Ladakh is a place like no other. The snow-capped mountains of the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges, the mesmerising confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers, the clear waters of the tranquil lakes and the beautiful community that lives in this gorgeous lap of nature; there is just so much to see and absorb. Nothing truly prepares you for the awe-inspiring vistas and Ladakh visiting places on a Ladakh Tour. Let me try to list down important Ladakh tourist place that you absolutely must visit though!
Ladakh Tour – Tourist and Places to visit
1. Pangong Tso
Do you remember the beautiful lake on the banks of which the climax of 3 Idiots was shot? That stretch of clear blue water is the calm and serene Pangong Tso. Pangong Tso means high grassland lake in the Tibetan language. The drive from Leh to Pangong Tso passes through many small villages and crosses the Pagal Naala or “Crazy Stream”. You would require an Inner Line Permit to visit the lake as it lies on the Indo-China Line of Control and boating is not permitted on the river.
2. Tso Moriri
Blue-white skies, bluish mountains with white tops, blue clear water lake and green flatlands. You cannot imagine more vivid bright colors, even if it were a painting. The Tso Moriri, or mountain lake in Tibetan, is on the Changthang plateau. The drive from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri through the remote Changthang region is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the Ladakh region. Permits are not issued for foreign nationals for this region and there are no petrol pumps in this stretch between the two lakes.
3. Zanskar Valley
Zanskar Valley is one of the most gorgeous Ladakh visiting places nestled between the Great Himalayan ranges and the Zanskar mountain ranges. The Zanskar river flows through the eponymous valley and the valley is quite aptly known as the true Shangri La. During summers, the river is perfect for river rafting expeditions. The valley is closed for about eight months in a year due to heavy snowfall but offers many skiing opportunities and it is the location for the famous Chadar trek.
4. Indus-Zanskar Confluence
Nimmu is a beautiful valley where Sangam point or the confluence of Indus River and Zanskar River is located. The Indus river originates in the Himalayan ranges and is the lifeline of the landlocked Ladakh terrain. The Zanskar river flows down the Zanskar ranges and is a actually a tributary of the Indus. The Zanskar river is usually frozen and appears shiny bluish white while the warm Indus river appears green. This creates a fascinating vista where one can see both the rivers distinctly even after merging.
5. Magnetic Hill/Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
This magical hill falls on the Leh – Kargil – Baltik national highway. So if you are entering Leh via Zoji La on your Ladakh Tour, you will see this before entering Leh. It is said that the hill has mysterious magnetic properties which pulls cars uphill. There isn’t a scientific explanation for the phenomena though there is a theory about it being an optical illusion. This is also a great chance to visit the nearby Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. It was built to commemorate Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Leh and it is heartening to know that the Tibetans revere Guru Nanak as a Buddhist saint under the name Guru Gompka Maharaj.
6. Nubra Valley
The Sand dunes of Nubra Valley during a Ladakh tour come as a surprise to most tourists. But it is also one of the most popular Ladakh visiting places. As per some local scholars, Nubra Valley derives its name from Ldumra (the valley of flowers), while others say that the origin of the desert is supposedly from the Tethis Sea from the depths of which the Himalayas are said to have risen. You have to take the Khardung La pass to access the valley. Foreign nationals are required to get a Protected area permit. While you are there, do not forget to take the camel safari through the sand dunes in Hunder.
7. Khardung La for photo-ops of your Ladakh Tour
Khardung La is most famous as the highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world and attracts many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. It is managed by the Border Roads Organization and is used to carry supplies to the Siachen glacier. One of the attractions at this place is also the highest cafeteria in the world and what’s more, it serves Maggi. Foreign nationals are required to have an Inner Line Permit to access the pass. The road is closed from approximately October to May due to snow. Plan ahead and try and reach early for his Ladakh tourist place!
8. Famous Monasteries in Ladakh
Ladakh is aptly known as the land of the monks and monasteries. The Hemis Gompa is the biggest in Ladakh and is the venue for the annual Hemis Festival held in July. The Spituk Monastery and Lamayuru Monastery are popular because of their beautiful locations. The Namgyala Monastery is known for the Buddha statue it hosts and the Likir Monastery for the intricate beautiful woodwork. You can visit some or all of them depending on your schedule amongst the Ladakh visiting places on your itinerary.
9. Hemis National Park
The Hemis High Altitude National Park, India’s largest wildlife sanctuary, is named after the renowned cloister, Hemis Gompa. The park is bounded on the north by the banks of the Indus River, and includes the catchments of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak, and parts of the Zanskar Range. The park is home to a viable breeding population of about 200 snow leopards, especially in the Rumbak catchment area. It is also the protected home for endangered mammals like Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and the red fox which makes it a must visit Ladakh Tourist Place.
10. Hall of Fame Museum & War Memorial and Drass War Memorial
The thing you notice the most while travelling around Ladakh are the army personnel and the difficult conditions they live in. Many a war has been fought in these tough conditions. The Hall of Fame museum and War Memorial near the Leh airfield was constructed in remembrance of the soldiers who have lost their lives in Indo-Pak wars and gives a great insight into the challenging high altitude conditions under which the brave soldiers of the Indian Army live and work, in one of the toughest terrains in the world. You must also pay your respect to the brave Indian army men martyred in the Kargil war, at the Dras War Memorial on Srinagar-Leh national highway. A Ladakh tour is incomplete without a visit to these overwhelming war memorials.
The best time to visit these fabulous places on a Ladakh Tour is June to September. Given the high altitude and change in temperature & pressure, a trip to Ladakh requires planning and preparation. If you are feeling adventurous then check out Ladakh Trekking and Adventure: A must do list.
Did you know we hosted the highest blogger meet at Khardung La on 16th July 2017? Did you know that the Sindhu Darshan Festival, is one of the most sought after Indian events in June. Also check out our list of 5 hill stations across India.
Start planning your trip with ScoutMyTrip and chat with us and we will assist you with the itinerary and preparation.