Leh-Ladakh – a blissful paradise with many enchanting colours! Call this portion of India as a nature lovers’ treasure trove, call it the ‘Mecca’ of adventure lovers, call it the Utopia of backpackers, call it the Shangri La of shutterbugs, or call it a wonderland blesses by Mother Nature herself, you would never go wrong!

Steeped with history and dotted with numerous natural marvels, man-made wonders, spiritual sites, and visited by millions every year, this is one fantasyland that would surprise you with something or the other. Every step you take here, would introduce you with picturesque landscapes, miraculous lakes, magical peaks, ancient monasteries & religious sites, scenic villages, and of course with its heart-warming locals.

Well, while Leh Ladakh has so much to offer, you can have a look at all the best places to visit in Leh Ladakh to get acquainted with its magical beauty. Here is a list of the must-visit places in Leh Ladakh; time to get Leh’ed!

Want to explore the magical land of Ladakh? Check out Ladakh Tour Packages.

10 Most Beautiful Lakes to Visit in Leh Ladakh:

1. Pangong Tso

(Ruddy shelducks flying off at Pangong Tso lake in India. Pangong Lake in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir State, India. Pangong Tso is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m)

While talking about the captivating lakes in Leh Ladakh, one simply cannot miss the Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake! Famed as one of the most beautiful saline lakes in the entire world. Flaunting its beauty across India and China, this lake is also known for its unique characteristics.
Even though it is located at a staggering height of 4,250m above the sea level, it never freezes down; no matter how cold the climate gets. Besides this, it is also known to change its colour multiple times throughout the day. Owing to all these, visitors often call Pangong Tso as the ‘magical lake’ in Ladakh.

(Mountains and Pangong tso (Lake). It is huge lake in Ladakh, altitude 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Location: 5-hours’ drive from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

2. Tso Moriri

(Buddhist prayer flags lungta at Himalayan lake Tso Moriri in the morning. Korzok, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Boasting of its heavenly beauty at an altitude of 4,522m, Tso Moriri or the ‘Mountain Lake’ is yet another hidden marvels in Leh Ladakh. A glacial lake in Ladakh’s Changthang Plateau, this lake never dries up as the nearby glaciers and mountain peaks mainly contribute as the primary water source of Tso Moriri.

(Landscape of Karzok village around Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh, India)

In addition to its magical beauty, you can also find a wide range of local as well as migratory birds around this lake. Owing to its beauty and natural significance, it has been declared as ‘Wetland of International Importance’ in 2003. Pertaining to its great height, the route to Tso Moriri remains closed during the winters; it is accessible only during the summer.

(Camps around Tso Moriri Lake in Changtang plateau, Ladakh, India)

Location: 5-7 hours’ drive (220km approx.) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to September (early part)

3. Yarab Tso Lake

(Hidden Buddhist Sacred Tso Yarab Lake. Himalaya mountains range. India, Ladakh, near Panamik, Sumur village, altitude 3300 m)

Located almost 15km from the scenic Diskit region, Yarab Tso is almost untouched by outer world. A hidden gem in the Nubra Valley, this pristine lake is known for its crystal-clear water and promising outlook.

Nestled amidst the Nubra Valley, Yarab Tso is also considered as a sacred site by the followers of Hinduism. Guarded by captivating peaks, though the surrounding of this lake is quite barren, visitors always get rewarded by its untouched beauty, serenity, and tranquillity.

(Highland landscape with hidden Buddhist Sacred Tso Yarab lake with buddhist praying flags. Himalaya mountains range. India, Ladakh, near Panamik, Sumur village, altitude 3300 m)

Location: 15km from Nubra Valley

Best Time to Visit: June to September

4. Tso Kar Lake

(Tso Kar salt water lake in Ladakh, North India. Tso Kar located in Rupsa valley, nearly 240 km southeast of Leh at a height of around 4,500 m and 28 km long.)

If you want to enjoy some of the most appealing as well captivating views while searching for the best lakes in Ladakh, Tso Kar Lake is where you should be! The pride of Rupshu Plateau, this saline lake is another untouched marvel in the entire of Ladakh region.

Considered as one of the most beautiful creation of Mother Nature, this lake is fed by a gurgling stream, and it supports a wide range of vegetation all across the year. To note here, since Tso Kar Lake is not always included in most of the tour itineraries, visitors can always expect a quiet and calm ambience around this pictorial lake.

(Tso Kar mountain lake in Himalayas. Rapshu, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Location: 32km from Rupshu

Best Time to Visit: May to August

5. Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso

Flowing at an astounding height of 5,000m above the sea level, Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso are often revered as one of the most charming twin lakes in Ladakh. Flowing across the Hanle and Nyoma regions in Ladakh, both these lakes are known for their shimmering beauty and appeal.

Accessible through rugged terrains and tricky trails, Kyun Tso and Ryul Tso promises an extremely soothing atmosphere to its visitors. Furthermore, as their clear blue water reflects the sunrays, it creates a magical spell all around.

Location: 5 hours’ drive (217km) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to August

6. Chagar Tso

Ladakh is the natural home to many hidden lakes; Chagar Tso or the Chagar Lake is one of them. A glacial lake on the way to the famed Pangong Lake, this lake is among the least explored lakes in Ladakh. Thus, a visit to Chagar Tso is always ensured with pleasant moments and serene beauty of nature.

If you are an avid bird watcher, you would surely fall in love with Chagar Lake. This place is a migratory ground to a number of avifauna species; both local and international. In addition to this, if you want to spend some time in seclusion, Chagar Lake will be second to none in Ladakh.

Location: 200km (approx.) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

7. Lang Tso and Stat Tso

Yet another twin lake in Ladakh, Lang Tso and Stat Tso are the true pearls in Zanskar region. Surrounded by awe-inspiring snow-clad peaks and towering mountains, both the lakes offer amazing views and a peaceful atmosphere to the visitors.

The fact that Lang Tso and Stat Tso are quite less visited by outsiders, they still hold onto their virgin beauty and appeal. A visit to both these lakes would never disappoint the visitors.

Location: Zanskar Valley

Best Time to Visit: June to September

8. Mirpal Tso

While most of the lakes in Ladakh region has rocky shores, this one would surely surprise you with its sandy shores! Located in the Chushul region of Ladakh, this is a freshwater lake that is cossetted by high rising peaks and the clear-blue open sky.

If you are searching for some of the most pristine lakes in Ladakh, Mirpal Tso must be included in your tour itinerary. Be it the stunning views around, the calmness of the lake, or the cool breezes fondling you, everything about Mirpal Tso will surely hold you captive.

Location: 5 hours’ drive (206km) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to September

9. Kiagar Tso

Located off the Leh-Manali Highway, this picturesque lake at 4,000m is an ultimate treat to the eyes. This lake is the home ground to some of the indigenous tribes of Ladakh. Saline in nature, this lake offers a serene and peaceful ambience throughout the year.

An oasis in the arid land of Ladakh, Kiagar Tso attracts visitors round the year. Also, since it is located within a proximity to the towering Chang Pass, it receives quite a large number of nature lovers, solitude seekers, leisure traveller, and others alike.

Location: 3 hours’ drive (192km) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June

10. Nyak Tso

Last, but not the least in the list of most beautiful lakes in Ladakh is the charming Nyak Tso. Though not exactly in the Indian territory; it flows through Tibet, one can have amazing views of Nyak Tso while touring around Ladakh.

In fact, the lake is just 30km away from Rudokh region in Ladakh. Its celestial beauty and picturesque settings make it a must to visit lake while in Ladakh.

Location: 30km from Rudokh

Best Time to Visit: June to September

Must Visit Monasteries and Religious Sites in Leh Ladakh:

1. Phugtal Monastery

Perched atop a hill and resembling much to a beehive or a gushing creek, this pious monastery is one of the most remarkable religious establishments in the entire world. Home to some of the most devout Buddhist scholars, teachers, and monks, the sacred Phugtal Monastery or Phuktal Monastery is a must visit monastery in Ladakh.

Dotting a hilltop in the Lungnak Valley in Ladakh, this religious site Phugtal Monastery is believed to have been visited by numerous great Buddhist scholars and preachers. Be it the architecture or the religious significance, Phugtal Monastery always finds a top rank in the list of places to visit in Ladakh; one should surely visit this sacred monastery while touring around Ladakh.

(Phugtal Monastery in Ladakh nestled on the cliff-side next to the River Lungnak. India)

Location: Lungnak Valley

Best Time to Visit: July to September

2. Shanti Stupa

An architectural marvel in Ladakh, Shanti Stupa is considered as the symbol of ‘peace’ in the entire valley. Built by the Japanese Buddhist Organisation, this white coloured structure resembles to a dome, and looks stunningly beautiful during both day and night.

(Budhist monument Shanti Stupa in Leh, Ladakh, India)

Built as a testimony to the completion of 2,500 years of Buddhism, Shanti Stupa was inaugurated in 1985 by His Holiness Dalai Lama. Since then, the stupa has been attracting Buddhist learners and followers, history lovers, leisure travellers, and others. Its religious significance and popularity among the visitors have gained it the fame of being one of the eminent landmarks of Ladakh.

(Shanti Stupa in night time, Leh, Ladakh, India)

Location: 5km from Leh Town.

Best Time to Visit: September to October

3. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

(Sculpture View of Namgyal Tsemo Monastery or Gompa is a Buddhist monastery on a hilltop mountain at Leh Ladakh , Jammu and Kashmir , India – Religion ancient building famous scene travel)

Nestled amidst captivating mountains, this holy monastery is estimated to be built in 1430CE by the then king named Tashi Namgyal. Seated atop the scenic Namgyal Hill, it is the home to one of the highest golden statues of Maitreya Buddha.

Being one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa boasts of its rich history and collections. In addition to the statue of Maitreya Buddha and numerous ancient scriptures, it also has ancient Buddhist paintings, statues of Lor Buddha, religious manuscripts, and lot more. Frescos within the monastery as so well preserved that they appear to be done recently. Overlooking the panoramic Zanskar Range and the gurgling Indus River, Namgyal Gompa is an ideal site to enjoy stunning views of the valley underneath.

(Namgyal tsemo monastery at Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, india., Leh Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.)

Location: 5km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

4. Spituk Gompa

(Budhist temple Spituk, better known as Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa, India)

An 11th century Buddhist monastery, Spituk Gompa is sits atop a scenic hill beside the Indus River in Ladakh. Located a few kilometres away from the town of Leh, this monastery comprises a series of tiers along with steps and an open courtyard.

Established by Od-de, who was the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od, this monastery was once the most traditionally rich monastery in the entire Ladakh Valley. It currently houses over 100 monks and other religious leaders. The fact that this Buddhist monastery has a giant statue of Goddess Kali, makes it one of the most unique and intriguing monasteries to visit in Ladakh.

(Spituk Monastery with view of Himalayas mountains. Spituk Gompa is a famous Buddhist temple in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.)

Location: 8km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: July to September

5. Chemrey Monastery

(Chemrey Monastery (Chemrey Gompa) in Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The Monastery was originally built in 1664.)

The striking edifice of Lord Padmasambhava in Chemrey Monastery would surely catch all your attention at your very first site! In addition to this, this 400-years’ old Buddhist monastery is also known for its vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and scriptures in gold and silver.

A prominent religious site for the Drugpa sect of Buddhism, this pious monastery was built by Lama Tagsang Raschen, and was later dedicated to King Sengge Namgyal in the year 1664. Chemrey Angchok, a popular and traditional dance festival that is celebrated every 28th and 29th day of Tibetan calendar is another reason to visit Chemrey Monastery.

Location: 40km towards the east of Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

6. Likir Monastery

White coloured buildings with appealing red coloured roof; this feature makes the Likir Monastery recognisable even from long distance. On getting closer to this sacred monastery, you will find find out that this is also one of most well-preserved religious sites in the entire of Ladakh.

An 11th century religious establishment, Likir Monastery in Likir hamlet belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. Built during reign of Lhachen Gyalpo, it is believed to be built somewhere in 1065AD. Whether you are on a spiritual sojourn or yearning for religious awakening, looking out for remarkable photography sites, or any other, Likir Monastery will answer to all your calls! To note here, visitors need to pay a small entry fee of INR 20 to visit this monastery.

Location: 52km towards the west of Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to October

7. Hemis Monastery

Located on the western bank of the gurgling Indus River, Hemis Monastery is undoubtedly the most popular and one of the highest visited monasteries in Ladakh. It is in fact synonymous to the entire valley! Founded in 1630 by Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso, it belongs to the Drukpa sect of Buddhism. Seating on a mountain peak, the current (the existing one) monastery was built in 1672 by Sengge Namgyal, the king of Ladakh.

In addition to its high religious significance and sanctity, Hemis Monastery is also known for the esteemed Hemis Festival. Dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, this festival is marked by a unique ‘Mask Dance’ that is usually performed by the monks wearing traditional masks and colourful attires.

Location: 45km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to July

8. Hundur Monastery

Hundur Gompa or the Hundur Monastery is located in the picturesque Nubra Valley of Ladakh. Located close to the Diskit Monastery, this pious monastery is uniquely designed and established. The main dome of this monastery is uniquely shaped resembling a silo, and is red in colour.

As Hundur Gompa is located close to the main road that connects Hundur village with other corners of Ladakh, it is easily accessible. Also, as this part of the valley is least populated and explored, visitors can expect a quiet and calm atmosphere along with a pristine outlook while visiting this pious monastery in Ladakh.

Location: Hundur Village (126km from Leh Town via Khardung La Road)

Best Time to Visit: June to August

9. Diskit Monastery

Deskit Gompa; also known as Diskit Gompa or the Diskit Monastery boasts of being the oldest as well as the largest monastery in the scenic Nubra Valley. It is also one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. Belonging to the Gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) of Buddhism, this pious monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century.

The main hall in Diskit Monastery displays a promising statue of Maitreya Buddha. The hall also has large drum on the first as well as second floor. The drum on the second floor showcases images of guardian deities in fierce forms. From the roof of the gompa, one can enjoy the best views of alomst the entire of Nubra Valley.

Location: Nubra Valley (160km from Leh)

Best Time to Visit: May to September

10. Sankar Gompa

Known to be the daughter-establishment of the renowned Spituk Monastery, Sankar Gompa or the Sankar Monastery is one of the closest monasteries to Leh town. Studded with rich history and heritage, the monastery has around 108 volumes of Buddhist teaching dotting its front balcony. One can also find many images of Lord Buddha; Sakyamuni (or the present Buddha) in three different forms here.

The main hall of this monastery is known as the Du Khang; the hall is adorned with high ceilings. The hall also has the main throne that belongs to the chief religious Lama of the monastery. One really needs to visit Sankar Monastery to explore and discover all its marvels and collectives.

Location: 3km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: March to October

11. Alchi Monastery

Alchi Gompa; popularly known as the Alchi Monastery, is a Buddhist monastic complex that is mainly divided into four different religious complexes within the Alchi hamlet in Ladakh. Displaying a unique mix of architectural skillsets and characteristics, all the complexes of Alchi Monastery are poised with remarkable statues of Lord Buddha and ancient paintings that could be aged centuries.

The monastery complex is further divided into – Assembly Hall called Dhukhang, Sumtsek, and the Temple of Manjushri. One can also find two more temples called the Lotsabha Lhakhang or the Translator’s Temples and Lhakhang Soma. Smaller chortens are yet another remarkable features of Alchi Monastery.

(Alchi Monastery (Alchi Gompa) in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The Monastery was originally built in 10-11th century.)

Location: Alchi Village (66km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: May to October

12. Thiksey Gompa

Visit the scenic Thiksey hamlet in Ladakh to encounter spirituality at its best at the pious Thiksey Monastery. Located around 3,600m above the sea level, this holy gompa is among the highest monasteries in Ladakh. Sharing resemblance with Potala Palace in Lhasa, it is also a popular pilgrim centre among the followers of Buddhism.

According to the legends, the site of this monastery was decided by a crow who placed a piece of cake at the hilltop; where it stands today. Whatever be the legends, but the site, the architecture, and the religious significance of Thiksey Monastery is very high, and it is considered as one of the highest order monasteries in Ladakh.

(Ancient buddhist Thiksey Monastery, Leh-Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Thiksey is one of the Picturesque monasteries of Ladakh)

Location: 18km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: October to November

13. Maitreya Buddha

(Buddhist temple of Maitreya Buddha , called the “Future Buddha” – Buddha who will appear in future in this world.)

While visiting the sacred Diskit Monastery, one simply cannot miss out the grand statue of Maitreya Buddha or the Jampa Buddha! Measuring up to 32m, this impressive statue can be seen from almost every corner of the Diskit region. Though the statue high religious significance among the followers of Buddhism, the fact that it promotes world peace, earns it the fame of being a universal landmark.

Built in 2006 to promote world peace, this promising statue of Maitreya Buddha was unveiled by His Holiness Dalai Lama in 2010. The statue has a hall underneath that houses large collection of Buddhist teachings and scriptures along with statues of Shakyamuni Buddha and Guru Rinpoche.

Location: Nubra Valley (160km from Leh)

Best Time to Visit: June to September

14. Samstanling Monastery

(Samstanling Monastery with beautiful view of Himalayas Mountians – it is a famous Buddhist temple in,Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.)

Estimated to be 140 years, the holy Samstanling Monastery was built by Lama Tsultim Nima. Located in a quaint village called Sumlur in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, this pious establishment is nestled amidst scenic background, and it showcase a unique traditional touch in its architecture. Painted in all red, gold, and white, this monastery is dotted with religious flags both in its exterior and interior.

While entering the monastery, visitors are usually greeted by a young monk; aged 7 years, who also blesses each of the visitors. On entering Samstanling Monastery, visitors could find detailed wall paintings that depicts Lord Buddha’s life and teaching in vivid ways. The Lord’s lectures are also well portrayed within these paintings.

(Samstanling Monastery (Gompa) among the mountain in the Sumur village of the Nubra valley region, northern of Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Tibetan Buddhism style.)

Location: Nubra Valley (120km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: June to September

15. Stakna Monastery

While strolling around Leh, if you happen to come across a point that resembles a tiger leaping up to the sky, you know you are around the Stakna Monastery! Also known as the ‘Tiger’s Nose Monastery’, this sacred establishment was built by Chosje Jamyang Palkar in the 16th century.

A marble statue of Avalokitesvara within the centre of the monastery is the main attraction of this monastery. Going inside, visitors will find large assembly hall called the Dukhang that showcases numerous painting of Sakyamuni, Tsephakmad, and Amshi. There are paintings of renowned Buddhist gurus from different period within other chambers of the monastery. Bodhisattvam Tshong-san-Gompa, and Padma Sambhava are some of the notable figures depicted though the paintings; in order to explore the entire of Stanka Monastery, one should visit the site!

Location: 21km (approx.) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to October

16. Phyang Gompa

The primary monastery of the Red Hat sect of Buddhism, Phyang Gompa or Phyang Monastery is is located atop a fascinating hill called Phyang. Overlooking a village underneath, this pious monastery resonates white and ochre shades; and this is visible from faraway places.

Believed to be established by Chosje Damma Kunga in 1515, it is undoubtedly one of the oldest monasteries around Leh town. The monastery houses multiple sacred shrines and frescos that may date back up to 900 years. It also has a museum that has a remarkable collections of bronze statues that are almost 900 years old. Phyang Monastery also hosts an annual festival called ‘Gang-Sngon Tsedup Festival’ on the 17th-19th day of Tibetan calendar’s first month.

Location: 15km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to October

17. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib

(Gurudwara Pathar Sahib in Sikkim temple for indian people visit and respect praying on Srinagar highway at Leh Ladakh on March 20, 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Unlike most of the religious sites in Ladakh, this one is dedicated to the followers of Sikhism in the valley. A revered place of worship for the Sikhs, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is a testimony to the presence of Guru Nanak Dev in Ladakh during 1517-18.

Legends have it that the pious religious leader visited this site while on his way to Punjab after visiting Nepal, Tibet, and Sikkim. Another legend says that this site was once dominated by a demon. On the request of the local Guru Nanak Dev visited this site to subde the demon, who eventually stopped troubling the locals after sever failed attempts to harm the religious guru.

Location: 25km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to September

18. Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery

A monastery that should be credited for the rise and growth of Buddhism and its cultural values, Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery is considered as a major religious site for the Karmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhists. Among all the 17 Karmapas in the entire valley, this one holds a prominent value.

The complex of the Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery comprises of a mud-brick complex that has the main hall called Dukhang. Other constituents of the monastery include living quarters and working spaces like classrooms, offices, kitchens, and a library decked with Buddhist literature and scriptures.

Location: 9km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to September

19. Mulbekh Monastery

(Buddhist temple of Maitreya Buddha , called the “Future Buddha” – Buddha who will appear in future in this world.)

Nestled amidst scenic vistas near Kargil, Mulbekh Monastery is yet another devout monastery to visit in Ladakh. Reaching a height of 3,304m, this monastery is known for its sanctity and a wonderful statue of the Maitreya Buddha that has been cut out from a rock.

Believed to be carved during 8th century, this statue is often called as ‘Chamba’. Surprisingly, this statue of Maitreya Buddha also resembles to Lord Shiva, and many considers it that way. The monastery site also houses numerous pieces of ancient relics, inscriptions, frescos, and other intricate works from the 14th century.

Location: 45km from Kargil

Best Time to Visit: May to September

Tourist Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh:

1. Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE), Hanle

India has always been a pioneer in Science and Technology. While in Ladakh, you can have a livelier glimpse of India’s feat in Astronomical Science by visiting the Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE) located in Hanle; around 254km from Leh Town.

Famed as India’s largest and world’s highest gamma-ray telescope, MACE is a high-tech telescope that has a diameter of 21m and is perched at an elevation of 4,300m. Equipped with around 356 mirrors along with 1,000 cameras, MICE is extensively used to observe and study Cherenkov radiation.

Location: Hanle (254km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: December to March

2. Magnetic Hill

(A gravity hill where slow speed cars are drawn against gravity is famously known as “Magnetic Hill” , a natural wonder at Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Ladakh is truly a land of wonders, and as already mentioned, you may end up unravelling one or the other wonders at every step while in here. The fascinating Magnetic Hill is one such wonder that attracts almost all the visitors to Ladakh. Defying gravity, this hilly region seems to pull any vehicles upwards, or vehicles roll uphill in this region all by themselves.

Well, though this phenomenon might sound unbelievable, one must visit the Magnetic Hill to experience it. Adding to this quirky fact, this part of Ladakh is fringed with captivating hills and meandering trails. This also makes the Magnetic Hill an ultimate place to indulge in nature photography.

(Magnetic hill sign board near Magnetic hill in Leh, Ladakh, India, Asia.)

Location: 27km (approx.) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: July to September

3. Royal Leh Palace

Adorned by the gracious charm of the mighty Himalayas, the Royal Leh Palace or simply the Leh Palace is synonymous to Ladakh’s history. Nine storeys high, this magnificent palace was built by Sengge Namgyal in 1600, and it has endured its charm and allurement till today. Once the official residence of Ladakh’s royal family, it now houses a museum and is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.

(The former royal palace of Leh among the Himalayan mountain in late October at sunrise. At the background is the line of the highest motorable road to Khardund pass â?? Leh, Ladakh, India)

At present, Leh Palace showcases a wide range of displays that could be at least 450 years old. On display, there is a large collection of ancient jewellery, royal attires, traditional dresses, and much more. One can also find Chinese thangka paintings on the inner walls of the palace. The roof of Royal Leh Palace serves as a promising spot to enjoy panoramic views of Leh town and the nearby locales.

(Night view of Leh city, Leh palace and Himalayas. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India)

Location: Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June

4. Kargil

A true gem in the Zanskar Range of the mighty Himalayas, Kargil was once a part of the Jammu and Kashmir before it got merged with the territory of Ladakh. Considered as the Line of Control between India and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), this scenic town if fondly called the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’.

Comprising mostly of rough mountain ranges and rugged landscapes, this town is located at an average height of 2,676m on the banks of the Suru River. A portion of this town called Drass is known to be the coldest inhibited place on earth. To note here, this is the town that witnessed one of the ferocious wars called ‘Kargil War’ between India and Pakistan in the year 1999.

Location: Kargil District (234km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: May to September

5. Zanskar Valley

Seated at an astounding height of 12,000ft above the sea level, Zanskar Valley is one of the most magical places to visit in Ladakh. A Buddhist kingdom, this part of the world is known to be least populated, and hence the region has maintained impeccable beauty and allurement till date.

A sub-district of Kargil, Zanskar Valley is a treasure trove for nature lovers, thrill seekers, honeymooners, leisure travellers, and almost all the other classes of travellers. Located around 105km away from Leh town, this pictorial valley is dotted with high-rising mountains, snow-capped peaks, gorgeous meadows, gurgling rivers, and numerous other natural marvels. If you are planning for a Ladakh trip, make sure you don’t miss out the magical Zanskar Valley!

Location: 105km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

6. Nubra Valley

The picturesque Nubra Valley is as old as the history of Ladakh itself. Located on the ancient Silk Route, this valley falls within the route to Siachen, which is known to be the highest battleground in the world.

Unlike most of the regions in Ladakh, this portion is quite arid and is the natural home to the exotic double-humped Bactrian Camels. Due to the fact that Nubra Valley leads to Siachen, visitors need to acquire special permits to visit this valley. For foreigners, they need to get a ‘Protected Area Permit’ and Indian nationals must get an ‘Inner Line Permit’ to visit Nubra Valley in Ladakh.

Location: 160km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June & September to October

Check out Kashmir Tour Packages to explore more of such mesmerising valleys.

7. Stok Palace

(Beautiful scenic view of Kings palace and twisty road in Stok against the background of distant colorful mountain range, the surrounding Leh city, Ladakh range, Jammu & Kashmir, Northern India)

A must visit destination in the entire of Ladakh, Stok Palace needs no introduction! Once a summer retreat of the royal family of Ladakh, this royal piece of architecture was built by King Tsepal Namgyal in the year 1820. Seating gracefully amidst Singey Sangpo Valley, the palace reflects the exquisite lifestyle and rich traditional values through its unique Ladakhi architecture and flamboyance.

Flaunting a number of verdant and colourful gardens, Stok Palace houses a library that is well-stocked with a large collection of ancient books, scriptures, and 108 volumes of ‘Kangyur’ (teachings of Lord Buddha). The palace also has a museum that showcases royal clothing, treasures, swords, and lot more. Visitors to Stok Palace can now get to experience and enjoy its royalty as the palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel with six elegant guest rooms.

Location: 15km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: June to September

8. Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary

An indigenous home to the rare Snow Leopards, Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary or the Hemis National Park is the highest wildlife sanctuary in the world. Situated at a height of 3,300 to 6,000m above the sea level, this wildlife reserve spreads across 600sq.km, and is known for its exotic dwellers.

Established in 1981 and located at such a towering height, Hemis National Park is quite poor in terms of vegetation. It is mostly barren, and receives heavy snowfall during the winters. Despite all these, it serves as a natural home to other endangered species like Ibex, Shapu, Bharal, Wild Sheeps, Goats, and others. If you are searching for the best places to visit in Ladakh, Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary is something that should not be missed by any means!

Location: 50km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: September to March

9. Lamayuru Town

The ‘Moonland of Ladakh’, or Lamayuru Town is yet another natural marvels in the region. A quaint town on the Leh-Srinagar Highway, this town; it is also referred as a village by many, is known for its promising beauty and landscapes that resembles much to the surface of the moon. And thus, it gained the name ‘Moonland of Ladakh’.

Dotted with small, yet captivating hillocks all around, Lamayuru is also the home to Lamayuru Monastery, which is known to be the oldest monasteries in Ladakh. The town/village also serves as an ideal destination for stargazing and overnight camping. If not in the mood of camping, visitors can choose from a range of heart-warming homestays or local guest house to spend pleasant moments in Lamayuru.

Location: Leh-Srinagar Highway (125km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: June to September

10. Dha and Hanu

Dha and Hanu are two of the five villages that belongs to the Brokpa (Drokpa) villages community. Two hotspots among the tourists, these two are in fact the only two hamlets that allows tourism. Steeped with history and many fascinating facts, Dha and Hanu can also be called as the ‘Land of the Flower Women’ owing to the fact that women in these villages always wears flower in their hats.

These indigenous Drokpa people are believed to have settled in Dha and Hanu somewhere around 2,000 years back. History says, they were a part of the army of Alexander the Great. If you are looking for pleasant moments amidst calm and serene locales, Dha and Hanu could be your next best places to visit in Ladakh.

Location: 163km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: October to June

11. Nyoma

A tiny village in Ladakh, Nyoma seats on the banks of the alluring Indus River. One of the least explored villages in the entire region, the village is a treasure trove for nature lovers, nature photographers, and leisure seekers.

An ‘Advanced Landing Ground of Indian Airforce’, Nyoma also boasts of its historical significance. The village also has a sacred Buddhist monastery. However, to visit this monastery, one has to acquire an ‘Inner Line Permit’. If you are planning for a trip to Ladakh, please do visit Nyoma to explore and discover its untouched beauty and pristine nature.

Location: 180km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: September to May

12. Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary

A sprawling ground to a wide range of flora and fauna, Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is a true treat to visitors’ senses! Tucked on the fascinating Changthang Plateau at an elevation of 4,000m, it is also one of the highest wildlife sanctuaries in Ladakh, and also in the world.

Though the 1,600sqkm covered by Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is considered to be arid and rugged as well, it supports a number of floral and wildlife species. To name some of the commonly found inhabitants of this sanctuary, there are Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wild Ass, Dark-necked Cranes, Brown Bear, Wild Yak, Tibetan Wolf, and lot more. The sanctuary also boasts of more than 200 floral species, among which many are known for their medicinal properties and commercial value.

Location: Changthang Plateau (153km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: May to December

13. Hall of Fame Ladakh

(Indian flag in the Hall of Fame, Leh, India)

Unlike most of the tourist places in Ladakh or the popular places to visit in Ladakh, Hall of Fame is dedicated in the memory of the brave Indian soldiers. This historic establishment is a museum that was built by the Indian Army to commemorate the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers while defending their motherland during Indo-Pak war.

This glorious museum has large collection of weapons used by the Indian soldiers, arms and ammunitions captured from the enemy soldiers, soldiers’ uniforms, apparels used by soldiers guarding the Siachen Glaciers, and much more. On a whole, a visit to Hall of Fame would surely incite a sense of patriotism and to understand the hardships and struggles our soldiers go through while protecting us from the enemies!

Location: 4km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May (mid) to October (mid)

14. Tibetan Market

(Front view of Tibetan shop clothes and souvenirs outside the tourist town of Leh, India)

Known as the heart of Leh town, Tibetan Market is the confluence ground of many cultures, traditions, beliefs and faiths. One of the most colourful places to visit in Ladakh, this local marketplace is also the meeting ground of shopaholics touring around Ladakh.

Dotted with local stores and visited by many, the market is extremely popular for local handicrafts, artefacts, and other items. Most of the shops here deal with locally produced goods, and one can shop here till their heart content as the Tibetan Market is also known for its budget-friendly prices!

Location: Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: Year Round

15. Panamik Village

A hidden gem in the scenic Nubra Valley, Panamik hamlet is one of the most offbeat places to visit in Ladakh. Accessible via the Khardung La Pass, this village is mostly known for its natural hot springs, alluring charm, and friendly locals.

Situated on the banks of the Nubra River, visitors throng this rustic village to enjoy therapeutic hot springs and soothe their body, mind and soul. Adding more, Panamik is also considered as a centre of local arts and crafts. This village is a bustling ground of local craftsmen and weavers who are known for their extraordinary skills in Pashmina shawls, Kashmiri shawls, Tibetan artefacts, and lot more.

Location: 142km from Leh Town (via Khardung La Road)

Best Time to Visit: June to September

16. Tiger Hills

17. Tsemo (Victory) Fort

18. Drass War Memorial

High Mountain Passes to Visit in Ladakh:

1. Khardung La Pass

(Khardungla Top, Khardungla pass highest motorable road in the world, Leh Ladakh, India.)

At an altitude of 5,359m (17,582ft), Khardung La Pass takes all the pride of being one of the highest motorable passes in the world. Opened in 1988 to public, this awe-inspiring pass is often called the ‘Gateway to Nubra and Shyok Valleys’. A hub spot for all thrill seekers to Ladakh; mainly bikers, this pass is also a promising destination to enjoy the majestic views of the mighty Himalayas and its snow-capped peaks.

(Khardung La pass, India. Khardung La is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m.)

Location: 39km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June and September to October

2. Lachung La

A towering pass that connects Leh and Manali, Lachung La Pass attains a height of 5,059m (16,600ft) above the sea level. Known to be one of the easiest mountain passes in Ladakh, Lachung La is located within Sarchu and Pang. Owing to its easy accessibility, it has become of the most sought-after destinations among the adrenaline junkies. Biking, trekking, hiking, and photography are some of the commonly enjoyed activities around Lachung La Pass.

Location: 195km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: October to June

3. Tanglang La

An enthralling pass on the second highest mountain in Zanskar region, Tanglang La Pass is an adventure junkies’ favourite destination. Dotted with sharp turns, rugged terrains, and tricky curves, reaching this pass at 5,328m (1,7582ft) above the sea level could be a test of one’s patience and skills. Accessible through the Leh-Manali Highway, Tanglang La Pass is also a cradle of untouched natural beauty and charm.

Location: 108km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June and from September to October

4. Chang La Pass

Famed as the third highest motorable pass in the world, Chang La Pass is another major tourist attraction in Ladakh. Flaunting its exhilarating beauty at an elevation of 5,360m (17,590ft), this high-towering pass can be accessed through Leh via Sakti and Kharu hamlets. Compared to other high passes in Ladakh, Chang La Pass offer quite a steep climb. This is in fact the reason Chang La Pass has become a sought-after destination for adrenaline mongers; especially among the bikers.

(Chang La pass in Ladakh, India. Chang La is the main gateway to the Changthang Plateau located in Indian Himalaya. It has an elevation of around 5,360 m. and lies on the way to Pangong Lake from Leh.)

Location: 75km (approx.) from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: May to October

5. Baralacha La Pass

If the beauty of the Baralacha La Pass has to be described, one should know that this is the point where two different world meets each other. Yes, this mountain pass separates Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh Valley; both these places have entirely different landscapes and outlook. While one side of the pass showcases the celestial Himalayan Range, all draped in snow, the other side has an enchanting display of dense forests and deep gorges. If you are looking for some challenging moments or spend some serene moments, Baralacha La Pass could serve as the most befitting destination for you!

Location: Leh-Manali Highway (282km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: April to October

6. Taglang La Pass

Following the Khardung La Pass in Ladakh is the lofty Taglang La Pass. Standing at an elevation of 5,328m (17,480ft), this is the pass where you can meet and greet the Changpa herdsmen who are one of the primitive nomads of Ladakh region. Accessible through the 21-Gata Loops, Taglang La Pass runs adjacent to the Leh-Manali Highway; the pass is also located close to Sarchu and Upshi. Though the pass remains almost closed throughout the winter, adventure seekers do dare to stop over Taglang La Pass and challenge the extreme challenges and obstacles across this pass.

Location: 108km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June

7. Fotu La pass

A pass that connects Srinagar with Leh and takes the visitors through the Himalayan Zanskar Range, Fotu La Pass is among the highest motorable passes in Ladakh. Perched at an astounding height of 4,108m (13,478ft), this pass is in fact the highest point on the highway that leads to Zoji La Pass.

Location: 129km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: April to June and September to October

8. Namikala pass

Namika La Pass, also known as the ‘Pillar of the Sky Pass’ is the one that follows the fame of Fotu La Pass. Located along the Leh-Srinagar Highways, this pass also connects Srinagar with Leh, and is the second mountain pass between the towns of Leh and Kargil. Reaching a height of 3,700m (12,139 ft), Namika La Pass is the last pass in Ladakh region. On a usual day, you can find amazing rock carvings of the Maitreya Buddha and prayer flags cossetting the pass. From the pass, visitors can also revel in the breath-taking beauty of the Himalayan Zanskar Range.

Location: 165km from Leh Town

Best Time to Visit: January (mid) to March (Mid)

9. Zoji La

Considered as an important route that connects Ladakh with Kashmir, Zoji La Pass falls on the National Highway-1. Measuring around 3,528m (11,649ft), this pass receives heavy snowfall during the winters. As a result, it mostly remains closed during winters. However, with all the efforts of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), this pass experiences a decent flow of traffic during the rest of the year; even during the winters as well. Just to add here, Zoji La Pass was once captured by Pakistani army, but was later recaptured by Indian Army with full honour and dignity.

Location: 9km from Sonamarg (319km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: April to September

10. Umling La Pass

Though Khardung La Pass was initially known to be the highest motorable pass in the world, it was overtaken by Umling La Pass. Attaining an astounding height of 19,300ft above the sea level, this towering pass was a part of the ‘Project Himank’, which itself is known to be one of the most challenging projects ever undertaken by Border Road Organisation (BRO). Stretching over 86km, Umling La Pass is soon become a hotspot among the thrill seekers. And to mention here, this is one of those exhilarating mountain passes in Ladakh that is yet to be found on ‘Google Maps’!

Location: 108km from Hanle (approx. 370km from Leh Town)

Best Time to Visit: June to October