LehLeh town is the headquarter of the leh District. It is located to the north of the Indus river at an elevation of 11,505 ft. above the sea level. The town is dominated by the nine-storey Namgail Palace and namgail Tsemo build by Tashi Namgail on the victorious reunification of the upper and lower Ladakh. The (Khar) Palace building in the grand tradition of Tibetan architecture said to have inspired from the famous Potala in Lhasa, which was built half a century later. The palace was built in the 17th century and had nine storeys, but it is now dilapidated and deserted. It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s. Within the palace are Buddhist wall paintings, centuries old 'tankas' or painted scrolls and other artefacts.
Leh Palace:The palace is open for the tourist by Govt. You can get to the roof of the Leh Palace, Ladakh to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole Leh town. From upon the roof of the palace, you can also view the mountain of Stok Kangri and some part of the Zanskar mountain across the Indus Valley (to south) and the Ladakh mountain ranges (to north).
Tisuru Stupa:It consist of 108 temples, which was remarkable work s done in the reign of king Graspa-Bum-lde, located near Shanti Stupa.
Shanti Stupa:Shanti Stupa is located at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Japanese Stupas made for world peace. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. The Shanti Stupa can be reached by car, or on foot via a steep flight of five hundred steps. Now a days it is also called Sun set point, from Shanti stupa you can see the leh town view and Indus view as well. You will 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.
Hall of Fame:Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defence personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during Kargil war and belongings of enemy soldiers found at war site. Another section of this building is entirely dedicated to Siachen and its heroes. On display are attires, multi layered shoes to keep their feet from frost bites, their daily instruments, their day to day food mainly frozen and packed, which is heated by lighting small balls of Hexamycin tablets, as fire is difficult to ignite at a temperature dipping -30 deg to -50 deg centigrade. It is mentioned on a board that 97% of the casualties in Siachen are due to cold and terrain.
Magnetic Hill:Defying the Law of gravity. This place is close to the Gurdwara Shri Patthar Sahib. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up.
Gurdwara Shri Patthar Sahib:The Shrine known as Gurdwara Patthar sahib is situated about 25 kms. Short of Leh town on the Leh-Srinagar road. Built in the everlasting memory of Shri Guru Nanak Dev, the great prophet who sanctified the place by his sacred visit during the year 1517 while on his second missionary tour. The Guru reached here via Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet, Yarkand and Leh after having spiritual discourses with the Sidhas at MountSumer (Central Himalayas).
The Tso Moriri Lake:Tsomoriri Lake is a Beautiful mountain bounded expanse of water. 240 kms from leh in Rupsho valley. It extents 15 miles in length and 3 to 5 miles width, at a height of 14,000 ft. The water is salty and clear. On the south –west bank of lake is Korzok village, 135 old Monastery is also their. Which is called "Thupstan sningpo druprgout standard chosling". Which was founded by Lama Kunga Lodos Snyingbo. In 1851-1861. Sponsored by Head of Rupsho Tsering Tashi Namgail.
Tsokar Lake:Tsokar means salt lake which is around 154 kms. From Leh and 76 kms. From Tsomoriri. The small Gonpo at Thukji village is a brench of Korzok monastery. The small trek from Tsomoriri to Tsokar lake takes 4-5 day.
The Drok Pa Area.:
Kargil (2704 mts)(205 kms from Srinager):Kargil town is around 204 kms situated midway between Srinagar and (204 kms) and Leh (234 kms) on the Srinagar –leh highway, is the second largest Urban centre (approx 8,000 in habitants) Kargil once served as an important trade and transit centre in the Pan-Asian trade network. Tourists travelling between Zangskar, Leh and Srinagar have to make a night halt here, before starting for the second day of their journey.
Zanskar:About 20 kms southeast of Rangdum stands the Penzi-la(4,402mts) axis across which lies Zanskar, the most isolated of all the trans-himalayan valleys. It is apart of Kargil District of Ladakh region, spread over an area of around 7000 sq. km, at an altitude ranging from 3500 m to 7000 m above sea level. Lying in the shadow of the Great Himalayas Range. The fact becomes more prominent as it remains virtually inaccessible for 7-8 months due to bitter cold and heavy snowfall. Zanskar is a semi desert that is surrounded by mountains from all sides and is cut through by Zanskar river which is the reason many people come to Zanskar braving all the adversities. Zanskar River is one of the best places in the world where you can indulge in river rafting. All the high passes are close in the winter and the river freeze on the surface. People of Zanskar walk along the frozen river to reach the Indus River in Nimoo village, which is known as the Chadar trek. The Flood plain that forms the core of the region is shaped like an inverted triangle some 20 kms across at its widest, where the Stod (Doda) and Tsarap meet to from the Zangskar river.
Places to see in Zanskar:Zanskar has lot of beautiful Buddist monasteries like Zongkhul, Bardan, Stongde, Karsha, Phuktal and Sani Palace and most of monasteries and be visited in a day or two by Jeep from Padum.
Sani:This picturesque village is 6 kms west of Padum, on the road to Kargil. The main attraction here is the Castle- like Monastery, which unlike other monasteries of Ladakh, is build on level Ground. By legend its origion is associated with Kanishka (Kushan rular of 2nd century AD)on account of the Kanika stupa, stands in the backyard of the walled complex. Sani is also associated with the famous Indian yogi Naropa, who is said to be meditated here, housing a veiled bronza figure of the Yogi,In late july on the eve of the Naro-Nasjal Festival is celebrated.
Stongdey:Stongdey The monastery of Stongdey lies 18 km to the north of Padum, on the road leading to Zangla. The second Largest Monastic establishment of zanskar. Inhabited by the resident of about 60 Gelukpa monks. It has many Temples inside. An old foundation associated with the Tibetan Yogi, Marpa.
Zangla:Zangla Lying deep in the northern arm of Zanskar at the end of the 35 km long road from Padum, Zangla was being ruled by a titular king. The old castle now in ruins except for a small chappel, occupies a hill, overlooking the desertic valley below. Nearby is the old nunnery worth a visit for the austere life style of the small monastic community of nuns. An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar has exquisite frescos.
Zongkhul:Zongkhul The other spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar are in Zongkhul. The two caves here are the present monasteries, are said to have been used by the famous yogi for the solitary meditation. A footprint on the stone near the ingress of the lower cave is reserved as that of the yogi. The frescos on the cave walls are very old and reflect a high degree of artistic achievement. These are believed to be the original murals executed by Zhadpa Dorje. The celebrated scholar-painter of the same monastery who was active about 300 years ago.
Penzella:Penzella Pass Penzella Pass that divides the Zanskar valley with the Suru Valley. Besides being the excellent camping site the Penzella Pass is a vintage point offering excellent views of the majestic mountains and the captivating countryside.
Karsha:Karsha is a human settlement with basic facilities. The Gelugpa monastery at Karsha is a must visit to know the importance of the religion in the lives of the inhabitants of Zanskar. The mural art displayed at Lhabrang is other must check out in Zanskar. Gustor Festival held in the early july when thousand of devotees throng the monastery to witness the mask dances performed by the lamas.
Padum:Padum is around 234 Kms away from Kargil and 464 Kms from Leh. Once the Capital of the ancient Kingdom of Zangskar, Padum is situayed at the altitude of 3505mts is the present day administrarive centre of Zangskar sub-division of Kargil. and probably the most populous settlement of Zanskar. Padam valley in Ladakh is one of the few ones that have a dominant population of Muslims. Constituting nearly half the township's population, their origin dates back to the mid 17th century. Padum is considered as the most populous settlement of Zanskar with a population of nearly 1500. Stagrimo Gompa is on a hill side about 30 resident Lamas, clings to a tree covered ridge above the old town, and the 10th century monument carved on a huge rock near the river bank which is build in the shape of a chorten or stupa. provides epigraphic evidence that the region was influenced by Buddhism since ancient time.
Nubra:The Nubra Valley means Ldumra (the valley of flowers), Nubra Valley is situated about 118 km north of Leh and about 10,000 fts above the sea level means lower than leh town. The route from Leh takes the traveller over the Khardung-la, the highest motorable road in the world (18,380 feet// 5,578 m) above sea level feet. To enter the Nubra valley, Tourist require an "Inner Line" permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to pass traveller are alloy to stay only seven days in valley. Because Line of Control is in Nubra valley but around 70-80 kms away from Diskit Head quater. It is largely drained by the Siachen and Shayok River.