Located within the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh is understood for its stunning scenic locales, Buddhist temples and pristine environment. Because of the strong influence of Lamaism, Leh is additionally called Little Tibet or the Land of Lamas. Barren mountains with brightly painted gompas (or monasteries), fluttering prayer flags, rocky ridges, tiny settlements and therefore the river increase the charm of the region.
Once the capital of the Himalayan kingdom Ladakh, Leh continues to be dominated by the Leh Palace. The previous palace of the royal line of Ladakh, Leh Palace is made within the same style because of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Buddhist monasteries and study centres like Shanti stupa and Sankar Gompa also attract lots of travellers.
Leh is quite famous for trekking through mountain ranges
From high-altitude treks to river rafting within the Indus and Zanskar Rivers, Leh has developed as a highly preferred destination for adventure sports. Leh is additionally a trading centre and offers a good shopping experience with impressive Tibetan handicrafts, jewellery, woolen clothes and exquisite carpets. Leh comprises a populated area and Old Town. The Old Town has been inducted into the World Monuments Fund’s list of 100 most endangered sites.
Best places to live in Leh
Suiting every budget, it’s easy to seek out accommodation in Leh. During the height season between July and September, there are many family-run establishments in Leh offering personalized services. Budget lodging is out there in three main areas: the old town, the newer areas along the Fort Road, and Changspa village. Accommodation options include guesthouses, tourist complexes, hikers’ huts and native paying guest facilities. There also are government-run tourist bungalows mainly located along the Srinagar-Leh road.
Best places to eat in Leh
Though Leh has restaurants serving all types of cuisines, Kashmiri dishes are the foremost popular in Leh. Tibetan likewise as western cuisines is easily available. Tibetan dishes that include momos or steamed dumplings filled with meat or vegetables and thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables that gives an entire meal are a rage among tourists. Home-grown potatoes, pumpkins, and beans are cooked in a type of way and accompany meat dishes. There also are several bakeries that sell fresh cakes, pastries, cookies and bread.
Places to go to In Leh
Known as Little Tibet or the Land of the Lamas, Leh is popular among trekkers from everywhere on the planet. River rafting within the Zanskar is another favourite adventure for junkies searching for something over an easy trek. The shopping opportunities in Leh are amazing.
The Shanti Stupa, at a height of 4,267 meters, overlooks the town and is one of the largest tourist attractions within the town. Illuminated by white light, the stupa is even more beautiful at midnight. Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery and also the point of confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers are places you want to visit while in Leh.
- Shanti Stupa
Stupa is of great spiritual importance
It’s at a distance of almost 5 km drive-able road from the Leh city or one can climb 500 steps to reach here. The placement of Shanti Stupa is visible everywhere in Leh city.
It is built as a two-level structure, a flight of stairs ends up in the primary level where a Dharmchakra (as in white strip of Indian national flag) with two deer on all sides, features a central image of Lord, the second level depicting the birth of Buddha, defeating of devils in meditation and death of Buddha together with many sculptures of meditating Buddha, all embossed in vibrant colours.
A white dome Stupa (Chorten) built on a Changspa, a steep hill, opposite the Leh Palace gives an impressive view at sunrise and sunset, it’s more beautiful in the dark illuminated within the white light. It was built by Ladakh and Japanese Buddhists. It was built to market world peace and prosperity and to commemorate the 2500 years of Buddhism.
- Namgyal Tsemo Monastery
Founded in the early 15th century, Namgyal Tsemo monastery in Leh is known for its three-storey high pure gold solid idol of Maitreya Buddha. It is situated on a mountain top behind the Leh palace. The monastery offers panoramic views of the encircling countryside, the gently flowing Indus and also the snow-capped peaks of the Zanskar range.
The gompa was founded by King Tashi Namgyal in 1430 AD who was a giant follower of Buddhism. As a mark of his reference to Buddhism, the king built the monastery above his palace. Situated at the cliff of Namgyal hill, its architecture is quite impressive.
It is of great spiritual importance for Buddhists
The view of Leh from the gompa is breathtaking because the view changes with the light. The monastery may be a favourite with photographers too.
The gompa has an auditorium and temple with frescoes, paintings and statues of Buddhas. The gold idol of Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha) is about three-storey high. The monastery is additionally noted for one-storey high statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri.
Down the Hillside, there’s Shankar Gompa which is additionally related to Namgyal Tsemo monastery. It’s a daily ritual followed by monks from Shankar gompa to worship Buddha and lightweight butter lamps at Namgyal Tsemo. The nine-storey high Namgyal Tsemo palace is additionally one of the foremost attractions. The palace offers panoramic views of the encompassing countryside, especially old Ladakh.