-gasping landscape and the serenity in every inch makes home in every hearts.
Best time to visit: April-August
Timings (Alchi Monastery): 8:00 AM- 6:00 PM (Closed: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM)
Entry Fee (Alchi Monastery): INR 25- Indians and INR 50- Foreigners.
Places to visit: Alchi Monastery
Places to visit nearby: Samstanling Monastery, Likir Monastery, Magnetic Hill and Chadar trek.
12. Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary- the wildest of all!
A trip to Ladakh is an adventure in itself. And, we all know that right? So, why not spice things up with some wildlife charms at a non-motorable national park on your places to visit in Ladakh list? Sounds music to our ears, what do you think?
Hemis National Park is one such wildlife destination in India that comes as a surprise to travelers that know Ladakh only for its biking adventures. Moreover, the fact that it is contrasting to any othere adventure in India, adds some extra brownie points to its name. Here, trekking your way up to the clouds you’ll have the opportunity to encounter many endemic species including the Snow leopard, the Tibetan Wolf, the endangered Eurasian Brown Bear, the Red Fox, the Argali, the Bharal, and the Shapu too.
Best time to visit: April- June
Timings: 6:30 AM- 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20- Indians and INR 100- Foreigners.
Places to visit nearby: Hemis Monastery, Stakna Gompa and Gotsang Gompa.
13. Shey Monastery- the royal spiritual haven
Exploring the deep roots of Buddhism is one of the best things to do in India. However, if you get to do it in a 16th-century edifice that was once a palace, then, the fervor multiples, isn’t it? Well, this is just the case with Shey Monastery.
Moreover, besides the very prominent royal hues, you will come across 10 m high gigantic copper-gold gilded statue of Lord Buddha. Intriguing, eh?
Best time to visit: March-August
Timings: 6:00 AM- 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM-6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 30
14. Thiksey monastery
Surround yourself with folklores at a monastery that has been touched by the divine itself. Lap up to the treasures of Tibetan architecture while you enjoy the breathtaking views of Indus Valley. Feel at home at this 12 level monastery where Buddha himself welcomes you.
There are temples, nunnery, and mural defining the limitless paradigms of devotion here. So, absorb every inch of its serenity and make your spiritual tour in India a success.
Best time to visit: March-August
Timings: 6:00 AM- 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM-6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20
15. Chadar Trek- An adventure of a lifetime
Okay! We hear you, this is not a place but can you really say no to a trek amidst snow-capped mountains? Moreover, this is the end of our places to visit in Ladakh list, so it has to be a banger.
Chadar trek is hands down one of the most dramatic treks in Ladakh. Why? Well, that’s because here you get the chance to walk on thick ice sheets in the absolute middle of nowhere. So, if you aren’t afraid of vertical cliffs and solitude, missing out on this trek can be a bummer.
It is one such experience that needs to be on your bucket list and even your places to visit in Ladakh list. So, add it now!
Best time to take the trek: January-February