Leh Travel Guide

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Women wearing traditional dress in Leh

Women wearing traditional dress in Leh

Kenneth Carden (cyclingken)

Leh, which is the biggest town in Ladakh, is connected to Srinagar by a long road through the Kashmir Valley and over some high Ladakh passes.  Alternatively you can motor in via the amazing road from Manali, or fly in from Delhi.  Either way be cautious of the altitude, as Leh is situated at 3,521 metres above sea level.

From a vantage point Leh is like an oasis of green fields with small winding streets and colourful houses with brushwood stored on the roof for winter - the sort of place where you will undoubtedly want to stay and relax a bit before setting off trekking, rafting, cycling or on to another Indian state.

Twenty years ago Leh was just two intersecting streets and a polo ground, but in summer it now bustles with action.   In winter, when the only way access is from Delhi by air, Leh goes into hibernation.  

The Buddhist influence is ubiquitous like a calming tonic and the gompas (monasteries) in and around Leh are simply stunning. The other main attraction in town is Leh Palace, a nine storeyed palace built by Ladakh’s ruler Sengge Namgyal in the early 17th century as a small replica of the Potala Palace in Lhasa.   It is a brief climb up from the city and offers exhilarating views.

The peak of Stok Kangri dominates the horizon from Leh, and many treks in the Leh area take one up to or around this mountain.  

Other popular multiple day excursions from Leh are to the Nubra Valley, to Tso Moriri and Tso Kar high altitude lakes, and to the monastery at Lamayuru.

Popular day excursions are to the monasteries of Thikse, Likir, Alchi and Hemis.

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February 15, 2006 change by cyclingken

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