Leh, with a population of approximately 25000, lies at an altitude of 11,000ft / 3350m.
- SINDHU GHAT
- SHANTI STUPA
- HEMIS MONASTERY
- SHEY PALACE AND GOMPA
- HALL OF FAME
This was the Historical capital for centuries after the shift from Shey and continues to be the administrative hub, and the only town in the region.
The town is set amongst dramatic surroundings; in a fertile side valley of the Indus River and ringed by high mountains of the Stok and Ladakh ranges in the East and West.
Leh has a character unique to itself; old world charm at its best – friendly, hospitable yet mindful of its dignity and culture amidst all the influences that Tourism brings with it.
Sindhu Ghat is a beautiful riverbank, situated near the Shey village. It is known for its unique and scenic landscape, which consists of barren mountains, rocky terrains, sparse greenery and the Sindhu River traversing the region against the backdrop of the Stok Kangri peak. This riverbank is the venue of a famous cultural event, which is named Ladakh Singhey Khabab Spring Festival. This Ghat was constructed because of the initiative taken by Mr L.K Advani & the foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Shanti Stupa near Changspa is built by a Japanese gentleman, whose intention was to propagate Buddhism by building temples around the world. Finally completed with the assistance of the Japanese government, it was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1985.
Hemis is the largest and currently the wealthiest, of all the Ladakh Gompas.
It was built in 1630 by King Senge Namgyal and is also known as Chang Chub Sam Ling – the solitary place of the compassionate one.
This monastery belongs to the Kagyug Drukpa Red Hat sect and the 5th Rinpoche had an active role to play in its conceptualisation and construction. He prophesied that in the near future foreigners would invade Tibet, bringing ruin to the people and the religion. A safe haven for Buddhism had to be created and the chosen place was Hemis in Ladakh.
Hemis is hidden in a gorge and the walk o the gate takes you past numerous Chortens and Mani walls.
The large courtyard is the venue for the famous 3 day Hemis festival which is one of the most important events in the region and commemorates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
The monastery is also home to the largest Tangkha in the world, equivalent to two storey in length. It is displayed only once in 12 years– the next exhibition is in 2016.
This Gompa is 20km out of Leh. Built in the 15th century, this Gompa belongs to the Gelugpa sect and is one of the most imposing and impressive in Ladakh.
Its deep red, white and Ochre buildings are on 12 ascending levels . It is an active monastery with 10 temples within. (add the photo of the Maitrya Buddha )
The 15m tall image of the Maitreya Buddha is possibly one of the most photographed one in all of Ladakh and second only to the Mona Lisa. It was built in 1970 to commemorate a visit by the Dalai Lama and took four years to complete.
Located on the road, 15kms from Leh, King Deldan Namgyal built this palace complex as a summer residency for the Royalty in 1645. This is the oldest Palace in the region and hundreds of Chortens of all sizes stand below it.
The Gompa was built in 1655.
The Hall of Fame Leh is a museum constructed and maintained by the Indian army in memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak wars. The top floor has a section housing enemy weapons seized by India during the Kargil War operations. A room commemorates the various high-altitude battles fought with Pakistan during the 20th century,
There’s also a 3D map illustrating Ladakh’s relief and two rooms featuring local culture and nature besides one room showcasing the clothes and other equipment used by the armed personnel at the siachen Glacier alongwithinformation about the Glacier itself.