Leh Ladakh is probably a destination that is on almost every travelers’ bucket list. The awe-inspiring landscape and untouched beauty are what make it a hit among travelers all over the world. From its snow-clad peaks to cold deserts, from massive glaciers to spectacular mountains, this place is a complete package. It doesn’t stop here, Leh of Ladakh has many other attractions and things to do that give ample opportunities for tourists to explore the place to its fullest. 

Some Geographical Details Of This Dream Destination

tour package to leh
Mesmerizing views of the snow capped mountains.

India’s best tourist destination Ladakh is situated at a height of 3,500 meters above sea level. This union territory is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the west, Himachal Pradesh to the south, and the Karakoram Pass to the north. It also lies between the mighty Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges. As Ladakh is one of the highest regions of the world it has untouched natural features which consist mainly of high plains and deep valleys. Leh and Kargil are two districts of Ladakh of which the largest town, Leh is its capital. 

12 Best Things To Do In Leh

The desert landscape, spectacular mountains, valleys, and lakes can be explored better by indulging in the fascinating activities that this place has to offer. Check out our list of the 12 best things to do in Leh that will help you soak in the vibes and the warmth of Leh. 

Soak In The Stunning Views Of Pangong Lake

weather in ladakh
Mountains and Pangong tso Lake.

Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso is a 12-kilometer-long landlocked lake that extends from India to Tibet. As the lake falls on the Sino-Indian Actual Line of Control a Leh permit is required to visit it. Being situated at an altitude of almost 4500 meters it is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world. A unique feature of the lake is that it keeps changing colors from azure to blue to green and sometimes grey too. The true craftsmanship of nature is sure to leave you spellbound. Camping, bird watching, star gazing, lakeside bonfire, and other activities can be enjoyed here. During winter the temperature drops down to very low levels making the water in the lake freeze. It’s no surprise that Pangong Lake tops the list of every tour package to Leh.

Suggested Reads: Why Pangong Tso Lake Is Enchanting And Deserves A Visit

Ride The Double-Humped Camels In Nubra Valley

cheapest flights to leh
Camel safari in Nubra Valley, Ladakh, India

Nubra Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers is one of the most beautiful destinations in Leh Ladakh. From huge mystic mountains to rivers and from beautiful monasteries to remote villages, Nubra Valley has everything an adventure enthusiast needs. What attracts tourists the most to this valley is the double-humped Bactrian camel rides. Hundar in Nubra Valley offers these camel rides that take you through highly contrastive landscapes and can see the landscape alter from green apricot fields to dry terrain and then snow-capped peaks. The Khardungla Pass which is the highest motorable pass in the world is a part of Nubra Valley. It is under military supervision because of its proximity to Siachen Base camp, which is the highest battlefield in the world. This is undoubtedly one of the most scenically beautiful and adventurous expeditions of them all.

Go Motor Biking On Narrow And Rocky Terrains

take a bike on rent in leh
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For all you adrenaline junkies, a trip to Ladakh is incomplete without experiencing riding on the highest motorable roads. This unique riding experience is not going to be a piece of cake but reaching the top is sure to bring a great sense of achievement. You could choose between the narrow & rocky terrains of Khardung La Pass or the picture-perfect landscapes ride to Tsomoriri Lake. We assure you that riding experience on both these popular routes is an opportunity of a lifetime and there is no doubt that this is among the best things to do in Leh. Driving on lonely but beautiful roads and camping under a blue sky with mountains around is one of the most adventurous things to do. So take a bike on rent in Leh and go on a nerve-wracking bike ride to add some extra adventure to your Leh Ladakh trips.

Visit Thiksey Monastery For A Wholesome Experience

leh elevation
The huge Buddha Maitreya statue in Thiksey Monastery

Standing 11800 feet above ground is Thiksey Monastery, the most imperial monastery in Leh India. It is best known for its extensive architecture and pilgrim activities. This is where one of the songs of the popular Hindi movie ‘Dil Se’ was shot. The building with 12 floors has a display of ancient swords, traditional paintings, artistry, stupas, thangkas, statues, and more such beautiful things of the religion. One of the many attractions here is the temple of Maitreya Buddha where a colorful 49-foot-high Buddha statue is erected. Exploring the corners of the Thiksey Monastery and taking part in the annual ritual of Gustor are one of the best things to do while visiting Leh. 

Experience Anti-Gravitation At Magnetic Hill

mistic magnetic hill in leh
Magnetic Hill is a gravity hill, a famous place located near Leh, Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway, is a gravity hill where vehicles move against the force of gravity. You have to see it to believe what happens at the famous Magnetic Hill of Leh. Cars parked tend to start moving up the slope by themselves when parked at a specific location. This road is believed to have some amazing magnetic properties. Its magic or science, this place still remains an unsolved mystery. There are many theories that prove for and against science. If proven, it will be a major breakthrough and one of the Earth’s new geological wonders. People come in from all parts of the world to experience this rare phenomenon. Travelers must put this amazing hill on their Leh tour bucket list to experience this magnificent tourist attraction. 

Stroll Around The Royal Leh Palace

weather of leh is great for outdoor tours
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The Royal Leh Palace built by King Sengge Namgyal of Tibet is the perfect spot to enjoy heavenly panoramic views of Leh. This historic location that was once the palace of Ladakh’s royal family is today a heritage site and hub of Buddhist culture. It gives a glimpse of relics and items used by the royal family. The nine-storied palace has historical paintings, antiques, room accessories, royal jewelry, and other extraordinary artifacts from the 17th century. Spend some time admiring the Mount of the Stok Kangri and the Zangskar range which are clearly visible from the roof of the palace. The palace is open for public viewing between 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This simple yet striking place is a must-visit for people who love exploring historical monuments.

Revive And Rejuvenate Yourself At Shanti Stupa 

Beautiful sunset with views of shanti stupa
Shanti Stupa a symbol of peace and unity

The Shanti Stupa, a symbol of peace and unity was built to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace and prosperity. This magnificent white-domed Buddhist monument is a perfect getaway for both: the ones looking for a spiritual experience and also for those who want to capture nature’s wondrous beauty. Kickstart your day with a sunrise from here as it’s considered to be the best place to catch the sunrise. It is also a great point to gaze at a sky full of bright twinkling stars at night. Due to its religious and spiritual significance, visiting Shanti Stupa is one of the most wondrous things to do. The climb up of 500 steps is quite tiring but the 360 view from above makes up for all the hard work. 

Spot Wild Animals At Hemis National Park

winters are best time to spot snow leopards
The famous snow leopards can be spotted only in the winter.

Bordered by the Himalayas in the north and the Indus River on the other side, Hemis National Park is a high-altitude national park. Being spread across 4,400 square kilometers, it is considered the largest national park in India. The best attractions here are the 200 or more snow leopards, wild sheep, Tibetan fox, Eurasian brown bear, and the many species of birds. The famous snow leopards can be spotted only in the winter. The rich flora and fauna of the park along with its picturesque landscapes makes for an awesome outdoor location. So walk in and explore Hemis national park as it is one of the best attractions in Leh Ladakh.

Trek To Zanskar Valley 

Mountains, blue water and grey sand
The threarening paths of Zanskar valley.

The Zanskar Valley trek in the heart of Ladakh takes you through numerous mountain ranges, passes, Leh valleys, and rugged terrains. Its threatening paths, difficult alleys, and remote corners take days to explore. It can take anywhere between 3 to 20 days. One has to be mentally and physically fit to complete the treks. Owing to its breathtaking views and awe-striking natural setting, this place attracts tourists from all over the world. Extract the maximum out of this trek as this is the closest you can get to nature. You can even come to Zanskar Valley for other thrilling activities like river rafting, skiing on frozen lakes, and exploring small villages like Padum and Rangdum.

Relish On Some Local Delicacies

mouth watering cuisine
Momos and dumplings are classic dishes in the mountains.

Because of its geographical setting, Leh in India offers multi-cuisine food which has taken influence from Indian, Tibetan, Korean, and Chinese. For food lovers, one of the must-try activities is to taste the local delicacies. Classic dishes like, momos (dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetable), thukpa (noodles with veggies soup), skyu (stew), and Tingmo (Tibetan bread) are a must-try. Momos is the most favorite of them all. Yak cheese, butter tea, and Chang (local alcoholic drink) are other things you should taste before leaving Leh City. 

Interact With Monks In A Monastery

Visit a Monastery to interact with the monks
Buddhist Monks walk around adorned in the famous red robes.

Leh and Ladakh being a Buddhist-dominated areas, it’s no surprise to see so many Monasteries around. Monks walking around adorned in red robes are common sights here. The bright colorful prayer flags, beautiful architecture, whitewashed stupas and paintings all tell us about the rich culture of this place. Visit a Monastery and interact with the monks and learn about their divine experiences, traditions, beliefs, and culture. You can also join them in prayers and meditation to get connected with God. 

Explore And Go Shopping At The Local Markets

crowded market place
The tourist walk and shop in the Market, the local market for souvenirs in Leh Ladakh

Finally, end your Leh vacation with a shopping spree at the local market. From Ladakhi Jewellery to Pashmina shawls, from carpets to Tibetan handicrafts, there are many unique items to take back home as souvenirs.  Some of the main markets to check out are: Ladakh Art Palace, Tibetan Handicraft Emporium, Ecology Centre, and Moti Bazaar. The “Main Bazaar” located in Leh is the best place to explore the local culture. With a multitude of shops to choose from, you can expect to bargain and get things at an affordable price. Be prepared for a huge crowd as the locals and tourists visit the markets in huge numbers.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) And Importance Of Acclimatization

It is a must to undergo acclimatization
Hikers scaling great heights beating the cold.

It is not possible to say who will be affected by acute mountain sickness (AMS) and who is safe. It depends on many factors such as age, sex, and physical condition of a person. Generally, travelers can handle 2,500 – 3000 meters height from sea level without any acute mountain sickness. However as Leh is situated at an altitude of 3500 meters, it is recommended to take complete rest for two or three days before going to higher altitude. The acclimatization period can be used to visit nearby attractions of Leh town. 

Tourists who want to explore higher Leh altitude areas like Khardung La and Pangong Lake have to undergo acclimatization at least 48 hours before initiating their journey. A good amount of food and sleep will help your body get used to the heights. A very useful tip: allow your body to gradually adjust to the heights.

Final Thoughts

There was a time when Leh was considered a completely off-roading experience. But with Leh Ladakh tourism taking the initiative and bringing in many activities to do, it has developed into a major tourist destination. Every activity listed above is captivating and breathtaking, it’s sure to remain etched in your hearts forever. Go ahead and plan an exciting and challenging trip to experience the true essence of this dream destination.

FAQs About Leh-Ladakh Trips

How to spend a day in Leh during acclimatization?

Don’t be in a hurry to tick all the boxes on your to-do list. Leh is very beautiful from whichever angle you see, so do nothing, just sit and relax on the balcony of your accommodation and enjoy the views. 

Is Leh situated in Ladakh and why are they called Leh-Ladakh?

Ladakh is one of the three divisions of Jammu and Kashmir State. Further Ladakh is divided into two districts; Leh and Kargil. Leh is the capital of Ladakh and since Ladakh is more well-known to tourists than ‘Leh’, the term Leh-Ladakh came to be used to avoid confusion.

How many days are enough in Leh & Ladakh?

Major attractions like Zanskar Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, Kargil, Khardung-la Pass, Nubra Valley, Magnetic Hill, Spituk Gompa, and Hemis National Park can be seen in 5 to 6 days. However, Leh Ladakh has an endless list of tourist attractions and you need weeks to see them all.

Which month is best for Leh Ladakh?

The weather in Leh is great between April to June when the sun shines bright and the temperature is warm. The coldest months are between October to February when both highways Manali and Srinagar are cut off due to excessive snowfall.

What are the 5 things Leh Ladakh is famous for?

Leh is famous for its many Monasteries, breathtaking views, highest motorable passes, surreal Lakes, and the adventure activities this place offers.


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