Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.  – Ibn Batuta

Leh must be visited once in your lifetime! This is something which I have heard about Leh often. Majestic, grand, surreal and many other adjectives adorned the speech of anyone who has visited Leh. So finally an impromptu decision brought us to Leh and then began another love saga!!

Nestled between the Himalayan, Zanskar and the Karakoram ranges, Leh is not a place for the faint hearts. It stands at a height of 10000 to 15000 feet above the sea level and records extreme temperatures between 30 degrees to -30 degrees. Leh is accessible by roads only during a certain time period (usually from June to September) when the Manali – Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways are not blocked by snow.

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The colourful Leh Market

Leh is a place which is a treat for your senses. The place has adventure written all over it. The experience of visiting Leh has been unique and unforgettable. There are numerous things to do in Leh – visiting monasteries, trekking, bike trip among others. In this post I present the best of Leh.

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The local crafts to Leh

# 1. The Leh town

A quaint and colorful town – Leh is like a picture postcard. The mornings are bustling with activities. The adventure shops all geared up for all the adventure seekers. The market place of Leh is vibrant and colorful with apparels, handicrafts and fruits and vegetables. A perfect place to use the five senses.

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Ariel view of Leh town from Leh Palace

# 2. The vivid and variety landscapes

Leh boasts of a variety of landscapes. The rugged mountains suddenly give in to green vegetation. The ecosystem is fragile and soil erosion has produced some remarkably wonderful sculptures. The mountains, roads and the landscapes all make a heady cocktail!

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Landscapes of Leh

# 3. The layers of mountains

Yes, you actually see layers of them – green, brown, yellow in all its splendour. Travelling within the lap of the mountains is surely an experience to cherish.

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Road through the mountains

# 4. The peace and solitude at the monasteries

You had all your adventures, been through the adrenaline rush… now feel the peace and serenity of the monasteries that Leh has to offer. The monasteries are mostly situated at the hill tops away from the town – a perfect place for solitude. The splendor of the Hemis Monastery or the simplicity of Alchi monastery or the sheer architecture of the Spituk monastery is sure to stir the spirituality in you.

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Likir Monastery

# 5. A night by the blue Pangong

A picturesque lake straight out of a dreamland! The blue sky meets the blue waters and your time will fly in a jiffy watching them. And as the sun sets the colour of the lake changes from blue to green to grey. Stay by the lake at the tents and enjoy a campfire. See the early morning rays falling on the lake, see the white Brahmani ducks and enjoy the nature to the fullest.

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Pangong Tso

# 6. Cannot get enough of blue! Visit the Tso Moriri

Another beauty of Leh is the Tso Moriri. You will certainly get mesmerized seeing the endless, vast and crystal clear waters of Tso Moriri. Situated at Rupsu Valley, it is the best place to relax and watch the rich wildlife.

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Tso Morori Image Courtesy: Subhadip C Photography Unlimited

# 7. Travelling through the highest motorable pass – Khardung La

Khardung La boasts of being the highest motorable pass which has to be crossed while going to the Nubra Valley. At 18000 feet, it has an army outpost which provides hot tea and Maggi to the tourists. Khardung La has very less vegetation and the weather is quite unpredictable. Experiencing a snowfall at Khardung La is an added bonus.

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Khardung La on the way to Nubra Valley

# 8. Traversing the cold desert by a Bactrian camel

The snow clad mountains at a distance and the sand deserts at your side. That is Nubra Valley for you – one of world’s cold deserts. To complete the desert safari, the rare Bactrian camel or two humped camels are present. Ever wondered how sand reached at such high altitude?

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Bactrian camel safari at Hunder, Nubra Valley

# 9. Your rendezvous with the past and present….

The Diskit monastery at the Nubra Valley provides a perfect example. The old Diskit monastery stands atop a hill overlooking the Shyok river was built at around 14th century.

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Distik Monastery, Nubra Valley

And just facing the age old structure is the giant 32 metre (106 feet) statue of Maitreya Buddha standing. The statue was consecrated on 2010.

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Gian 230 feet Maitrya Buddha statue at Nubra Valley

# 10. The epic journey from Leh to Manali

Your visit to Leh is not complete if you haven’t taken the Leh-Manali Highway. It crosses few of world’s highest passes. The road is treacherous yet annoyingly beautiful. The trans Himalayan journey covers the rugged landscape of Leh following the stark Sarchu and ends in luscious greenery of Manali. 

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Jorney from Leh to Manali is full of surprising twists

#11. See the marmots cuddling

The Himalayan marmots are abundant in Leh. These are very cute and friendly creatures. You can even see them cuddling.

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The cute Marmots

# 12. And for the adventure lovers…

There are various trekking routes, biking expeditions, water rafting at the Indus-Zanskar rivers. Leh has all the ingredients to fulfill your lust for adventure.

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Leh- a perfect place to quench your thirst for adventure

So, do not not postpone your plan to visit Leh. For any queries and information, please feel free to contact us.

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At Shanti Stupa, Leh