Divided into three main regions - Leh, Nubra, and Zanskar, Ladakh is one of the most magical places in the world that is home to spectacular tourist attractions. With unmatched travel experiences and breathtaking Ladakh tourist places, there are a lot of hidden surprises in the surreal landscape of this cold region. Ladakh is one of the best trekking destinations in India and also amazes the tourists with an array of exciting opportunities such as mountaineering, mountain biking, white water rafting and more.
Tourist season begins from the month of May, however, the best time to explore these mesmerizing tourist places in Leh Ladakh is anytime between July to September as there is barely any rain in this high altitude region and the weather is not too cold. Plan your trip accordingly because winters in Ladakh are bone-chilling and unbearable. Here are some of the spellbinding tourist attractions of Ladakh for a memorable travel experience. Take a look!
One of the finest trekking, paragliding and river rafting spots in Ladakh, Zanskar Valley is famous for its surreal landscapes that captivate adventure enthusiasts and tourists. Zanskar Valley is located in the Kargil district and is about 105km away from Leh. Besides popular treks such as Lamayuru to Darcha, Lamayuru, Padum trek, there are Zongla, Zongkhul, Strongdey monasteries that are thronged by tourists. Snow-covered mountains and sparkling rivers of Zanskar offer the most tranquil vibes that are refreshing for travellers. Due to heavy snowfall, Zanskar remains secluded from the rest of the country for more than 9 months a year. Therefore, the best time to travel this beautiful valley is anytime between the months of June to September.
Known as the Orchard of Ladakh, Nubra Valley is one of the most verdant valleys in the snow-covered landscape of Ladakh. Situated about 150km from Leh, Nubra is positioned between Tibet and Kashmir. No wonder, Nubra is one of the spectacular places in Ladakh as it has the best of both places. Home to many famous monasteries of Ladakh and paradisiacal landscape akin to Kashmir, it has the charm of both worlds. Another high point of the region is the Bactrian camels that are found only in the Hunder region of Nubra. Riding the two-humped camels is one of the unique experiences in Nubra Valley for tourists.
With no evident outlet, Pangong Tso is one of the most stunning endorheic lakes and the highest brackish water lakes in the world. Situated at an altitude of 4350 meters, Pangong Lake is approximately 134km long and extends from India to China. Another fascinating feature of Pangong Tso is that the pristine water of the lake keeps changing colours with the rays of the Sun. From the hues of blues to green to grey, the colours keep changing with the hours of the day. The magnificent mountain range running through the lake draws a vivid backdrop for the pictures. Along with the most delightful photo shoot, one can enjoy camping on the banks of this beautiful lake which is about 220km away from Leh.
Lying on the Leh-Kargil highway, this tourist attraction of Ladakh is just 30 km from Leh. The enchantment of Magnetic hill in Ladakh beckons many travellers with its mystifying facts. This popular Ladakh tourist place is a gravity hill that pulls vehicles towards it, defying the force of gravity. Magnetic hill is the highpoint of Ladakh Tourism as travellers love to visit this spot to witness the mind-boggling scene of cars going upwards without ignition. The locals believe that Magnetic Hill possesses superpowers and is considered to be the road leading to heaven. Some believe it to be an optical illusion, theories are many and you gotta visit Magnetic Hill to believe what you experience.
Just about 8km from Leh, Spituk Gompa is one of the most significant Monasteries of Ladakh which is popular for its mammoth size Kali statue. This famous monastery in Ladakh hosts an annual Gustor festival when this statue is displayed in public along with various delightful ceremonies that are a treat to watch. Besides witnessing the 11th-century Monastery, one can also catch a sight of a wide collection of artefacts, ancient masks, antique pieces and Buddhist paintings called Thangkas in a museum that is very much on the premises of Spituk Monastery itself. It’s a place where Buddhist culture can be witnessed in full glory as it is home to a large number of Monks.
The second largest town in Ladakh after Leh, Kargil lies in the centre of the Suru River valley. Known as the Land of Agas, Kargil is in close proximity to the Line of Control with Pakistan. It became a popular tourist spot of Ladakh after the Indo-Pak war in 1999 which is etched in the history of our nation as the Kargil War. Perched at the high altitude, the routes to Kargil remain closed during winters due to heavy snowfall and unbearable climatic conditions. The best time to visit Kargil is somewhere between May and June. Drass War Memorial is one of the top attractions of Kargil while there are many Monasteries that are worth witnessing.
Also Read: Magnetic Hill: The beautiful but Strange Natural Wonder of Ladakh
Home to a large number of snow leopards, Hemis National Park is the largest and highest National Park in India. With global recognition of preserving snow leopards, Hemis National Park is one of the most recommended Ladakh tourist places that is marked with a big number of wildlife enthusiasts and tourists. Endangered species like Eurasian brown bear, red fox, Tibetan wolf, mountain weasel can also be spotted in this national park of Ladakh. Besides, there are some rare species of birds nested in the park which makes it a paradise for bird watchers.
Situated 55 km from Leh, Hemis Monastery is another marvellous tourist place in Hemis Village of Ladakh that is visited by a large number of Buddhists as well as tourists from all over the world. The antiquity of this famous monastery of Ladakh is much before the 11th century and the statue of Lord Buddha inside the monastery looks totally divine and attractive. More than a thousand monks have an abode in the Hemis Monastery where one can catch a glimpse of Buddhist culture and heritage. Another attraction is the Hemis Museum shop where tourists can buy souvenirs and local handicrafts.
A mountain pass in the Leh district, Khardung La Pass is the highest motorable pass in the world that lies at an altitude of 5602m. The gateway to the Nubra and Shyok Valleys, Khardung La Pass is about 40km away from Leh. The spectacular vistas of snow-covered Himalayan ranges and criss-cross roads make it an ideal spot for a photo shoot. Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit and International tourists need a Protected Area Permit to visit Khardung La Pass, so make sure you have all the formalities done much in advance before embarking on the most enduring road trip on the world’s highest motorable road.