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Ladakh, the ‘Land of High Passes,’ is a breathtaking amalgamation of rugged landscapes, ancient monasteries, and a rich cultural fabric. While the iconic Pangong Tso and the awe-inspiring Khardung La captivate most visitors, this remote Himalayan region harbours a wealth of offbeat destinations that promise an unparalleled adventure for the intrepid traveller. These offbeat places in Ladakh provide a glimpse into the region’s untamed beauty, offering an escape from the crowds and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich Ladakhi life. So, read this article to learn about gems in Ladakh.

Top 6 Offbeat Places In Ladakh

Nestled amidst the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, Ladakh offers more than just stunning landscapes and monasteries. Below is the list of offbeat places in Ladakh that you must visit if you are taking a trip to Ladakh.

1. Turtuk

The scenic view of Turtuk village

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Turtuk is one of the most captivating, best offbeat places in Ladakh. It lies in the Nubra Valley near the border with Pakistan. Sandwiched between the Karakorum Range and the Himalayas, Turtuk is one of the northernmost villages in India. It is situated on the banks of the Shyok River and is known for its fruit, especially apricots. Turtuk was under Pakistani control until the 1971 war when the Indian Army captured the village. One of the entrances of the Siachen Glacier is also located there.

Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to explore Turtuk is during the summer months, from May to September.

How to Reach?
Turtuk is about 208.3 Km from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. You can take a taxi or cab from there to reach Turtuk. You can also rent a car or bike, which typically takes 6 to 8 hours via Khardung La Pass and the Diskit-Turtuk Highway. State buses also operate bi-weekly on the route.

Must Read: Manali To Leh Road Trip

2. Hanle

Visit the Hanle Monastery at Hanle, which is one of the most beautiful offbeat places in Ladakh.

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Hanle, also known as Anley, is another one of the offbeat places in Ladakh to visit. It lies in the eastern part of Ladakh. Perched at an impressive altitude of approximately 4,500 meters (about 14,764 feet) above sea level, Hanle is near the China border. The high-altitude plains offer breathtaking panoramic views. Notably, the Indian Astronomical Observatory is situated above Hanle for astronomical research. It also boasts a 17th-century Hanle Monastery. You can go on wildlife spotting expeditions to observe Tibetan wild ass, migratory species such as Bar-headed Geese and Black-necked Cranes, and the rare Tibetan gazelle.

Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit this place is in the summer, from May to September. During this period, the weather and the skies are pleasant, making it perfect for stargazing.

How to Reach?
Hanle is approximately 260 km from Ladakh. You can rent a car or taxi; reaching Hanle takes around 5 hours and 22 minutes.

3. Lamayuru

Go to the Lamayuru Gompa Monastery in Lamayuru

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Lamayuru is a small village in the Leh district of Ladakh. It is also known as the “Moonland” due to its barren and rocky landscape, which is said to resemble the moon’s surface. The village is 3,510 meters (11,520 ft) on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Lamayuru’s main attraction is the Lamayuru Monastery. It is one of the oldest and largest monasteries in the region. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and is home to around 150 monks. In addition to the monastery, Lamayuru is also known for its annual masked dance festivals, which are held in the second and fifth months of the Tibetan lunar calendar.

Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit this place is between April and June, and it is open throughout the summer.

How to Reach?
You can reach Lamayuru Monastery from Srinagar to Leh via state-run JKSRTC buses, which offer a scenic journey through beautiful terrains. Also, you can hire a taxi or private car from Leh for the 114 km journey, which takes about 2 hours. If you’re flying, the nearest airport is Leh International Airport, from where you can hire a car, book a bus, or rent a bike to the monastery.

Suggested Read: Leh To Nubra Valley

4. Likir Gompa

Look at the statue of Maitreya at the Likir Monastery, which is one of the best offbeat places in Ladakh

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Likir Gompa, or Likir Monastery, is an ancient Buddhist monastery perched atop a hill in Ladakh. Founded in 1065, it belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is one of the oldest monasteries in the region. The monastery’s remote location, at an altitude of 3,700 meters, adds to its mystique and offers stunning views of the surrounding Indus River Valley. The main attraction of Likir Gompa is its massive, 75-foot-tall, gold-gilded statue of Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha. The monastery also houses a collection of thangkas (Tibetan scroll paintings), murals, and artefacts, providing a glimpse into Ladakh’s rich Buddhist culture and history.

Best Time to Visit
May to September is the ideal time to visit Likir Gompa.

How to Reach?
The monastery is on the Leh-Srinagar highway, just before the village of Saspol. The nearest airport is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, where you can rent a car or taxi.

5. Uleytokpo

Vist Uleytokpo, another offbeat places in Ladakh, to witness the calmness and peace.

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Situated on the Leh-Srinagar Highway, approximately 70 Km west of Leh, lies the charming little settlement of Uleytokpo. At 10,000 feet (3048 meters), it’s the perfect place to stop over while acclimating to Ladakh’s demanding altitude and weather. Uleytokpo, well-known as a starting point for hikes and camping, provides exciting activities amidst snow-capped mountains. It is one of the best offbeat places in Ladakh, as its natural beauty and calm atmosphere draw tourists looking for quiet away from the bustle of the metropolis.

Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit this place is from May to September.

How to Reach?
You can go to Uleytokpo via Kushok Bakula Rimpochee, roughly a 1-1.5 hour drive away. You can also reach the Dharamshala railway station, which is about 60 km away from Uleytokpo. Alternatively, you can reach the destination via the Srinagar-Leh highway if you are a biker.

Suggested Read: Ladakh In Winter

6. Basgo Palace

Gaze at the ruins of the Basgo Palace

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The Basgo Palace, also known as Basgo Gompa, is a historic monument that stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Ladakhi and Tibetan Buddhism. Initially constructed as a royal residence in the 15th century, it evolved into a monastic complex. Situated atop a hill, though in ruins, the palace offers panoramic views of the ancient town, making it a must-visit offbeat places in Ladakh for travellers. The complex is home to the Basgo Monastery, renowned for its Buddha statues and vibrant frescoes. It also encompasses the remnants of the castle. The monastery houses the Maitreya Buddha shrines of Chamchung, Chamba Lakhang, and Serzang, once the capital of the Namgyal Dynasty. The Basgo Palace symbolises the profound cultural amalgamation of Ladakhi and Tibetan Buddhism.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Basgo Palace is during the summer months, from April to June.

How to Reach?
The Srinagar-Leh highway connects Leh to Basgo. Taxis are easily available.

Further Read: Food of Ladakh

These offbeat places in Ladakh offer a chance to immerse yourself in the region’s authentic character, away from the crowds. Embrace the serenity of these hidden treasures and create lasting memories that will forever etch themselves into your heart. So, what are you waiting for? Venture on an extraordinary journey and book your trip to Ladakh today, where the road less travelled promises unforgettable experiences and a deeper connection with nature and culture.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Offbeat Places in Ladakh

Which is the most beautiful road in Ladakh?

The most beautiful road in Ladakh is the Khardung La. It presents stunning vistas of winding mountain paths and magnificent valleys. This road is the key to accessing the Shyok and Nubra Valleys and provides awe-inspiring panoramas of the towering Himalayan peaks.

For which thing is Ladakh famous?

Ladakh is famous for its rugged yet beautiful terrain, high-altitude monasteries, and stunning landscapes. It’s a haven for adventure enthusiasts, trekkers, and nature lovers.

What is the mysterious place in Ladakh?

The most mysterious palace in Ladakh is the Magnetic Hill. It is located roughly 30 Km from Leh on the Leh-Kargil Highway. The place is famous as it defies the phenomena of gravity. Interestingly, vehicles parked on this road seem to roll uphill even with the ignition turned off.

What is the most famous thing in Ladakh?

The most famous thing in Ladakh is the Pangong Lake, which is known for its colour-changing properties, ranging from azure to light blue, green, and grey. It’s a landlocked lake located at an altitude of 4350 meters and gained recognition from the film 3 Idiots, which featured it.

How many days are enough for Ladakh?

For a comprehensive experience of Ladakh, plan for 6 to 7 days if you’re flying and around 9 days for a road journey.

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