Ladakh means a land of passes. Viewed from high above its surface, Ladakh appears a vast monotony of three colours: the brown of the earth, the white of the snow and the blck dark shadows in the valleys. Leh, 434 km from Srinagar and at a height of 3521 meters on the Karakoram range is the district headquarters of Ladakh.
Ladakh's early history is woven into its mythology. The great Chinese wanderer Fa-Hien travelled its folds as far back as 399 AD. Ladakh is renowned for its Buddhist monasteries which are dotted all over the sparsely populated countryside, each richly decorated with paintings and virtually a storehouse of ancient religious manuscripts.
LEH PALACE: Built in the 16th century by Singay Namgiyal, the palace stands like a sentinel overlooking the town. Inside there are old wall paintings depicting the life of the Buddha.
NAMGYAL TSEMO: Soaring above the valley-crags, the monastery dominates both the palace and the town, exhibiting in a manner the supremacy of the spiritual king. The monastery houses a guilded statue of the Buddha, painted scroll, ancient manuscripts and wall paintings.
LEH MOSQUE: Built by Deldan Namgyal in the mid-17th century AD, a tribute to his Muslim mother, the Leh mosque is an exquisite work of Turko - Iranian architecture.
GOMPA TSEMO: One of the royal monasteries, located near the palace it is known for its two storied statue of Chamb Buddha in a sitting posture.
Sports Activities in Leh Ladakh: Mountaineering, treeking white river rafting, Heli Skiing all have unlimited scope. For mountaineering, the Zanskar range and the Ladakh range offer some of the finest challenges anywhere.
Spituk to Zinghchen, 12 km; Zingchen to Yurutse, 13 km; Yurutes to Sku (via kandal 4.800 meters), 14 km; sku to Markha, 12 km; Markha to Hankar, 11 km; to Minaling, 10 km; Nimaling to Shang Sumdo (via Kongmarula 5,030 meters) 14 km; Shang Sumdo to Martselang, 10 km; Martselang to Hemis, 6 km.
Padam to Raru 22 km; Raru to Chu 23 km; Chu to Tasta 25 km; Tasta to Kargiah, 26 km; Kargiah to Lakhang Pulu, 24 km; Lakhang Pulu to Zanskar Sumdo (via Shingkula 5,100 meters), 25 km; Zanskar Sumdo to Darch Sumdo, 25 km.
Padam to Tungri, 12 km; Tungri to Ating 12 km; Ating to Huttra, 24 km; Huttra to Buswas, 17 km, Buswas to Machail, 27 km, Galar to Kishtwar, 32 km.
Lamayrur to Fanjila, 24 km; Fanjila to Hanupat, 23km; Base of Singila to Skumpata (via Singila 5,000 meters), 19 km; Skumpata to Lingshet, 9 km; linghet to Omangschu (via Hanumalal 4,700 meters), 28 km; Omangschu to Piod (Parpela 4,700 meters), 18 km; Pidmo to Rinam, 17 km; Rinam to Spadum, 16 km.
Main Road to Likir Gompa, 5 km; Likir Gompat to Yanghthang, 9 km; Yangthan to Hemis Sukpachen, 10 km; Hemis Sukpachen to Temisgam, 11 km; Temisgam to Nurla, 8 km.
SPITUK MONASTERY: (9km) Five hundred years old, this monastery has some prized thangkas and huge statues of goddess Kali, whose faces are unveiled once every year. The chamber also contains an ancient collection of marks. Enormous statues of Goddess Kali are exhibited once in the year on occasion of the annual festival which falls in January.
STAKHANA MONASTERY: The monastery consist of old thangkas from 10th century.
From the top a splendid view of the Indus, Thinksey Monastery and surrounding can be seen.
MONASTERY: (15 km) This is the summer palace of the erstwhile ruler of Leh, surrounded by picturesque gardens, Built in 1620 AD., the place has the largest victory stupa, topped with pure gold. There is a spectacular double storied statue of Buddha Sayamunni in a sitting posture. Wrought of copper and brass, gilded with gold and silver and studded with precious gems, it leaves the onlooker stunned with bewilderment.
THIKSEY MONASTERY: (19 km) Enroute to Hemis is this 15th century monastery. It has twelve storeys and consist of eight temples and about 250 residence Lamps. The chambers are full of, Statues, thangkas, ancient swords and Tantric wall paintings.
SHEY PALACE AND HEMIS HIGH ALTITUDE NATIONAL PARK: (35 km) This 600 sq.km area is home to some of the most exotic and rare flora and faunal species, many of which are on the endangered list.
HEMIS GOMPA: (43 km) Situated in a side ravine off the main Indus Valley the monastery contains gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones. It has superb collection of thangkas, including the largest which is exhibited once in twelve years. Every June a colourful festival, marking the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava is held here. Masked dancers with slow steps and loud music are supported to fight away the demons.
LIRIK GOMPA: (61 km) Lirik Gompa contains a number of enormous clay statur of the Buddha in different forms. Founded during the 12th century, LIrika was the first royal monastery to be established in Ladakh under direct Tibetan influence.
ALCHIGOMPA: (66 km) This monastery consist of six temples which contains a chorten, seated Buddha and exquisite paintings. Over 10 centuries old, profusely painted walls depict the events of Buddha's life, Jamas and musician.
CHOGLAMSAR: A Place full of flowers and plants which grow fantastically at such high altitudes, Polo and golf grounds offer adventures a rare opportunity of such sporting activitys. From Chogalmsar to the summer palace, it is an exhilarating journey through beautiful trees.
LAMAYURE: (125 km) On Leh-Srinagar Road, this is the older known monastery of the region dating back to the 10th century. It has fascinating caves carved out of the mountain. Some rooms are richly furnished with carpets, Tibetan tables, Prized thangkas and butter – lamps can be seen.
SAMKAR GOMPA: The only monastery built on valley level, it is the seat of the yellow sect of the Buddhists. It has a formidable collection of miniature statues of pure gold and number of wall paintings. This is the modern monastery whit electricity, yet it is an ancient edifice which has a huge statue of eleven heads and 100 hands, a form of Avalokiteshwara Another statue of Chanzeri with 1,000 eyes, 1.000 arms and 1,000 legs is a gergius representation of a Buddhist deity.
Ladakh is Paradise for adventure sports; mountaineering, trekking, white river rafting/ canoeing.
Trekking: Well known treks around Leh
HEMIS: (June) a colourful festival is held to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava who is believed to have fought with demons for the safety of the local people. Mask dances are organized and stalls are put up selling handcrafts and other wares.
LADAKH FESTIVAL: (August) It is organized by the District Tourist Office.
Kargil 204 km from Srinagar, on the high way to Leh, is the second most important town of the Ladakh region.
DRASS: A small township, 57 km short of Kargil on Srinagar -Leh highway is reputed to be the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Its inhabitants are of the Dark stock – an Indo Aryan race – believed to have originally come from central Asia.
SURU VALLEY: This is a fertile valley of immense beauty occupied by a population of Tibeto-Dard desent. The farthest part of the valley consists of a picturesque alluvial pan towered over by the lofty Nun (7,135m) and Kun (7.035m) massif. Kartse village near Sankoo has a seven meters high rock sculpture of Maitreya, which is the remnant of the ancient Indian Buddhist influence, Panikhar is the approach base for mountaineering expeditions to Nun Kun and many treks.
RANGDUM: This is an isolated amphitheatre-like valley which lies 130 Kms from Kargil. It has a 17th century monastery perphed atop a central hillock.
MULKBEKH: Situated 45 km east of Kargil on the road to Leh, Mulbeks is a 9-meter high rock sculpture of Maitreya. Percjed atop a rocky cliff, the Mulbekh monastery dominates the valley.
ZANSKAR: Zankskar is the remotest and most isolated valley of Ladakh. It has a number of interesting monasteries and mountains. A number of highly adventurous trek routes criss-cross the valley connecting Manali and Kishtwar with Leh and the Indus valley.
KARSHA: The largest and wealthiest of all monasteries in Zanskar which dates back to the 16th century. Karsha can be reached on foot in two hours form padum.
BURDAN: 12 km from Padum this monastery houses an interesting collection of idols and stupas.
PHUGTAL: It is one of the two rare monasteries of Zanskar.
ZONG KHUL: This cave monastery, situated on the padum-Kishtwar rout is built around two caves in the sheer rock-face of a gorge.
Kargil also serves as a base for trekking expeditions.
Kargil is approachable by road on the Leh-Srinagar highway. All tourist buses running between Srinagar and Leh make a night's halt here.
Kargil is the second most important town of the Ladakh region and an important base for exploring the surrounding areas and for forays into the Zanskar region.
Leh Ladakh Tour Packages, Ladakh Holiday Packages, Ladakh Tour Packages from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Trip to Leh Ladakh can be customized according to the specific requirements by a travel expert at Swan Tours - A leading travel agent in Delhi ,India .
The largest province within the North Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh Ladakh is surrounded by great mountain ranges of the world. Take a Leh Ladakh travel package from Delhi and find yourself amidst the beautiful and charming unexplored landscape. One can also book customized tour packages to leh from us and venture into this beautiful place. In Ladakh you will find beauty studded with lakes, snow-capped mountains, green patches of land, bright blue skies and unimaginable terrains. It is no doubt very pretty place, one of those places that you should visit atleast once in your lifetime. In Ladakh you will find lakes, national parks, monasteries, and valleys which have a surreal character. All of this will leave you truly mesmerized. Ladakhi Cuisine is Sumptuous and unique, When in Ladakh don't forget to taste meat dumplings and thukpa. Have a conversation with the locals sipping hot yak butter tea. Ladakh will never disappoint you.. Leave the city life behind and gaze towards brown mountains and white clouds you will feel a sense of bliss inside you. Book a travel package to Ladakh and enjoy the experience. The landscape, flora and fauna makes this land a treat for photographers . Here you will find exotic birds ready to be clicked. Thanks to places like Nubra Valley, Tsokar, Tsomoriri and Pangong lake where you will find amazing birds. This place is also the biker's paradise. Bike ride is fun because you come across snow-clad mountains, lush green landscape and desert. Ride across Ladakh to reach the Chang La and Khardung La pass. The Khardung La pass is the highest motorable pass in the world.
A tour to leh will give you an insight to the culture and traditions. The people of Ladakh are mostly Tibetan Buddhists of Aryan descent or Shia Muslims. The locals are known for their kind and generous nature. They are very hospitable and mostly live in small settlements and have a very simple lifestyle, The attire and jewellery are very beautiful and they are proud to keep their rich culture intact. Try visiting Ladakh during their prominent festivals like Thiksey, Karsha, Spituk Gustor and the Hemis Festival and find yourself engulfed in their dance, drama, drums and singing. You will relish the culture here. If you love camping and adventure, Ladakh is just the place for you. Camping in Ladakh is not at all costly and will surely love this thrill here. Enjoy the nomadic lifestyle here. The camping available in Leh Ladakh caters to budget as well as the luxury travelers. Don't leave Ladakh without exploring the passes here. There are high altitude passes here like the Khardung La (5359 m), Chang La (5360 m) which will call you towards itself. You will feel a rush of adrenaline for sure. On the other hand you will find complete peace in the Buddhist monasteries here. Book a Leh Ladakh tour package and take a break from the daily mundane life. As the number of hotels in Leh ladakh are limited and the number of airlines flying to the area is also limited, it is advisable to book leh ladakh package with air tickets in advance.