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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top 10 Must-See Places in Ladakh (India)

 "Top 10 Must-See Places in Ladakh"

Ladakh, the lost kingdom, is a destination with many flavors. There is the spiritual, the adventurous, the tranquil, the quaint and so much more. There are plenty of places to visit here and loads of experiences to be had. Listing all of them can be a monstrous task. But like every other destination, it has its must-sees.
Here is a disputable list of top 10 must see places in Ladakh:

1. Pangong Lake

If ever one had to describe exotic and beautiful in one sentence, Pangong Lake would the perfect answer. The beauty of this place is just mesmerizing. The fascinating lake is known to change colors every season. Visiting it in different seasons is a mesmerizing experience every time. You could drive down to this beautiful spot, which is some distance away from Leh; or you could choose to trek from Leh to Pangong. Trekking is an experience in itself, as you get to pass through some important monasteries of Ladakh, including the Shey Monastery.

2. Nubra Valley
Literally translating to valley of flowers, Nubra Valley is an absolute must-see when in Ladakh. The best time to visit this fascinating is during the summer season, particularly in the months of May to August, when flowers are in full bloom. Majestic peaks overlook the valley, giving it the touch of surrealism. The valley is located about 150 km from Leh, and trekking to the destination is a delight. While in Nubra Valley, don’t miss on a camel safari between Hunder and Deskit villages, and a visit to Deskit monastery. 

3. Zanskar Valley
Another valley which is an absolute must-see in Ladakh is the Zanskar Valley. Located on the banks of Zanskar River, with Zanskar Range overlooking it, trekking through Zanskar valley is a delight in every season. But if you are into extreme adventure sport, try taking the Zanskar Valley trek in the months of January and February. It is during this time that you get to embark on a 20 day trek, which includes walking on the frozen Zanskar River and many other surreal experiences. 

4. Shanti Stupa
When in Ladakh, you cannot miss out on spirituality. A symbol of peace and brotherhood is Shanti Stupa, built by the Japanese. Located atop a small hill, the stupa offers adorable valleys of the valley. The architecture of the structure is a marvel in itself, and you can clearly see the Japanese influence here. 

5. Stok Palace Museum
For a rendezvous with the royalty of Ladakh, a visit to Stok Palace Museum is a must. Currently, the palace is home to the royal family of Ladakh. The museum has several beautiful artifacts on display, including bejeweled head-dresses and so much more. Too bad you cannot click pictures of these beautiful artifacts. If you are looking for a photo session, the lobby area and the outside of the palace are your best bet. 

6. Tsomoriri Lake

Talk of beauty in Ladakh and you cannot leave out the Tsomoriri Lake. It is a part of the Changthang Plateau, the largest and the highest plateau in the world. The lake is located about 8 hours away from the capital town of Leh, and you have your way through some bumpy roads to reach this mesmerizing lake. But the journey to this lake is far from painful. You get to pass through several scenic sights, including the beautiful Kyagar Lake. When you reach Tsomoriri, consider camping here for a bit. It is blissful. 
7. Lamayuru

This is a quaint village of Ladakh where you get a glimpse of the local life of people in Ladakh. But that’s not the only thing you can do in Lamayuru. This quaint village has some breathtaking peaks as its backdrop, apart from several important monasteries, including the Lamayuru monastery. The Lamayuru monastery is one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh, and a must visit here. If you are fortunate enough, you could even chat up some monks here and pick up some spiritual gyan from them. 

8. Hemis
Of spirituality as well as a wild adventure, that’s Hemis for you. This beautiful village of Ladakh houses the Hemis monastery, which is one of the most important monasteries of Ladakh. It is also a part of the Hemis National Park, which is home to the majestic snow leopard and several other exotic species of animals such as the blue sheep. Take a trek through this village and experience the eclectic mix of calm as well as adventure. 

9. Kargil
The town is infamous for being the battleground of an Indo-Pak war. But that hardly takes anything away from the beauty of the land. It is one of the largest urban centers of Leh, and is well known for its quality of apricots. It is also an ideal destination for several adventure activities such as trekking, mountain climbing, river rafting and much more. 

10. Thiksey Monastery
A spiritual tour of Ladakh isn’t complete without a visit to Thiksey Monastery. Located at a breathtaking height of almost 12,000 feet, it is one of the most grand monasteries of Ladakh. You are left awestruck by the grandeur of it as soon as you set foot inside this monastery. It has one of the largest Buddha statues in Ladakh, and the view you get from the top of the monastery is simply breathtaking. 

There is a lot more to be seen and done in Ladakh. Take your pick and embark on an eventful journey of Ladakh. You will be glad you took this break. 

This article was submitted by our guest blogger " Divij Pasrija"


krizzyla said...

The is really a nice place to go for vacation I note this suggestion of your places to be visit soon.


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