Six things to do when in Ladakh
The northernmost region of India, Ladakh is surrounded by Pakistan on the west and China in the east. This arid region may not be filled with lush green forests or waterfalls but its beauty lies in its simplicity. The arid and mountainous terrain with aesthetically pleasing natural formations fills joy, calm and serenity in the hearts of all the tourists that come to visit this magnificent place. Located away from all the ruckus of modern society, this is the highest settlement in India which is heavily influenced by its rich culture, traditions, and religion. Visiting Ladakh may not be as lucrative as visiting other places like Goa, but only a true traveler will recognize the fact that one travels not just for the rave or party or adventure but also to find oneself in this chaotic world.
Tso Moriri Lake
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Located in the Changthang region of Leh, the beautiful Tso Moriri lake is the epitome of calm and serenity that paints the perfect picture of tranquillity in one’s mind. The Aegon color embellishes its crystal-clear water and makes it awe-inspiring for all the limnophiles, who get wonderstruck by its immense allure and placid beauty. Flaunting a picturesque location on top of the beautiful multi shades of blue color offered by this lake emanates a romantic aura that globetrotters around the world will surely not want to miss.
Nestled amidst the snowcapped mountains at a spectacular height of 4,000 meters it rightly gets named The Mountain Lake of India. Home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, this breathtakingly beautiful lake is the largest high-altitude lake in India and part of the wetland reserve under the Ramsar site. If you visit Ladakh in summers, then this is the place which you cannot afford to miss.
Diskit Gompa (Diskit Monastery)
Considered to be one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh, Diskit Gompa is a resplendent piece of architecture which is famous for its 100-foot tall Maitreya Budhha statue perching proudly on top.
Constructed by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, and inaugurated by his holiness Dalai Lama in the 14th century, this grand monastery is one of the prime attractions for tourists visiting Ladhak from all over the world. Facing the Shyok river, a visit to this monastery provides one with the stunning opportunity to subsume the breathtaking, sensational, and scenic view from one of the highest points in Ladakh.
Located in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, this grand monastery is revered as sacred by the local populous as is apparent by the number of ancients Sacro sanctimonious texts and shrines of the Tibetian and the Mongol culture featured in its storehouse.
If you want to visit this monastery, then we recommend you visit during the summer months as this place remains closed in the winters owing to heavy snowfall.
But, if you are serious to experience the cultural festival, Dosmoche at the Diskit monastery, then please be careful with your trip as it takes place in December and January.
A confluence point of religion and spirituality, and a kernel of cultural and historical significance, Lamayuru Monastery is situated in the Lamayouro at a spectacular height of 11520 feet, overlooking the breath-taking emerald blue rivers, and a range of arid and lofty hills.
Believed to be situated at a place where once a mighty river stood, a lot of history is associated with this place and people all over the globe visit to witness and experience that beautiful chronicle.
Famed as the 'place of freedom' this is the oldest and one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh.
The peace and tranquillity emanating from the halls of this grand monastery attract spiritual leaders and philosophers, like bees gravitating towards sugary water, from all over the world alike. The picturesque beauty is also nothing to be trifled with, the scenic moonscapes, the odd, yet aesthetic geographical formations all add to the sacred aura and tranquil ambiance.
The best time to visit this place would be in the summer months of April to June when the weather is pleasant and the roads are cleared.
Hemis National Park
Renowned as the natural habitat of the reclusive and endangered Snow Leopards, the Hemis National Park is the largest notified protected area in the state of India.
Spanning over the eastern region of Ladakh, and bounded by the lofty Himalayas on one side and the banks of the mighty Indus river on the other, this beautiful and picturesque park is the true display of Nature in its rawest and uninhibited form.
Established in 1981, eponymous to the grand Hemis Monastery, this large protected area is also home to almost 11 species of fauna and 30 species of avifauna. It also boasts being the only home of Shapu sheep which cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
Apart from the diverse wildlife, it also showcases the different landscapes found across the land of Ladakh. If you ask us, then we recommend you to visit this place between May and early October when the weather is calm and the roads are not blocked due to rainfall or snowfall.
One of the biggest tourist attractions of the Leh city in Ladakh, ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ or Leh Palace was the residence of the royal family of the Leh kingdom. Personifying opulence and grandeur, this nine-story royal palace was erected under the reign of Sengge Namgyal, the Lion King, during the 17th century. An impeccable and a flawless example of the medieval Tibetan architecture and finesse, this palace is one of the grandest and splendid structures in Ladakh. The lavish and the palatial ambiance uphold the royal standards and one truly does feel like royalty once they set foot here.
Snuggled in the laps of beautiful landscapes the palace also provides a picturesque and spectacular view of the of Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain range as well as town and surroundings beneath.
One noteworthy attraction is the victory tower which was built to memorialize the fierce 16th-century battle put up by the Ladakhi soldiers against the invading forces.
If one wants to explore and experience culture, opulence, and history simultaneously, then this is the perfect place for them. With several statues, paintings and texts one will find a repository of information that will surely quench their thirst for knowledge.
By: Sankalp Sharma on Unsplash
Built to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and promotion of world peace this calm-inducing structure was inaugurated in Ladakh in 1985 by his holiness Dalai Lama and established in 1991. The dome-shaped structure is in white symbolizing peace and nonviolence and it was designed by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission.
An architecture marvel, this place structure is known especially for its embellishing gilt panels, which recites the tale of Lord Buddha, and its pulchritude is emboldened at night when it is illuminated by divine white lights. Apart from that, this is the perfect place to witness the scenic sunrise and heavenly sunset.
The Stupa is divided into two levels, the first level contains the Buddha idol, and the second one features relics depicting the "birth" of Buddha, the death of Buddha, and Buddha "defeating the devils" while meditating.