Leh used to be the capital of Ladakh state of the Himalayan kingdom, but now it is a part of J&K. It is the second largest district in India. The first being Kutch in Gujarat. The main attraction here is the ruins of the royal and Potala palaces which was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama till 1959.
It is situated at an altitude of 3524m and connects with Srinagar in the South West via NH1D and to Manali in South via Leh Manali Highway.
Leh is primarily dominated by mountains due to its high altitude. Both the Leh Manali Highway and NH 1D are open only seasonally whereby the rest of the times Leh is out of reach. When the Rothang pass opens up, only then does Leh accept visitors. Else it is always wrapped up in all its snowy mystery throughout the year. Needless to mention that Leh has an extremely cold climate, much like a ice desert.
During the first fortnight of July, there is a special ritual and teaching programme called the Kalchakra by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During this, Dalai Lama and his choicest disciples perform rituals and Dalai Lama himself gives preliminary teachings.
Leh is flecked with monasteries. One only better than the other. But there are many more attractions too. The list is long , but we some how managed to consolidate the main visiting place of Leh in it. When in Leh you must make it a point to visit – Shanti Stup, Leh palace, Hemis Gompha, Leh trekking trails, War Museum, Chamba temple, Jama Masjid, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Jo Khang Gompha, Namgyal Gompha, Sankar Gompha, Stok Palace, the Victory Tower, Zorawar Fort, Magnetic Hill, Pangong Lake, Tsomoriri Lake, Khardongla, Hunder Valley, Alchi Monastery, Sand Dunes Nubra, Siachen Glacier, Ti-suru andTurtuk.
Whew, that was a long list! But have faith, you will never want to leave this place once you are there.
It is the best idea to rent a bike from Wheelstreet , where you will get bikes like the Avenger and Bullet at affordable prices; because having your own vehicle in a city like Leh is a great advantage. You have to visit so many places in a short time, thus having a vehicle to your disposal is an added benefit.
Hoping you enjoy your visit as much as you enjoyed reading about it! Have fun and Happy riding!