Ladakh is the one destination in India which has been a part of everyone’s bucket list, especially after being featured in one of the most popular movies of Bollywood, 3 Idiots. People who have visited Ladakh want to go there again, and those who haven’t don’t know where to start.
While there are ample of itineraries to choose from for this incredible place that exists in India, we want to aid you in narrowing down to the best one for you. And we at HKYantoYan.com are going to do that by listing the top 15 sights one can visit in Ladakh. All you have got to do is choose!
Make a shortlist from below, and boom, you have an itinerary.
Here you can indulge in Chadar trek on the frozen river of Zanskar. The experienced call it life-changing. But, it can be done only by those who have ample physical fitness and trekking experience as it is 105 km long. It takes place in the coldest months, i.e. January & February. Other than the trek, this virgin valley is a nature lover’s hideout with unworldly sunrises and sunsets.
The lake that made it to the big screen in the movie – 3 Idiots. Yes, this is the one! Well, the journey to it is long but, once you reach the end point, as everyone states, one look of the colour changing Pangong Tso Lake makes it all worth it. Here you can hop on a Yak for a ride (or not, if you don’t want to support animal abuse like us), or click pictures with the scooter just like the movie.
Mulbekh Monastery, Kargil
The Mulbekh Monastery consists of a Buddha statue that’s believed was sculpted in the 8th Century AD. Many scholars also professed the figure to be an interpretation of Lord Shiva. It also reflects the works of the 14th century through ancient inscriptions, relics and frescos.
P.S. Kargil is a heavenly spot for treks & mountaineering.
Nubra valley lists under the top five places in Ladakh. Famous for its two-humped camels and camps, the time spent in the sand dunes of Nubra will make sure you have an Arabian Nights experience.
On your way to Nubra Valley, you will come across the Khardung-La pass, the highest motorable pass in the world.
The magnetic hill is nothing less than fascinating. Here you will find a white box drawn on the road where you have got to park your car on neutral. Shortly you will witness the car advancing uphill at 20 km/hr without you putting in any effort at all! Well, it is the place where gravity takes a backseat.
This blue lake is the largest in the Ladakh region playing host to 34 species of birds. Also known as Moriri Lake, it lies alongside the village of Korzok.
One of the biggest and most famous monasteries in Ladakh the Thiksey Gompa. Located in the village of Thiksey, the several attractions within the walls of the monastery makes it a rewarding experience. The view of the Indus Valley floodplains from here is spectacular!
The Gustor Festival takes place here between the 17th to 19th day of the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar (October-November). Do add this to your list if you are visiting during the said period.
Situated on the Srinagar-Leh highway, this monastery is the oldest one in Ladakh. Serving as a meditation centre, this Gompa attracts many spiritual learners towards its sacred aura.
The Yuru Kabgyat Festival that takes place here in the second and fifth month of the Tibetan calendar (March & July). It lures many lamas from Tebit, Japan, Korea and China to come and pray together. The festival also brings in several hours of the masked dancing which is a pure delight to one’s eyes.
Hard to miss is the Moonland on your way to Lamayuru. Closely resembling the moon this land naturally occurs in Ladakh. It’s stunning yet one of the lesser visited places.
Inaugurated by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in 1985, Shanti Stupa depicts the life stories of Lord Buddha. It was built to celebrate the 2500 years of Buddhism and promotion of world peace.
In the capital city Leh, Leh Palace draws in ample tourists every year. Back in the day, this was one of the tallest buildings with nine stories. Also known as ‘Lhachen Palkhar’, the palace provides panoramic views of the Ladakh mountain range, Stok Kangri and the surrounding town. Pictures and paintings which include the Tibetan thangka of over 450 years are up on the walls for display.
Hall Of Fame
About 4 kilometres on the Leh-Kargil road we have the two storied Hall Of Fame. It houses pictures from the soldiers training on ice walls to them in the Kargil war of 1999 and a documentary on “Operation Vijay”. All of it reminding you of the heroic Indian Army who sacrificed their lives protecting their motherland in Indo-Pak wars.
P.S. The Drass War Memorial built in Kargil is a tribute for the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1999 Kargil war. Visit to pay respect.
Hemis National Park
It is always fun to visit national parks and see the side of the world that lives adjacent to ours. Home to many endangered species like the red fox, Eurasian brown bear and Tibetian wolf, the Hemis National Park’s main attractions are the snow leopard and Shapu sheep. That is because these two breeds cannot be found elsewhere in the country.
This monastery was one of the only two schools for Digung teachings under Skyoba Jigsten Gonbo in the past. Today, its complex holds plenty of wall paintings and, religious sites. Here you will also find a 900-year-old museum which consists of a collection of Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese weapons and firearms, several idols and more.
Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
At the Pathar Sahib Gurudwara in Ladakh, you will find a boulder which is said to have the imprints of Shree Guru Nanak Devji’s head, shoulders and backside. Dated back to 1517, the Sikhs, Hindus as well as Tibetans bow in full devotion.
The Shey Monastery, also known as the Shey palace beholds the second largest idol of Buddha. Made with copper and gilded with gold, this statue heights a good three stories. Almost in ruins, it still consists of a library on the lower floor with preserved murals of Buddha with various hand postures and manuscripts.
Well, there’s yet a long list of places to see in Ladakh but, the ones mentioned above are arguably the top 15!
As you can see, Ladakh has a lot to offer yet you are required to take precautions like allowing your body to adjust to the low atmospheric pressure. The best way to do that is to reserve two days at the lower altitudes, i.e. places in and close to Leh. Then on, you can gradually proceed to higher altitude sites like Zanskar Valley and Pangong Tso.
So what are you waiting for… book your tickets now!