Ladakh Travel Guide

34° 05′ 57″ N, 77° 36′ 31″ E

Ladakh

Ladakh is a region of the north Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite being politically part of India, Ladakh could not be any more different from the rest of the country. Geographically, Ladakh sits in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, closer to the Tibetan plateau than it is to plains of India. Culturally too, this region is know as "Little Tibet", its people are Buddhists of Tibetan origin and the Ladakhi Language is a dialect of Tibetan. Ladakh is a high altitude desert, a barren and windswept land dotted with traditional villages and dramatic monasteries that separates the Great Himalayan range from the mighty Karakoram range to the north. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949, many Tibetans relocated to Ladakh to escape repression. 

Ladakh sees significantly less tourism than the rest of India, partly because it is not well known as a destination but also because its remote and high reputation makes it feel too inaccessible for many people.  The largest town, Leh, sits at an altitude of 3500m overlooking the Indus River and is surrounded by peaks well over 6000m high. The staggering beauty of the region along with the friendly and welcoming nature of the local people, make Ladakh one of the most incredible destinations you will ever visit and one of the few places where you can still see and learn about authentic Tibetan culture, language and religion. 

02:58 GMT +5.5

local time

Leh

capital city

59,146

area in km²

Ladakhi

main language(s)

Highlights in Ladakh

Prayer flags in Leh, Ladakh

Leh

The narrow streets and alley ways of Leh are the perfect place to start your exploration of Ladakh. Chat with the local people, pickup a few words of the language and take a walk up to Leh Palace for incredible views over the town and the Indus Valley. If you have arrived in Leh by air, it is best to spend a few days in town to adjust to the altitude.

Tikse Monastery Ladakh

Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey is the most visited of the many beautiful monasteries in Ladakh due to its proximity to Leh. Although it may feel more touristy, this is none the less a incredible place to explore and meet the monks who live on site. Look out for the enormous and intricate statue of Maitreya Buddha.

Stok Kangri seen from Leh

Stok Kangri

A beautiful 6000m peak clearly visible from Leh and part of the Stok Range. Rated as one of the easiest 6000m peaks in the world to climb, the summit was popular with trekkers but is currently closed.

Khardung La

At 5600m high, the Khardung La is the second highest navigable road in the world and the gateway to the beautiful Nubra Valley below. Each summer many people will drive to the top of the pass with mountain bikes and enjoy the long the descent on two wheels back to Leh. The highest road in the world is also found in Ladakh, the Umling La reaches nearly 5800m

Ganda La Pass

Nimmoo

At the village of Nimmoo, on the Srinagar to Leh highway, the Zanskar river emerges from the mountains and joins the mighty Indus river on its 3180km journey to the Arabian Sea. A truly beautiful sight and well worth a stop if you are passing by.

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