Ladakh lies in the western Himalayas of India. Leh, the capital of Ladakhsituated at 3500mis the largest town in the region. Ladakhis the highest altitude plateau region in India which incorporates parts of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River valley. The region is known for its remote mountain beauty and distinct culture.The climate of Ladakh is cold and dry as the Himalayas creates a rain shadow, denying entry to the moisture-laden clouds of the Indian monsoon. If you are looking for chilly weather, snow-capped mountains with a lot of adventure then a Leh-Ladakh tour with a local driver is the ideal option for you. Here are the top 5 places that you should visit during the tour:
NamgyalTsemo monastery is located above the Leh Palace and visible from everywhere in Leh. This 15th century monastery contains a three-storey high Maitreya Buddha along with ancient manuscripts and frescoes. The fort above the monastery is ruined, but the views of Leh from here are simply magical. The fluttering prayer flags around the monastery lend their own spiritual beauty.A zigzag path from Leh Palace is quite steep and the easiest route to take, but if you have just visited the palace, the lure to go this way might be hard to resist. You could also drive to the top.
Lamayuru monastery is 115 kilometers from Leh town and can be easily covered in a day trip. It was founded in the 11th century by Naropa, the main temple still has Naropa cave where he had meditated for years. Lamayuruis one of the most photogenic monasteries in Ladakh, situated on a hilltop above the village. The annual festival known as YuruKabgyat is the major attraction of the monastery.Itis also known as Moonland of Ladakh because of its distinct geological formation.
Nubra valley lies on the ancient Silk Route, the valley comprises the Shayok and Nubra rivers. Khardung La pass, the highest motorable road connects Leh and Nubra valley. This pass also serves as the gateway to the famous Siachen glacier which happens to be the highest battlefield in the world. Diskit has become Nubra’s commercial hub but it’s still a small modest village. About 10 kilometers west of Diskit is Hundervillage which is known for its sand dunes and camels. The Nubra valley is home to some of the best trekking routes in Ladakh. This includes the spectacular 5-day trek from Phyang to Hunder over the challenging Lasermo La pass at 5,450 meters above sea level.
This beautiful high-altitude lake is situated at 4530metres and it is 215 kilometers southeast of Leh. Tso-moriri Lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountain ranges in the Rupshu valley.The valley is inhabited by a small population of ‘Changpa’, who are nomadic shepherds. The area is rich in wildlife including the wild ass, black necked cranes and geese flock to the lake side for breeding during the summer months.In January to March, Tso Moriri remains mostly frozen, extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake.
Thiksey is one of the most famous monasteries in Ladakh. It is built on a hill slope with large courtyards, painted in red, yellow and white. The main attraction of the temple is the immense and beautifully gilded MaitreyaBuddha which is 15m-high. The monastery roof offers panoramic views of the Indus valley guarded by spectacular mountain range. The monastery also serves as a residential place for around 120 monks. Buildingsare also made in hierarchal order.