A distinctive region in the Jammu & Kashmir state, Ladakh is a vast highland desert lying between the Karakoram and the Himalayan ranges. The region is now organized into two districts: Leh and Kargil. Situated at an altitude of 3500meters above sea level is Leh - the biggest oasis of the mountain region and the heart of Ladakh, lies at the Tri junction of the historic silk route from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. Travellers are likely to see more of the Buddhists as the majority of the tourist attractions are in the east and directly related to Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Main Tourist Destinations in Ladakh



Leh is located in the Indus river valley at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Its importance as a trading town slowed down with the partition of British India, and ended with the closure of the border in 1962 during the Sino-Indian war. Since opening to tourists in 1974, it has become a bustling tourist town, with large numbers of Kashmiri traders. Leh Town (3,505m) has many historic monuments to visit, starting with the 9-storey Leh Palace built by King Singe Namgyal in the 17th Century. Above the palace are the ruins of the earliest royal residence and the Tsemo Gompa dating from 15th century. Below in the bazaar, the main sites are newly built Jo-khang and the 17th century Jamia Mosque. Leh Bazaar, by itself is a sightseeing attraction..



Kargil is in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is an important transit hub of Ladakh, with roads leading from here to Leh, Srinagar, and Padum in Zangskar. The unofficial capital of Muslim Ladakh, and capital of the Kargil district, it is still a small town. While interesting in many ways due to it's historic position on the carivan routes, nothing of this is visible to the casual visitor. It is notorious with travelers as a necessary stop between Central Ladakh, Zangskar and Kashmir.  The people of Kargil are chiefly agrarian, and have herded cattle and tended to crops for generations.



Zanskar is a modern day Shangri La owing to its near inaccessibility. The mountain passes leading into Zanskar are open for only a few weeks in the summer months. But once there, the intrepid adventurer is amply rewarded for his or her pains. The breathtaking beauty of this city in the cold desert area of Ladakh, the Gomphas and Buddhist temples of Zanskar, are the major tour attractions of the city. Zanskar Valley is currently approachable by road from a Kargil town which is second largest town in Ladakh region. It lies on the Srinagar - Leh highway. The main town of Zanskar region is Padum which is approx 240 km from Kargil. There is an intermediate town of Rongdum as well. There is currently a road under construction which will connect Darcha to Padum and onwards to Leh via Nimoo.



Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town. Non-locals require an Inner Line Permit  to enter Nubra.

Other attractions

  • Pangong Lake
  • Tsomoriri Lake
  • Tsokar Lake
  • Monasteries

  • Dah Hanu

How to reach

By plane

Daily flights to Leh are run by Indian and Jet Airways from Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and elsewhere. These are, however, subject to inclement weather and may be cancelled at any time, keep your schedule flexible. Altitude sickness is also a worry given the altitude.

By Bus

Buses run directly to Leh from either Manali or Srinagar. Enroute to Leh one can stop in a number of places , most will get off in Keylong , the administrative center for Lahaul. Overlooking Keylong is the Kardang monastery. This is the choice that most travelers will want to take due to the tense security situaton in Kashmir, however the road is only open from June to mid October due to snow fall.


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