Leh Leh, a splendour in itself, a breathtaking and a
mesmerizing beauty, possesses an aura of its own.
This elegant city
houses the nine-storeyed palace, a building in the grand tradition of
Tibetan architecture. The architecture is believed to have inspired the
famous Potala in Lhasa built around half a century later. The NamgyalTsemo
peak nearby, enlaps the ruins of the earliest royal residence at Leh. The
fort was built by King Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century. There are a few
temples associated to it that have remained intact even as of now. The
temples are generally kept locked. They are opened only during the morning
and evening hours, when a monk travels right from the Sanskar Gompa, up the
hills to pay homage to the deity and place butter-lamps in front of the
images. LadakhThe hill resort of Ladakh is
one of the ten provinces in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
offer the magic of the majestic mountains and the Tibeto-Buddhist Culture.
The lovely Ladakh is one place where you may suffer from sunstroke and
frostbite at the same time. The snow capped peaks and the barren lands
beckon more intense and adventurous of travelers. You need to be in the
wilderness of Ladakh to enjoy its virginal beauty.For
those evincing an interest in Tibetology and Buddhism, Ladakh is like a
dream come true.
The land of lamaseries, lamaism being a peculiar
feature of the Buddhist social structure, here, which stresses on celibacy
for males, and monastic existence for the women. The Ladakhi people are
devout Buddhists, famous for their integrity, and innate humaneness. Mask
and scarf dances, flutes, cymbals and percussion instruments accompany the
festivities on special days. Leh, the nerve - centre of the region, and the
low - profile Kargil are the two main districts of Ladakh.
The hill resort of Leh-Ladakh is surrounded by the
Karakoram Range in the north. The Himalayas border Ladakh in the south. The
Indus River flows through Ladakh and divides it into Leh, Nubra, Zanskar,
lower Ladakh and Rupshu. Geographically speaking the landscape of Ladakh
comprises of uplands, craggy, barren cliffs and plateaus.
Prime Attractions of
Leh-Ladakh» Leh Palace
version of the Potala in Lhasa, the Leh Palace is one of the major
attractions here. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the
Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh's victory over the Balti Kashmir
armies in the early 16th century. The Palace was built in the middle of the
16th century by King Singe Namgyal and still belongs to the royal family
that now lives in the Stok Palace.
The nine storeyed monument
has gone to seed, so dont visit the site expecting too much. You might
not be able to get in at all as the palace remains locked, unless of course
you ask around and find a monk who can open it for you. The Palace has a
museum with some tangkhas (painted or embroidered scrolls) and paintings
amongst other things. The view from the monastery is quite impressive.
Roosted above the Leh Palace is the Namgyal Tsemo Gompa (monastery).
» Shanti Stupa
A relatively new
addition to the rocky skyline around Leh is the toothpaste white Shanti
Stupa above Changspa village, 3km west of the bazaar. Inaugurated in 1983 by
the Dalai Lama, the "Peace Pagoda", whose sides are decorated with
gilt panels depicting episodes from the life of the Buddha, is one of
several such monuments erected around India by a "Peace Sect" of
Japanese Buddhists. The Stupa is a vintage point to enjoy the wondrous views
of the exotic locales of Leh. » Likir
around 52 Kms from Leh, know as Klu-Kkhjil (water spirits) founded in the
11th century AD and was rededicated to another monastic order (the yellow
sect) in the 15th century, its earlier gompa was destroyed in fire. The
present gompa dates back to the 18th century. It contains huge clay images
of Buddha and various old manuscripts. It also houses an interesting
collection of thankas, old religious and domestic costumes and implements
In the 15th century lhawang Lodos Sangphu caused the
monastery to flourish. This monastery also belongs to Gaylukpa school. Every
year from the 17th to 19th of the 12th month the Likir festival is held.
» Thiksey Monastery
About 20 kms
from Leh, Thiksey is an imposing monastery and one of the finest example of
Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and
forms part of Gelukpa order. Paldan Sherab nephew of Sherb Zangpo, founded
Thiksey monastery. The 12 storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas,
statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with
the Buddha's teachings,there are sacred shrines and a many precious objects
to be seen.
The successive reincarnation of the Skyabje Khampo
Ringpoche act as incharge of the monastery. Thiksey gustor (festival) held
from 17th to 19th day of the 12th month. The main prayer hall has a 15 mt
high seated Buddha figure,There are chance to see prayer in the early
Adventure Sports in
Leh - Ladakh Leh
- Ladakh is indeed a trekker's paradise in North India.
adventure excites you then you must take up any of the many treks offered
from Leh. The trekking agencies in Leh offer treks inclusive of guide,
packhorses, food and supplies. Leh also offers mountain biking to the daring
on the second highest motor able road in the world. The adventure in
mountain biking from Leh lies in the most hostile terrains. The entire
stretch of 485 km between Leh and Manali offers a challenge to mountain
bikers who have the opportunity to cut across the majestic Himalayan ranges
through four mountains passes.
Adventurers need to push endurance
to the limits to accept the challenge offered by the dangerous high-altitude
trail from Leh. To the daring adventurers Leh-Manali highway rewards
spectacular and picturesque landscapes.
Festivals of Leh -
The lovely land of Ladakh plays hosts to the annual Ladakhi
festival. The festival is a big time event that attracts several tourists to
Leh. The celebration of the festival includes lot of zest and fervor from
the local people. There are traditional dance performances, display of
sporting skills in the various competitions and the exhibition of the local
handicrafts. The tunes of the drums and the flutes will not fail to move
you. The festival reveals a lot about the people and their culture in
Ladakh. Places to Stay in Leh - Ladakh
Accommodation is easily available in the hill resort of Leh - Ladakh. There
are several hotels that cater to the needs of the tourists to Ladakh. In
fact you will find some suitable accommodation option within your budget.
Delicious and hygienic food is also readily available in the hotels,
restaurants and the eateries that dot Ladakh. Shopping
in Leh - Ladakh
Any holiday would not be complete without a shopping spree.
In the lovely hill resort of Ladakh pieces of metal work, woodcarving and
paintings are popular gift items. Clothes and especially the pashmina is a
must have for yourself as a souvenir from Ladakh. The abundance of the
sheep, goats and yak in the region leads to production of various varieties
of wool and woolens in Ladakh that might interest you.
How to get there » Air
airport at Leh is the nearest to Ladakh. Regular flights to the Leh airport
connect Leh and in turn Ladakh with Delhi, Chandigarh and Srinagar.
Ladakh is connected to other
places through a road network too. The various routes link Ladakh with
Srinagar, Leh, Kargil, Manali and Keylong.
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