Ladakh, Leh


This trans-Himalayan district of Jammu and Kashmir has now become a favorite of both adventure freaks and culture enthusiasts. As a specialist Leh-Ladakh travel management company, we provide you with both destination and product knowledge and wish to offer you some great real life experiences during your holidays in Ladakh. Ladakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 feet (2750m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Thus summer temperatures rarely exceed about 27 degree celcius in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20 degree celcius even in Leh. Surprisingly, though, the thin air makes the heat of the sun even more intense than at lower altitudes; it is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.

Best Time To Visit

Ladakh is open for tourist throughout the year, while the best period for tour and trek is from June to October. Most of the trekking routes are closed after November due to heavy snowfall at high passes except the Liker to Kahltsey (Sham) trek. The best period for Chadar trek is from January to Mid-March.


Indian Air Lines operates regular flight to Leh from Delhi, twice a week between Leh to Jammu and once a week from Srinagar. Jet Airways Operates daily flight between Leh to Delhi.


There are two overland routes the Srinagar to Leh road remains open from early June to November. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation operates regular deluxe and ordinary bus services.

Leh road remains open from mid June to early October. Himachal Pradesh tourism, HRTC and Manali private bus union, operates a daily bus services, which takes two days to reach Leh, after a night halt at Sarchu or Darcha.


Temperature in summer (June to September) can touch 30C and -20C in late December and January. Annual rainfall is 6.

Cuisine in Ladakh

Tourists in Ladakh can try local Ladakhi food, which is nourishing and usually mildly flavored. Favorites include Thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables that provides a complete meal and delicious Momos or steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables, accompanied by a fiery chili sauce.

There are also many bakeries in Ladakh where you can buy freshly baked bread and enjoy eating it with locally made Apricot Jam. There are many restaurants in Leh, where you can have an international meal or choose from Tibetan or Ladakhi fare if you prefer.

Ladakh Trekking

Things needed to bring for a trek:- Good pair of trekking boots, socks, warm-waterproof clothing, sunglasses, sun-hat, down feather sleeping bag, first aid kit, water purification tablets. All other things like Tents, Mats, Utensils, etc. are available on hire from us. For trekking Horses or Ponies are used. For trekking in Ladakh you must be prepared to face all difficulties.

Winter Trek Zanskar

The Chadar is not a trek but a journey; a journey into the heart of Zanskar-a land that is cut off from the outside world for over half the year, and can only be visited in winter by following one of the strangest trade routes in the world, the frozen Zanskar river. The river freezes in midwinter and is safe to walk on until late February. This spectacular trek follows the traditional trading route through the Zangsker Gorge. The Gorge – impassable during the summer months, is a lifeline to the outside world in the depths of winter.

Zanskar Trek
Lamayuru – Padum

This is a rigorous grade 10 days trek route crossing the highest pass of 5,100 meters. Passing through world’s highest mountains this is indeed a very good trek.

Padum – Darsha

This is also a 10 days trek leaving Zangskar region for Himachal Pradesh.

Hemis – Padum

It is a 12 days trek with over 100 river crossings on the way. It is a tough trek that is only possible when the water level goes down (from last week of August till September end).

Changthang & Rupsho Valley
Rumtse – Tsomoriri

This is an 8 days trek crossing three 5000+ meters passes on the way leading to the beautiful plains of Rupsho and the beautiful high altitude lake Tsomoriri at 4200 meters.

Lato – Tsomoriri

This is a 15 days trek leading to Rupsho Plains via Markha Valley and is a high altitude trek with almost crossing a pass everyday. The highest pass on the way is about 5300 meters high (Zalung Karpo La).

Nubra Valley
Saboo – Khalsar

This a 5-6 days trek crossing Ladakh Range from Central Ladakh for Nubra Valley in the north. Spectacular views of Karakoram Range on the way and crossing Khardungla (highest motorable road) on the way back are its special features.

Saboo – Phyang

This is a 14 days trek and is in continuation of the above trek from Nubra Valley back to Indus Valley at Phyang crossing Lasermo Pass (5200 meters)

Markha Valley

This is an 8 days trek and popularly liked by many of the trekkers in Ladakh. The highest Pass Kongmaru La is above 5000 meters.

Lamayuru – Hemis

This is also a rigorous trek of 12 days. The cost of this trek will be expensive as compared to other treks, as the trekkers have to change horses/ponies at Chiling while crossing the Zangskar River on trolleys.

Shaam – Region
Likir – Tingmosgang

This is a 5 days easy kind of trek with no high altitude passes on the way. Passing through beautiful villages and temples, this route is chosen by Ancient Tracks for Healing Programs [check Healing and Counseling (link to Special Packages section.

Mountain Climbing

The climbing season in ladakh extends from mid – May to mid -October, the ideal period being from June to September because it is during this time that Ladakh remains unaffected by the monsoon, which holds sway over most of the Himalayas. Though you have our travel experts and adrenaline junkies with you, you need to keep a few tips in mind during your adventure of mountain climbing in Ladakh. Being a climber, you need to keep the climbing route in mind. It is advisable not to carry used ropes, harness or slings. Beginners should prefer high top shoes with midsole. Your fingers, elbows and shoulders are more vulnerable to injury and you need to take care of them. Also carry a map to guide you along the routes you plan to take. Our travel counsellors will give you more information on major sites of mountain climbing in Ladakh and mountain climbing tours that we offer.

Thiksy Gompa
Thiksy Gompa
Hemis Gompa
Hemis Gompa
Hemis Gompa
Adventure in Ladakh

The two of the world’s most powerful mountain ranges the Karakoram and the Great Himalayas make Ladakh a much preferred adventure destination. The altitude in Ladakh ranges between 3505m and 2750m.


To cycle the Zig-Zag roads in Ladakh, one needs to be technicaly perfect biker as the roads are rough, though paved. A support car to carry ones luggage comes handy and helps to enjoy the great Himalayan range without any worry. Just remember to follow the code of conduct and observe the rules while you are cycling through Ladakh Himalayas.The best time for cycling is from mid June to September end.

Jeep Safari Tours

One of the most exciting jeep safaris in the Himalayas is through Ladakh. In Ladakh Tsmori-Ri, Nubra and Dah Hanu offer the toughest and most terrific Jeep safari in the Himalayas. Crossing the Khardungla pass, considered to be one of the highest motor able roads in the world is an experience in itself. Travellers can choose from a range of options and routes. Setting out on a jeep safari in Ladakh has its own rewards. Some of the most famous and preferred jeep safari regions and routes in Ladakh.

Yak Safari

Yak Safari in Ladakh is a safari with a difference. It is an experience unique to Ladakh. Exploring lakes, glacial valleys, gurgling streams, cascades, chiselled snow peaks, meadows, forests on a yak can be a lifetime experience. It offers breathtaking views of high peaks of this rugged land.


The climbing season in ladakh extends from mid – May to mid -October, the ideal period being from June to September because it is during this time that Ladakh remains unaffected by the monsoon, which holds sway over most of the Himalayas. The 10 essential things one requires while mountaineering are: a map, compass, extra clothing for changing, matches, fire starter, knife or multi purpose camp tool, sunglasses, extra food, first aid kit, headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries, sunscreen, water filter or other method of water purification and whistle as a crucial security item to keep handy when exploring unpredictable terrain. Special permit from Indian mountaineering Federation, is needed to climb peaks above 6000ft. A booking fee, based on the height and popularity of the allotted peak, is charged and a Liasion Officer is assigned to every climbing team. The minimum period required for processing applications is six months.


Ladakh has three major rivers, where you can undertake this adventurous Sport. Indus in Leh region, Shayok in Nubra and Zanskar river in Zanskar. A range of rafting options are available on these rivers. A range of rafting options is available on the Indus and its major tributaries. The scene is still in its infancy, but floating downstream in a rugged and beautiful landscape is a real thrill. Two different stretches of the river are used: from Spitok to the Indus Zanskar confluence at Nimmu, and from Nimmu to the ancient temple complex at Alchi. Experienced rafters may also want to try the more challenging route between Alchi and Khalsi, which takes in the kilometre long series of rapids at Nurla. The best stretch for professionally guided is between Spituk and Saspol. The most difficult but exciting option for river running is on the Zanskar along its spectacular course through the gorge in the Zanskar mountains, between Padum and Nimo.

Monasteries in Ladakh

The historic monasteries, also known as gompas, are located in the hills and mountains. Buddhist monks and nuns live, study and practise their faith in these monasteries. The Buddhist art and architecture can well be experienced here.

Hemis Gompa

Hemis, the largest monastery in Ladakh,was built in 1630. It belongs to the red sect, Brokpa. Hemis is different from the other important monasteries of Ladakh. is held for two days in June-July, enlivening the courtyard of the monastery.

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, built in 1430, contains a three-story high Buddha image and ancient manuscripts and frescoes. The fort above this gompa is ruined, but the views of Leh from here are breathtakingly beautiful.

Sankar Gompa

The Sankar gompa is located a couple of kilometers north of the town center. The gompa belongs to the Gelukpa order and has an impressive impression of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshwara Padmahari or Chenresig, with 1,000 arms and an equal number of heads.

Shanti Stupa

The Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese order and was opened by the Dalai Lama in 1985. From the top, one can view the exotic locales nearby. The stupa is located at a distance of 3 km from the Fort Road.

Likir Monastery

Know as Klu-Kkhjil (water spirits) founded in the 11th century AD and was rededicated to another monastic order (the yellow sect) in the 15th century, It contains huge clay images of Buddha and various old manuscripts. It also houses an interesting collection of thankas, old religious and domestic costumes and implements etc. Every year from the 17th to 19th of the 12th month the Likir festival is held.

Siptuk Monastery

The Gompa was founded in 11th century by Od-De The Gompa was named Spituk . The Spituk festival held every year from 17th to 19th days of the 11th month. It houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, icons and numerous thankas.

Cave Monastery

The cave monastery of Shergole is small but this old Buddhist monastery has elegant frescoes. It juts out of a brown, granite cliff and appears as if suspended in the middle of the mountain. This architectural quirk makes it an object of curiosity among local people too.

Thiksay Monastery

Thiksey is an imposing monastery and one of the finest example of Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. The 12 storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha’s teachings,there are sacred shrines and a many precious objects to be seen. Thiksey gustor (festival) held from 17th to 19th day of the 12th month.

Shey Monastery

There is another statue of the Buddha three stories in height.Stone carving and many chortens are scattered around the Dresthang Gompa. On the 30th day of the 1st Tibetan month celebrates shey rul-lo and on the 10th day of the 7th Tibetan month the festival of Shey Surb-lo is held.

Stakana Monastery

Built nearly 1580 by great scholar saint chosje Jamyang Palkar during the reign of king Jamyang Namgyal. The Stakna monastery is 45 Km south of Leh, founded on a hill shaped Stakna (Tiger nose). Easily accessible from Leh town.

Stok Place

The elegant four-storey Stok Palace stands above barley terraces studded with threshing circles and whitewashed farmhouses. Built early in the nineteenth century by the last ruler of independent Ladakh, it has been the official residence of the Ladakhi royal family since they were ousted from Leh and Shey two hundred years ago. Still worn on important occasions, the ancient headdresses, thought to have originated in Tibet, are encrusted with slabs of flawless turquoise, polished coral, lapis lazuli and nuggets of pure gold. Also of interest are a couple of swords whose blades were allegedly tied in knots as a demonstration of strength by king Tashi Namgyal Phugtal Gompa.

Alchi Gompa

On the banks of the Indus is the Alchi Gompa, dating thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from the likir monastery.

Zongkhul Monastery

The spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar, Zongkhul, falls on the Padum-Kishtwar trekking trail, just before the ascent of Omasi-la Pass begins. Situated like a Swallow’s nest on the rock face of the Ating George, the monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian Yogi, Naropa, who lectured in the Nalanda and Vikramsila Universities.

Lamayuru Monastery

Founded in the 10th century As the legend goes, Lamayuru was a lake. It was blessed by a Lama after which the water of the lake receded up to the mountains leaving place for the monastery to be built. Yundrung Kabgyad festival is held during summer on the 28th and 29th days of the 2nd Tibetan month. Lamayuru has fascinating caves carved out of the mountainside. For sheer spectacle value no other gompa can match Lamayuru.

Leh Palace

The captivating Leh Palace rises from the edge of a hill overlooking the town and stretches out towards the indigo sky. A miniature version of the Potala in Lhasa, the Leh Palace is one of the major attractions in ladakh. The palace was built in the 17th century and had nine storeys , but it is now dilapidated and deserted. It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh’s victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century. This palace built for King Singge Namgyal, now houses the Ladakhi branch of the Indian Government’s archaeological conservation organization.

Saei Gompa
Saei Gompa
Thiksy Gompa
Thiksy Gompa
Festivals in Ladakh

Ladakh actually comes alive during festivals. If you are passionate about culture, the festive season is the best time to plan your trip and come to Ladakh. A number of cultural shows, exhibitions and rituals are a part of these Buddhist festivals.


Hemis is the biggest and most famous of the monastic festivals

Ladakh Festival

This important festival changes location & dates every year.

Ladakh Harvest Festival

Ladakh Festival The blend of various cultures of Central Asian, Tibetan, Northern India are found in Ladakh.The duration of Ladakh festival is of 15 days i.e From the 1st to the 15th of September.Various sports such as polo and archery are conducted. Folk dances and songs, its age-old social And cultural ceremonies, its art and handicrafts, all come alive in a colorful kaleidoscope.

The festival usually starts from 1st september and lasts till sepftember 15th. It is a colourful celebration of the rich,cultural diversity of Ladakh’s people. The weeks long festivities are held all over the region. Music, theatre, polo, archery,& wedding ceremonies,are performed daily along with mask and folk dances,with the final carnival parade passing through the streets of Leh.

Sindhu Darshan

The Festival aims at projecting the Sindhu river as a symbol of multi-dimensional cultural identity, communal harmony and peaceful co-existence in India.

Tak- Tok Festival

Tak-Tok festival is celebrated at cave Gompa of Tak- Tok . It is among the major festivals of Ladakh. Celebrated in summer, it is yet another tourist attraction. The festival is celebrated with fanfare and locals from far-flung areas storm the place on the occasion.

Ladakh is a land like no other. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range.

Leh – Capital of Ladakh

Leh, the capital of Ladakh is situated at a height of 3505 meters and is towards the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The region is watered by the Zanskar River, which flows into the Indus River just below. Spilling out of a side valley that tapers north towards eroded snow-capped peaks, the Ladakhi capital sprawls from the foot of a ruined Tibetan style palace – a maze of mud-brick and concrete flanked on one side by cream-coloured desert, and on the other by a swathe of lush irrigated farmland. Leh is a beautiful destination with so many attractions and is the center of Tibeto-Buddhist Culture for ages. Its colorful gompas have attracted the devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Besides, it is also a favorite hiking locale and is known for some of the best hikes in the country.

King Sengge Namgyal who ruled Ladakh during 17th century and during whose rule Ladakh was at its greatest shifted his court from Shey to Leh. Leh became the regional capital and very soon the town blossomed into one of the busiest markets on the Silk Route. During the 1920s and 1930s, the broad bazaar that still forms its heart received more than a dozen pony- and camel-trains each day.

Leh’s prosperity, managed mainly by the Sunni Muslim merchants whose descendants live in its labyrinthine old quarter, came to an abrupt end with the closure of the Chinese border in the 1950’s. However its fortunes begin to look up after India rediscovered the hitherto forgotten capital’s strategic value after two wars in quick succession with Pakistan. Today, Khaki-clad Jawans (soldiers) and their families from the nearby military and air force bases are the mainstay of the local economy in winter, when foreign visitors are few and far between. Indian government’s decision in 1974 to open Ladakh to foreign tourists was a major shake-up. From the start, Leh bore the brunt of the annual invasion, as busloads of backpackers poured up the road Srinagar. Attractions in and around the town itself include the former Palace and Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, perched amid strings of prayer flags above the narrow dusty streets of the Old Quarter.

A short walk north across the fields, the small monastery of Sankar harbours accomplished modern Tantric murals and a thousand beaded Avalokitesvara (also spelt as Avalokiteshvara) deity.

Leh is also a good base for longer day trips out into the Indus Valley. Among the string of picturesque villages and Gompas within reach by bus are Shey, site of a derelict 17th century palace, and the Spectacular Tikse Gompa. Until one has adjusted to the altitude, however, the Only sightseeing one will probably feel up to will be from a guesthouse roof terrace or garden, from where the snowy summits of the majestic Stok-Kangri massif (6,120m), magnified in the crystal clear Ladakhi sunshine, look close enough to touch.

Shanti Stupa

The Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese order and was opened by the Dalai Lama in 1985. From the top, one can view the exotic locales nearby. The stupa is located at a distance of 3 km from the Fort Road.

Shanty Sutupa

Choglamsar is a Tibetan refugee settlement located in the outskirts of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir It is an important place to learn Tibetan culture and history. Places of tourist interest are a children’s village, a handicrafts center devoted largely to carpet weaving, and the Dalai Lama’s prayer ground – Jivatsal. Nearby attractions include Spituk, Sabu and Sankar monasteries. The place also houses a Diesel Power House and the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, the main training place for Buddhist monks. Choglamsar can be approached from Leh by a travel of 9 km on the road to Hemis.


The Gompa was founded in 11th century by Od-De The Gompa was named Spituk . The Spituk festival held every year from 17th to 19th days of the 11th month. It houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, icons and numerous thankas.

Pangong Lake

The beautiful high altitude Pangong Lake is also another popular destination with trekkers. It is a picturesque route that covers Shey and Thikse with their interesting monasteries, beforeturning off into the side valley of Chemrey.

It goes over the Chang-la (17,900 ft/5475m), the pass over the Ladakh range which despite it height is not too difficult to tackle. At the base of the pass, Tangse has an ancient temple. The trek ends at Spangmik which is the furthest point to which foreigners are permitted-about 7 km along the southern bank of the lake. Pangong Lake at a height of 14,000 ft (4,267 m), is breathtaking. Its blue green waters reflect the entire mountainscape of the Changchenmo range.

The largest brackish water lake in Asia-the Pangong Lake is practicalley an inland sea, being 150 km long 2 to 10 km wide. With half of it running to the other side of the Indo-China border. Despite of being a salt-water lake, it freezes completely during winter. There is no marine life here, save for a few migrating birds now and then like gulls and brahminy ducks.

Being at the border, the furthest point one is allowed to go to, is Spangmik, about 7 km along its western bank, but it is enough to take back the most beautiful memories of Ladakh. The very barren-ness and vastness of the area contributes to its striking beauty. Spangmik offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, and their reflections in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake’s brackish waters. Above Spangmik, one can see the glaciers and snowcapped peaks of the Pangong range.

The lake changes its colours with every season. It sparkles in various shades of blue, green, purple, and violet, which make it a true tourist delight.

Other Attractions

While on a trip to the Pangong lake, one can also visit the Darbuk village as an excursion point for its chain of war memorials. These memorials were made in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-China war of 1962. A few of the army bunkers and trenches are still in use. Local villagers can be seen here along with their large herds of Pashmina sheep and long-tailed yaks. The lake is an ideal site for bird lovers as well. Various migratory birds, including the black-necked Siberian crane, can be seen around the Mahe marshes for breeding and swarming in the cool colorful water of the lake.

Panggong Lake
Panggong Lake
Panggong Lake
Nubra Valley

The Nubra valley lies in the north of leh and is accessible over the Khardungla pass 5600 Mtrs which is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The valley is on the trade route from leh to Khangar via Samsar and Karakoram passed. Apart from unparraled trekking opportunities. The valley have serval Buddhist Gompas Diskit Gompa is 350 years old and is situated on the highest point near the village in which there are about 120 Resident Buddhist Monks.

Nubra Valley is also Known as the Valley of Flowers, Nubra is situated 150 kms north of Leh, and is the most fertile valley in Ladakh. Its gentle slopes transform into a verdant green in the summer months, hence its name (Nubra means green). It is dominated by two expansive flood plains through which run the Nubra and Shyok rivers. The glaciers in the area provide abundant water till the end of autumn and the terraced fields are rich in alluvial brought by the two rivers. Its population is predominantly Buddhist.

Unlike Leh or Zanskar, it is unaffected by Ecmodernization and is in the purview of the restricted area, where non-locals need an inner-line permit to visit.

Bactrian camels, sand dunes, Panamik hot sulphur springs, Deskit and Shamstaling monasteries, and the Khardung La pass are popular tourist attractions in the area.

Summers are warm, 5 ? 40C, and winter temperatures range from -14 to 24C. However, it is best to hire a jeep. Though the road to Nubra Valley remains open through out the year, summer months are best to visit, between June and September.

Nubra Vally
Nubra Vally
Camel Safari

Camel Safari on the Bactarian Mount are the most exciting. Enjoy a full day’s camel safari on Bactarian camels from Tirith to Diskit and from Diskit to Hunder. In a trip in this Mount, experience the thrills of river rafting, drive from Leh to Tirith over Khurdung La pass. Enjoy sheer beauty of nature from the Tso Morari drive.

Camel Safari
Diskit Gompa

The Diskit & Hundur Gompas of Ladakh are situated in the Nubra Valley of the Ladakh region. Built by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong-kha-pa, the Diskit Gompa dates back to the 14th century. There is a legend attached to this monastery. The Hundur Gompa in Ladakh is situated just below the main road, near the bridge. It goes that a Mongol demon, a sworn enemy of Buddhism, was annihilated near the monastery. However, his lifeless body kept coming back there again and again. It is further said that the wrinkled head and hand of the demon are still kept there in a dark and claustrophobic temple, packed with fierce Gods and Goddesses.

Diskit Gompa