Set amidst the Indus river valley, Leh is a small town. Being the centre of Tibeto-Buddhist Culture from a long time, the region is full of colourful gompas. Leh Tourism takes one to a calm environment whose unique location has earned recognition across the globe. Every year a large number of tourists with different taste buds book from a range of Leh Ladakh tour packages and visit the location. Scenic location and spiritual ambience leave its guests speechless.
As per the rock carvings found in Ladakh, the history of the land dates back to Neolithic age. Earliest of its inhabitants were Indo-Aryans. During 1st century, Ladakh used to be a part of the Kushana Empire. It was only in the 2nd century that Buddhism came to western Ladakh from Kashmir. In the 8th century Ladakh was annexed by Tibetan Empire. It later became a part of the kingdoms of China and Tibet and also faced Islamic conquest of South Asia in 13th century. The last rulers here were the Dogra Kings who finally established their rule.
Tourists Attractions in Leh
This erstwhile Royal Palace was built in 17th century in typical Medieval Tibetan architecture. Also referred as Lhachen Palkhar, it was created in the same lines of Potala Palace in Lhasa. The palace was established by Sengge Namgyal, former ruler of the region. Although, the palace is in ruins now but still is a must visit place. This magnificent palace has its own story, which reflects the great history of the town. Situated on the hill, Leh palace commands a grand view of the town.
Timings: 07:00 am to 04:00 pm everyday.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
This famous Buddhist gompa or monastery was founded in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal of Ladakh. It is home to the three-storied gold statue of Maitreya Buddha. Inside one can also see many ancient Buddhist manuscripts and frescoes.
Headquarters of Ladakh Buddhist Association; this huge gompa in the Main Bazaar is a famous Buddhist monastery. It has a prayer hall with a crowned Buddha called Joyo Rinpoche and a statue of Guru Padmasambhava. Visitors here come to attend the morning prayers of monks.
Karma Dupgyud Choeling
About 9 km from Leh, this monastery is one of the major Dharma centres in Ladakh. It was founded in 1973 by Lama Chime Dorje Rinpoche and is being run by the Karmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhists. Inside the complex is a Dukhang (assembly hall) and monastery quarters including an office, classroom, kitchen and a library.
Standing on the rocky hillock above Changspa, this strikingly White Stupa, offers a spectacular view of the city below. It was built in 1991 by Japanese monks and is a symbol of peace and unity.
Biggest mosque in the region, Jama Masjid was built by Deldan Namgyal, the erstwhile ruler of Ladakh. It was an agreement between Namgyal and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Built between 1666 - 67 A.D; the mosque is dedicated to Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, a Muslim Sufi Saint.
Famous Treks in Leh to Choose From
There are numerous accommodation options in Leh that range from luxury, economy and budget stays or even homestays. Tourists can choose the one that suits them best and stands with their expectation and budget. Recently some monasteries are also providing accommodation facilities to the visitors.
Best Time to Visit
Weather in Leh is very harsh during the winters, though the pristine beauty of this place remains the same all year long. For sightseeing May till August is the best and for trekking expeditions September till February is perfect, as the temperature goes down to - 20?C. While planning during the winters, one must make sure that the roads are not blocked due to snow.
How to Reach
By Air: Leh is connected to Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar with regular flights to and from.
By Rail: Jammu and Udhampur are the nearest railway stations that connect Leh with rest of the country. From there, tourists need to travel by road for minimum of two days.
By Road: Tourists can use state transport or can hire private vehicle to reach Leh.
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