12 Best Places To Visit In Ladakh- The Land Of High Passes

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Ladakh is one of the best places to visit to escape from the screeching heat during the summer. The place is a dream destination for many as it presents an opportunity to explore the beautiful landscapes, lakes, and mountains and at the same time be part of many thrilling and adventurous activities. Ladakh also has many beautiful monasteries and villages that have very well preserved the rich heritage and culture of the place. Here you can check some best places to visit in Ladakh.

The place was earlier part of Jammu and Kashmir state but now it is an independent Union territory under the Government of India.

Climate cold and dry, with scanty precipitation 
Elevation 2550m-7742m
Major attractions Pangong Lake, Khardungla Pass, Magnetic Hill, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri Lake, Lamayuru Monastery, Diskit Gompa, Shanti Stupa, Royal Leh Palace, Alchi Monastery, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Sangam Point, Tso Kar Lake, Namgyal Monastery, Hall of Fame, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Drass Valley, etc.
Total Population 274000
Languages Hindi, English, Ladakhi, Purgi, Balti, etc.
Activities to do Jeep Safari, Cycling, Motor Biking, Attend Festivals, Shopping, Trekking, Camel Safari, etc.
Nearest Airport Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport
Religions Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc
Capital Leh
Major Passes Khardung La Pass, Chang La Pass, Bara Lacha La Pass, Taglang La Pass, Fotu La Pass, Lachulung La Pass, Namikala Pass, Zojila Pass

Here is the list of the most beautiful and important places to visit in Ladakh:

Best Places to visit in Ladakh

Pangong Lake

Pangong lake is one of the best places to visit in ladakh

This place is located at a height of 4350m and is situated in the Himalayan range. It is also the world’s highest saltwater lake. The water in this lake is purely blue in color and takes into the world of dreams. This lake is also one of the most visited places in Ladakh. The most astonishing fact about this lake is that it also changes color from blue to grey to green and red at times.

The reflection of the mountains in the lake is so mesmerizing that one can simply not take their eyes off the lake. The lake is almost 12km in length and falls at the juncture of India-China territorial claims. As the water of the lake is salty and brackish, it is difficult for aquatic life to survive. The lake freezes in the winter as the temperature drops down to -30 degree celsius.

The best time to visit this lake is from the month of May to September.

Magnetic Hill

the beauty of magnetic hills

As the name suggests, this place is known for its defiance of gravity. The objects such as cars have been known to move upwards at certain locations on the hills, going against the force of gravity. It is located at a height of 14000 feet. There have been many attempts to explain this mystery of gravity defiance as some believe it happens due to optical illusion. Others are of the opinion that the magnetic field of the earth moves the vehicles upwards.

However, this place is more than just this mystery. Magnetic hill has beautiful a landscape, the weather is pleasant in summer and the sky is clear, making it a perfect place to be in the lapse of nature.

Also read: Ladakh- The Land of High Passes

Khardung La Pass

Khardung La Pass- ladakh

This pass is best known as the highest motorable road in the world. It is famous amongst tourists who are fans of adventures. It lies in the Leh district. The height of this pass is almost 5360 meters. The pass connects Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. This pass is maintained by the Border Road Organisation, BRO. It is also used to transport goods to the Siachen Glacier. khardung La Pass is one of the best places to visit in ladakh.

The distance of this pass from Leh is approximately 40km and one can reach here via taxi or motorbike.

Shanti Stupa

A photo of shanti stupa in ladakh

This stupa lies very close to Leh at an approx distance of 5km. The stupa was commissioned by the Japanese monks to promote world peace and celebrate 2500 years of the Buddhist religion. The walls of the stupa depict the life of Buddha. The tourists can meditate here, explore the beautiful view of the place, etc.

It is white, serene, covered in snow, and located at a height of 4267m.

Nubra Valley

nubra valley- ladakh

It is a deep gorge that was created by two famous rivers- Shyok and Nubra. The valley is quite long and starts in China extending up to Ladakh. Famous places in the valley include Yarab Tso Lake, Turtuk and Panamik village, Diskit Monastery, Samstanling Gompa, etc.

The best time to visit this valley is from April to June and also from September to October. It lies at an altitude of 3048m.

Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Lake ladakh

The beauty of this lake cannot be described in words as it is pure heaven on earth. This lake too has snow-laden mountains on its side and is located at an altitude of 4000m. The lake is almost 29km long and 8km wide. One can find some rare species of birds here. An inner Line Permit is required to visit the area.

Diksit Gompa

It is one of the largest monasteries in Leh and is situated on the slopes of the mountains. The snow-capped mountains are also visible from this place. Many other temples and monasteries are located nearby.

Dikhshit Gompa is one of the best places to visit in Ladakh in any month of the Year.

Hall of Fame

hall of fame

This place was built as a tribute to the soldiers of the Indo-Pak wars. Many kinds of weapons were used in these wars, apparel of the soldiers. On the ground floor, one can find many paintings and scenes of the Kargil war. It also has many photographs of the soldiers who died in the war.

Drass Valley

It is known as the Gateway to Ladakh. The winters are freezing here and it is a perfect spot to click beautiful pictures. Drass River looks mesmerizing this place and one can also find hot springs, and barren and beautiful mountains, at this place.

Hemis National Park

It is famously called as Snow Leopard Capital of India. It was established in 1981 and is best known for the presence of snow leopards at this altitude. One can also enjoy birdwatching here and trekking to the top.

Hemis national park is unique where you can see snow lepord as well, this makes this places one of the best Places to visit in Ladakh.

Royal Leh Palace

Royal Leh Palace

It was built in 1553 and is situated on the top of Tseo Hill. It is constructed using stones, wood, and mud. It is a 9 storied structure and also has a museum within. It is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This palace stores the royal belongings of Thangkas, murals, costumes, etc.

Zanskar Valley

This valley has numerous Tibetan monasteries and the whole valley has strong Buddhist culture, lakes, etc. It is also famous for Panikhar Fort, Zanskar River Trek, etc. Activities such as camping, village visit, river rafting, and trekking can be done here.

Zanskar Valley is one of the best places to visit in Ladakh in the month of December

Lamayuru – Moonland of Ladakh

Lamayuru is a small village in Ladakh, a region in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as “Moonland” because of its stunning lunar-like landscapes, characterized by unique geological formations, unusual rock and soil patterns that resemble the surface of the moon. The scenic beauty of Lamayuru attracts tourists, photographers, and nature lovers from around the world.

Here are some key highlights of Lamayuru:

1. Lamayuru Monastery:

  • One of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh.
  • Houses a rich collection of wall paintings, thangkas, statues, and an impressive mural of the 11-headed, 1000-eyed image of Chenzing.

2. Moonlike Landscape:

  • The erosion of the land has led to the formation of a moon-like terrain, with mountains and plains having craters and other features similar to the moon.

3. Trekking:

  • Popular for various treks that start or pass through Lamayuru, including the Lamayuru-Alchi trek and the Lamayuru-Padum trek.

4. Local Culture:

  • Visitors can experience the rich culture and hospitality of the local people, and get a glimpse of their traditional lifestyle.

5. Accessibility:

  • Lamayuru is situated on the Srinagar-Leh highway, making it easily accessible by road. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the roads are clear of snow.

6. Annual Mask Dance Festival:

  • The monastery hosts an annual mask dance festival, a colorful and vibrant event that attracts visitors from across the globe.

Travel Tips:

  1. Altitude Adjustment:
    • Since Lamayuru is at a high altitude, it is essential for visitors to acclimatize to prevent altitude sickness.
  2. Weather:
    • The weather can be unpredictable; hence, it’s advisable to carry warm clothing and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature.
  3. Permits:
    • Foreign tourists might need Inner Line Permits to visit certain areas in Ladakh, so it’s essential to check and obtain the necessary permissions beforehand.
  4. Local Etiquette:
    • Respect the local customs, traditions, and religious sentiments of the people of Ladakh.

Lamayuru’s “Moonland” is one of the best places to visit in Ladakh, offers a unique combination of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual serenity, making it a must-visit destination for those travelling to Ladakh.

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Places to visit in Ladakh Leh: Places to visit & Things to do
Places to visit in Ladakh Leh: Places to visit & Things to do