This small town located in the river valley of an old trading route is full of culture and surrounded by natural beauty. Differing from the bustling and dusty streets of metropolitan India, it’s best seen by foot and most loved by those travelers who are eager to get in touch with the nature of this sprawling country. If you haven’t considered visiting Leh, here are 10 reasons why you should.
Trekking is a top activity to get into when visiting Leh and besides the natural beauty, there are plenty of trails that are both challenging and rewarding. For serious mountaineers and die-hard adventurers, consider Stok Kangri which stands at 6153 meters, or Mount Nun7,135 m and its neighbor peak Kun, 7,077 m.
The lakes surrounding Leh are a destination within themselves and offer stunning beauty to anyone who stumbles upon them. Try visiting Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, Mirpal Tso or Chagar Tso.
The mud houses and antiquated streets make the old town quite a site to wander through. Off season, there are few tourists here and it can make an excellent background for a photo session. Alternatively, from Leh town, you can also take a 1 hour taxi ride to Stok Village, where you can come up close and personal with the desert inhabitants’ way of living.
Buddhism is a way of life for many of the local people and wandering the temples here will help you learn more about it while taking in the stunning architecture. Temples worth visiting includes Shanti Stupa, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Karma Dupgyud Choeling, or Soma Gompa.
It requires a permit and hired transportation but this valley is absolutely a stunning sight. Located at the bottom of the Karakorum Range, the valley and sand dunes are incredible.
This attraction is free and perfect for animal lovers. Come visit the sanctuary that keeps the donkey residents safe and happy. You can even feed them carrots!
If you have an adventurous spirit, this activity is for you. Join a tour or a guide on the Indus and Zanskar rivers and be prepared for some pretty intense rapids.
If arranged through a travel agent, travelers can experience a bit of the local life and culture through a home stay. Observe daily life, try the food and interact with people who actually live there. A popular place to do a home stay is in Turtuk, located in Nubra Valley.
Because Leh is a town that was once important on the trading route, it is well connected to other destinations in India, making it perfect for road tripping. In fact, many guided motorcycle tours take visitors on a stop to Leh during their journey.
Everyone loves a good festival now and then and Leh has quite a few that are worth making the trip for. Try to travel there for the Hemis Festival which takes place in June and July to celebrate the birth of Padmasambhava. There is also the Losar Festival which is celebrated on the 11th month according to the Tibetan calendar and the colorful Ladakh Festival which takes place during September.