Ladakh

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Mount Abu, Rajasthan, Aravali ranges, Delwara Temples, Jain Tirthankaras, Gaumukh Temple, Nakki Lake, Adhar Devi Temple, Sunset Point, Guru Shikhar, Achalgarh, Rana Kumbha, Shri Raghunathji Temple, Honeymoon Point, Raj Bhavan Museum and Art Gallery, Trevor's Tank
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Home » North India Tourist Destinations » Ladakh

Ladakh

Ladakh is a beautiful barren desert situated at 3,505 meters above sea level in lap of the Great Himalayas. Ladakh is the main tourist gateway; it's the largest town in the Ladakh region. Ladakh is ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure freaks. The main highlights includes the breathtaking landscaping, the enchanting rives, snowcapped mountains complimenting the blue sky, time stopping silence of the desert, temperature below zero and Ladakh festival, in short nature's untouched beauty and incredibly attractive. Ladakh has so many monuments, monasteries, great options for trekking and mountaineering, river rafting, horse riding and polo.

Places of Interest

Ladakh Palace: The beautiful nine story 17th century palace was the residence of the royal family. The royal palace resembles a mini-Potala Palace. The palace house Buddhist paintings on walls and artifacts. On the top of the Namgyal hill, the palace has the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh's victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century. The palace was built for King Singge Namgyal, It serves as Indian Government's archaeological conservation organization office in Ladakh.

Ladakh Monastery and Gompa: The central area of Ladakh has the greatest concentration of major Buddhist monasteries or gompas. Of the twelve situated on or near the Indus, the oldest monastery is that of Lamayuru, which is believed to have been a sacred site for the pre-Buddhist religion known as Bon. The monasteries of Phiyang, Hemis and Chemrey were all founded under the direct patronage of members of the ruling Namgyal dynasty. Phyang represents an act of penance by the 16th century King Tashi Namgyal for the violence and treachery by which he reached the throne.

Spituk Monastery: The gompa stands prominently on the top of a hillock, 8 Km from Ladakh, and commands a panoramic view of the Indus Valley for miles. Many icons of Buddha and five thankas are found in 15th century monastery. There is also a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and an awe inspiring image of Mahakal.

Shanti Stupa: Shanti Stupa (means 'World Peace' in Japanese) was built by a Japanese who harbored the ambition of spreading Buddhism across the world, in 1985 with aid from the Japanese Government. It is located at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. The stupa is connected by a 'motorable' road and a steep flight of stairs. Once on top, you can stop for a snack in the tea shop, then relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the chain of mountains and the peaceful little village of Changspa with typical Ladakhi houses built along a gushing stream, and the towering Namgyal Tsemo in the distance.

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa: The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal on Namgyal Tsemo peak overlooking the town. The monastery contains a three-story high solid gold idol of Maitrieya Buddha (future Buddha also called laughing buddha) and a one-storied statue of Avaloketesvara and Manjushri along with ancient manuscripts and frescoes. The fort above this gompa is ruined, but the views of Ladakh from here are breathtakingly beautiful. The associated temples here remain intact, but they are kept locked except during the morning and evening hours when a monk toils up the hills from Sankar Gompa to attend to the butter - lamps in front of the images.

Sankar Gonpa: The Sankar Gonpa is a couple of kilometers away from Ladakh town. It belongs to the Gelukspa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This small Gonpa is a branch of the Spituk Monastery, founded by the first incarnation of Skyabje Bakula (head monk of Spituk)

Shey Gompa: 15 Km upstream from Leh, the palace is believed to have been the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kings. A 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed in the palace.

Soma Gonpa (Jokhang), Ladakh: The Ladakh Buddhist Association in 1957 built the small Gonpa opposite to SBI, in the main bazaar, which is open throughout the day for visitors. The Gonpa contains a statue of Joyo Rinpochey (crowned Buddha).

Ladakh Mosque: The striking green and white Ladakh Mosque, an exquisite work of Turko-Iranian architecture, stand in the Main Bazaar of Ladakh. This historical mosque was built in 1666-67 A.D. consequent to an agreement between the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal. The mosque is open only to men. This is also a good place to find out about the possibility of doing voluntary work with various organizations. If interested, inquire at the reception centre or simply check the information board.

Stok Palace Museum: 17 km from Ladakh town, this museum exhibits precious stones, thangkas, coins, royal crowns and dresses and prayer instruments.

The Nubra Valley: Known as a flowering den Nubra valley gets clad in endless bushes of yellow and pink wild roses. Once the valley is through with the season of roses around August, a carpet of wild lavender lies gently on it. Nubra is also a relatively warmer valley in Ladakh making it perfect for crops and fruits to grow. Diskit Village located near Khalsar, dotted with apricot plantations is one of the larger village of the Nubra valley. The road between Diskit and the quaint little Hunder Village winds through a gorgeous stretch of sand dunes. A quiet and pleasant evening can be spent amidst nature with snowcapped peaks in the background.

Pangong Lake: This lake is situated at a elevation of 14,000ft. In the Eastern sector of Ladakh, at a distance of 154km. from Ladakh across Changla pass (17,000ft.). This lake is one of the largest and most beautiful natural brakish lakes in the Country.

Best time to visit

Best time to travel Ladakh is between July and September.






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