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Ladakh Holidays: Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Ladakh

Disappear into the beauty of High Mountain Passes…..

We all need an escape in life. It could be from anything. In my case, it’s travel. Travel makes my life meaningful. Like me, some of you might like to travel to different places to add a purpose to your life, to have some moments of self-introspection, to get mesmerized by the fact that new places have so much to offer to us in terms of knowledge, culture, interesting stories and the best part, Thrill. Thrill of escaping the monotonous daily routine of city life.

Today, this blog would be about a place which is often called ‘Land of high Passes’. Yes, you are right. It’s Leh – Ladakh. It houses some of the highest mountain passes in the world like Ziji La, Chang La and Namika La etc.; it is a land of interesting stories and myths, to be precise ancient stories and myths on Buddhism.

Ladakh is a land of the coldest deserts in the world; it is a land to be lost in the beauty of rugged terrains and click awesome pictures; seeking solace in numerous Gompas and satisfy your adventures soul by indulging in various adventure activities like trekking, rafting, paragliding, mountain climbing, biking etc.

You will also encounter various remotest villages and get fascinated by their rustic life. The place has a rich cultural heritage and an awesome palace – Leh Palace. The list is endless and this is just the tip of an iceberg. Ladakh Tourism Map is filled with numerous beautiful places to overpower your soul with delight. Ladakh will never be monotonous as it has so much to offer to a tourist. Ladakh is one of the best places to visit in India for a vacation.

In this blog, I will mention the top 10 best tourist places in Ladakh to help you plan your trip to this beautiful and fantastic world of bliss.

  • Pangong Lake
  • Lamayuru
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Kargil
  • Khardung- La Pass
  • Magnetic Hill
  • Spituk Gompa
  • Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tso Moriri Lake
  • Chadar Trek

Recommended Ladakh Tourism Packages

Pangong Lake – Color Changing Lake

Pangong Lake Ladakh

Situated at the height of 4350 m in the Himalayas, Pangong Lake is the world’s highest salt water lake.  Picturesque mountains in the background, landscaped vistas and tranquil blue waters of the lake would teleport you into the world of fantasy. It is one of the most popular points of tourist interest in Leh Ladakh. Pangong Lake got its name from a Tibetan word ‘Pangong Tso’ which means ‘High Grassland Lake’. The most interesting fact about this lake is that it changes its color, appearing blue, grey, green or red at different points of time. You can only feel its true bliss, if you visit here once.

Highlights – May to September is the best time to visit Pangong Lake.

Also Check Out: Popular Lakes in Ladakh

Lamayuru – Moonland of Ladakh

Lamayuru Ladakh

Have you ever seen a moonlike landscape for real? No? Then Lamayuru in Leh is a place to be in. It is often called a ‘Moonscape for tourists. It was founded in the 11th century by Mahasiddacarya Naropa. The landscape of Lamayuru is surreal, sublime, moonlike and divine.

Lamayuru is known for its rugged landscape, odd geographical formations, picturesque views and Lamayuru monastery which is situated at a height of 3510 meters. If you are looking for a beautiful place to click some awesome pictures then Lamayuru is one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit in Ladakh.

Highlights– Yuru Kabgyat is the annual festival of Lamayuru Monastery which is the center of attraction of this monastery. The famous mask dance performed by Lamas is the best part of this festival.

Also Read: Must Visit Monasteries in Ladakh

Zanskar Valley – Valley of secluded serenity

Zanskar Valley

Zanskar is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Leh Ladakh. If you are in a need of solace and serenity then this desolated Himalayan range will definitely soothe your mind and soul. It is less crowded and beautiful which would be a perfect destination to spend some moments of peace. Glittering blue of the skies, snow covered steep terrains, awesome weather and mind – boggling water bodies will be the perfect landscape to disappear in the folds of time to dance and dream.

Highlights– June to September is the best time to visit Zanskar Valley. Trekking adventure, Paragliding, water rafting in Zanskar Valley are some of the best things to do in your Ladakh trip.

Also Read: Incredible History of Ladakh

Kargil – Adventure Hub

Kargil War Memorial

Your Holidays in Ladakh are incomplete without visiting Kargil. Kargil is one of the top tourist attractions in Ladakh. It is situated on Srinagar- Leh highway. If you are a thrill seeker, you must not miss Kargil because it is a hub of adventure sports like trekking, camping, river rafting and mountaineering etc.

The most interesting part is the Line of control which is just 11km away from Kargil. It divides India from Pakistan. It is also a tourist paradise as many beautiful and old gompas and monasteries, scenic valleys and stunning mountain ranges will come in your way when you wander like a wanderer in its lanes.

Highlights- Sumdo chinmu village to Alchi, Zoji, Padum to Lamayuru are some of the best trekking adventures you can enjoy in Kargil, during your Ladakh trip. May to July is the best time to visit Kargil.

Also Read: Popular Adventure Sports Activities in Ladakh

Khardung- La Pass- Scenic Motorable Pass

Welcome to the highest motorable passes in the world. What? You haven’t visited Khardung- La Pass yet? Really? Then you must visit this place once in your lifetime as it is one of the must visit tourist destinations in Ladakh.

Khardung – La Pass is a gateway to Nubra and Shyok valleys. It is an endless world of scenic vistas. The thing of beauty and bliss is here forever. For a thrill seeker, nature lover, solace seekers, Khardung – la pass is one of a kind. You will never be able to forget its charm if you visit here once.

Highlights– May to September is the best time to visit Khardung- la Pass. It is the best place for adventure bikers.

Also Check Out: Other Popular Mountain Passed in Ladakh

Magnetic Hill – Place Where Gravity Fails

Magnetic Hill Ladakh

It is one of the most popular Ladakh Tourist attractions in Ladakh. I am sure you would definitely want to see a place where science takes a backseat and gravity has no meaning. There is a yellow sign board in Magnetic hill which says ‘The phenomenon that defies gravity’.

It instructs you to park your vehicles at the base with a white point on the road, which is also known as magnetic road and when you park your vehicle at that spot, your vehicle will automatically move forward. Isn’t it interesting? This place should definitely be on your list of top places to visit in Ladakh.

Highlights- May to September is the best time to visit Magnetic Hill. The best thing you can do here is photography of the scenic vistas.

Also Read: Religious Tourism in Ladakh

Spituk Gompa – Seek the Divine Grace

Spituk Gompa Ladakh

Travelling to Ladakh would elevate your travel experience to a higher level if you visit some sacred places to seek solace.

Spituk Gompa is one such place to be in. It is also one of the most popular destinations in Ladakh. The gompa is located at the top of the hill and the scenic views from the hill would overpower your mind with delight.

The Gompa was established in the 11th century by Od- De.  It houses the divine image of Mahakaal which is only shown in the annual festival of Spituk in January.

Highlights- Spituk Monastery’s Museum has a rich collection of ancient masks, Thangkas and antique items. May to September is the best time to visit Spituk Gompa but if you want to enjoy the Spituk Festival then visit in January. 

Also Read: Arts & Culture of Ladakh

Hemis National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary – Say Hello to the wild world

Hemis National Park

How many of you are fond of exotic and rare wildlife species, endangered flora and pristine wilderness? I am sure all of you would love to visit Hemis National Park Wildlife Sanctuary in Ladakh. It was named after Hemis Monastery in 1981.

Your experience of witnessing this nature’s wonder would be interesting if I tell you that this wildlife Sanctuary is full of alpine vegetation like Veronica, Anemone, Gentiana, Lloydia etc and animals like Snow Leopard, wild sheeps, shapu, ibex and goats, bharal, dholes etc. would blow your heart away.

Don’t forget to look for 70 different species of birds like Throated thrush, Robbin acceptor, Himalayan whistling Thrush etc.  This place is one of the best places to explore in Ladakh.

Highlights – May to October is the best time to discover Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary in a Jeep Safari.  Do visit Hemis Monastery, it is very famous for its mask festival.

Also Read: Ladakh Wildlife Information

Tso Moriri Lake – Hidden beauty of Ladakh

Tso Moriri Lake Ladakh

If you are exploring Ladakh then Tso Moriri Lake should be the place you must not forget to be in. It is one of the offbeat destinations to explore in Ladakh. Located in Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Tso Moriri Lake is a piece of heaven for the people who love calm and scenic places.  It is not wrong to call it one of the most beautiful places in Ladakh to enjoy your day. It is 4000 meters above sea level, decked with snowcapped mountains all around, beautiful migratory birds and rare Tibetan wolves.  For honeymoon couples, this place would be an absolute bliss because of its picturesque setting which gives a romantic feel.

Highlights– May to August is the best time to visit Tso Moriri Lake.  During January to March this lake remains frozen. It is located near the Line of actual control. You Need an Inner Line Permit to visit this place.

Also Read: Best Time to Visit Ladakh

Chadar Trek – Once in a lifetime experience

Chadar Trek

What could be the experience of trekking in a frozen lake? Have you ever thought about that? Well, if you want to experience something like this, Chadar Trek would be one of the best things to do on your Ladakh Trip.

Holidays in Ladakh without trekking aren’t fun. So, one must take part in adventurous trekking for once in a lifetime. It is a popular river in Zanskar valley which remains frozen in winters. It resembles a Chadar i.e. blanket of ice. Its beauty is always at its peak which is best for clicking awesome pictures for wonderful moments and memories. If you are visiting Ladakh, you must do Chadar Trek, it will make your trip wonderful.

Highlights- Best time to do this trek is between January to February.

Also Read: Best Season for Trekking in Ladakh

I know that this list is not enough to explain the beauty of Ladakh. There are other numerous beautiful places to visit in Ladakh which I will cover in my next blog. The places I mentioned come in the list of top 10 places to visit in Ladakh. I hope this will definitely help you in planning a wonderful vacation in Ladakh.  Ladakh is a place one should definitely visit if they truly want to know the meaning of beauty and adventure.

Other Important Ladakh Tourism Information Links

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What are the latest Covid 19 guidelines to travel in Ladakh?

The latest Covid 19 guidelines to travel in Ladakh are –

  • All the passengers arriving in Ladakh both by air or road must have a negative RT-PCR report which should not be less than 96 hours. At the point of arrival, RAT test will be mandatory for the tourist irrespective of having RT-PCR negative report.
  • Traveler must download the Arogya Setu App.
  • Covid 19 negative certificate is mandatory.

Q.Do we need permits to visit Nubra and Pangong?

Yes, special permits will be needed to visit Nubra and Pangong.

Q.What is the best way to travel to Ladakh, by air or by road?

It totally depends on your preference. Ladakh is a very scenic location. If you want to enjoy picturesque views then traveling by road is the best option for you. However, a road trip is a long journey. There are two routes for Ladakh by Road, one is through Manali and the other is through Srinagar. By Air is the best option for those who want comforts and want to reach Ladakh in a hurry and then enjoy the scenic spots. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh is the nearest airport which is connected with the major cities. Travelling by air will save a couple of days and there is no need to take a Rohtang Pass Permit.

Q.Is Ladakh a safe destination to travel with small kids?

Ladakh is safe to travel with family or small kids but with some precautions.

  • If you are travelling with an infant or a small kid then do not plan your trip to a high or low altitude place. It's not safe for health purpose.
  • Weather might not be suitable for small kids, so keep warm clothes.
  • Keep your and your kids body hydrated.
  • If the kid is not physically fit then a trip to Ladakh is a big NO.
  • Newborns will be sensitive to everything. Be it weather, sunlight, snow etc. So, travel when they are at least 7 to 12 months old. It is not medical advice but precaution is always necessary.

Q.What are some of the most essential things to carry on a Ladakh Trip?

  • All the important travel documents and Id card, driving license, Aadhar Card etc. is essential to carry in Ladakh.
  • Passport size pictures
  • Medical insurance
  • Comfortable footwear and warm clothes. Pair of socks, mufflers, gloves and caps.
  • Necessary medication to prevent altitude sickness
  • Camera, because you will come across beautiful locations.
  • Power bank, spare battery, extra memory card and charger

Q.What type of clothes should I carry on a Ladakh Trip?

Ladakh’s weather conditions will be harsh, depending on the time you are travelling. Always carry heavy woolen clothes, comfortable footwear, thermals, gloves, socks, jackets for your comfort. In summer, you can carry light cotton T-Shirts and light jackets. If you are travelling in Rainy season then carry a raincoat, a pair of shoes and light clothes.

Q.How is the mobile and internet connectivity in Ladakh?

Post -paid connections work well in Ladakh. At a few places Airtel connection would work but BSNL will not function properly. You have to get a BSNL or MTNL postpaid connection. In major cities your internet will work well but you will get the facilities of internet not more than 3G. At some places there is no connectivity.

Q.How is the ATM facility in Ladakh?

In Leh market ATM facility is available but at another places ATM is hard to find. So, please carry enough cash, as small shopkeepers will not accept cards.

Q.Are there any direct flights for Ladakh from Delhi & Mumbai?

Yes, if you are travelling to Ladakh from Mumbai then Go Air, SpiceJet operates flights from Mumbai for Leh. It is a very convenient option. From Delhi also Indigo and Go Air offer flights to reach Ladakh. Depending on the time you are going, prices of flights will be raised or reduced.

Published: 05 Aug, 2021

About the author

Pallavi Roy

She is a candle who burns and melts in the chaos of infinity, from where her visceral whistles and leaves an imprint of desire in her heart to know the map of an Island where there are different sunrises and sunsets. Her curiosity brightens to conquer the hearts unrelieved and sometimes mysterious. Her name is - Pallavi Roy - A traveller by soul and a writer by Profession.