Ladakh is a little corner of Tibet stranded in the further corner of India nestled among spectacularly jagged, arid mountains. This Buddhist Kingdom has picture-perfect Buddhist Tibetan monasteries, decorated and intricately coloured that crown the rocky terrains. Ladakh constitutes a major portion of Jammu and Kashmir in the northern reaches of India. This union territory is bordered by Tibet, Himachal Pradesh, Baltistan and the Karakoram Pass in the east, south, west, and north respectively. Ladakh spans across the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram range to the mighty Himalayas in the south. Ladakh is a place like no other, abounding in fabulous landscapes, magnificent culture and amazing people, which truly justifies Ladakh being called “heaven on earth”. Besides being bounded by two of the largest mountain ranges, the Karakoram and the Himalayas, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range further makes Ladakh incredible. Ladakh is heavenly in all spheres, be it nature, geography, culture, scenery, etc. Not just one but there are many places to visit near Ladakh which will surely going to leave you mesmerized.
9 Best Places To Visit Near Ladakh
Now let’s go through the well-known tourist destinations nearby Ladakh and make sure you have the best time away amidst the snow-covered mountains.
Kargil is among the top destinations of Leh Ladakh that too is stunning and beautiful. This is a picturesque historical little town that became popular during the Operation Vijay, more well known among people as the Kargil war fought between Pakistan and India in 2009. Now, this town has emerged to be a well known holiday resort and attracts innumerable nature lovers, adventure seekers, and history freak equally. This town is located on the banks of the Suru river, at an elevation of 8700 ft approximately above the sea level. The town is surrounded by enticing natural scenery, lush green fields, glacial rivers and arid mountain ranges that are a delightful sight altogether. Tourists must visit the exotic Suru valley that extends from Kargil to the Panzella glacier offering blissful parametric views all along. This place is filled with blooming orchards of apple, mulberry and apricot trees.
Tourists must visit this place during the Zanskar-Kargil festival that is celebrated during the last week of June by the Jammu and Kashmir tourism board and is accompanied by marvellous folk culture, heritage, conventional sports competition, and delicacies. There is also a food festival that is celebrated in January called Mamani. Places like rangdum monastery, Mulbekh monastery, Kargil war memorial, Suru valley, and Kargil pensi la lake should not be missed.
Distance from Ladakh: 213 km
For every nature lover out there, the Zanskar valley serves to be a hideout for them offering tranquil and serene Ambience, which makes it an ideal place to be visited during the holidays. The chirping of the birds or the aura of mystical sunsets and sunrises, simply enchant the tourists. It is a kingdom of adventure amidst the inaccessible wildernesses of the mighty Himalayas. The Zanskar valley is the region where the two main tributaries of the Zanskar river, lungnak, and Doda meet. Set in the backdrop of mountainous terrain, ancient monasteries, and mesmerising views, this place is worthy of everyone’s visit.
The main attractions of this valley are its trekking trails, especially the padum trek and the chadar trek. There are timeless monasteries like karsha and phuktal that are extraordinary to watch. Experiencing a trekking expedition to these timeless monasteries can be counted as the best venture of all times. The experience tourists get remains unprecedented. The ideal time to explore the valley is in the summer months, which is between June and November. Tourists should never miss visiting nimu to gaze at the outstanding confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river. Pensi La pass, padum, the Zanskar river, and rangdum are its top attractions.
Distance from Ladakh: 350 km
The Nubra valley mesmerises every tourist with its breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring scenic splendours. The valley, popular for its enchanting vistas, is situated at the meeting point of Nubra and shyok rivers in Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir. It is nestled among rugged mountain peaks and mystical dunes that attract thousands of tourists every year for adventure. This remote unexplored region has the khardung la pass at an altitude of 18, 400 ft above the sea level which is the highest motorable pass globally. This pass stands as the gateway to this wonderful valley that offers an exhilarating experience to every visitor out there filling them with unprecedented thrills and excitement.
There are numerous villages nearby this valley such as the village of Diskit that offers eye-soothing ambiance to every visitor seeking solace and tranquillity in the lap of nature. The heart captivating village “hunder” should also not be missed visiting which is famous for the scenic and spectacular landscapes of the mountains. Another remote village is the Turtuk village. The people of this region celebrate the Dosmoche festival in February, which is accompanied by archery competition, dancing, warfare demos, and camel races.
Distance from Ladakh: 150 km
4. Tso Moriri lake
Tso Moriri lake can be considered as a twin to the famous Pangong Tso lake, though it is less famous. It is located in the Changtang wildlife sanctuary and renders scenic beauty to its tourists. The background of this lake consists of snow-capped barren mountains and hills which is simply breathtakingly beautiful to watch. Since this place is lesser-known to people, this place remains comparatively less crowded thus enabling the few tourists to have a place for themselves beside the lakeside.
The open sky at the two Moriri lakes makes it a perfect camping ground where people can gaze at the stars at night. This lake is also known as the mountain lake and was declared as a wetland reserve. Various rare species of animals like the bald goose, brahmin duck, brown-headed gulls, Grebes, and Himalayan hares are found here in large numbers. The high rising peaks of the mountains surrounding this lake are so high that they seem to disassociate this lake from the outer world.
Distance from Ladakh: 240 km
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5. Chadar trek
Chadar lake gives you an exciting and unbelievable experience of walking on a frozen lake to be released forever. This is one of the most beautiful places in Ladakh which is not to be missed. This lake is named chadar which means a blanket because the Zanskar valley freezes in the winter months to nothing but a blanket of ice in Ladakh. While you trek on this frozen valley, you can witness the change of colours when the sun shines. The mild blue colour transforms to light yellow when the sun’s rays fall on it for a few hours during the daytime. One moonlit night, this valley appears milky white. Trekking on the chadar valley is considered to be one of the toughest yet exciting experiences.
Distance from Ladakh: 105 km
Located in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir in the far north of India, Drass is famous for the 1999 Kargil war that occurred between India and Pakistan. Presently, the Drass valley has emerged as a popular destination among tourists in Leh Ladakh region. The valley is at an altitude of 10,990 ft and happens to be the coldest place on earth after Antarctica. The Drass valley sits on the foot of the zoji la pass and is often referred to as the gateway to Ladakh. Blessed with stupendous natural sceneries that have remained unexplored, this place captivates the hearts and souls of everyone.
Distance from Ladakh: 70 km
Alchi is a village located in the Indus valley in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This village is home to an ancient Buddhist monastery that was built 900 years ago. The monastery houses the 11 and 12th century Tibetan Indo paintings, painted in bright gold, green, ochre and azure colours. To explore the real essence of this village, tourists are advised to spend a night in this village. The Alchi nyemo is a river where tourists can take part in river rafting.
Distance from Ladakh: 76 km
8. Khardung La
Also popular as the pass of the lower castle, the khardung La Pass is a mountain pass in the district of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This road is located at an elevation of 5,359 meters. This pass is located on a caravan road leading to Kashgar in the mountainous terrain. This khardung La pass serves as an entrance to the shyok and Nubra valleys in Ladakh. In ancient days, this pass was used by travellers for navigation to carry goods to Kashgar. Also, this pass has a major role to play in transportation for both China and India. Vital materials are Carried to the Siachen glacier through this pass, hence making it significant for the Indian armies. This is a two-way pass and the closest town nearby this pass is Leh, which connects Manali and Srinagar.
Distance from Ladakh: 139.7 km
9. Shanti Stupa
Needless to say that tourism in India remains incomplete without visiting the mighty Himalayas, dense evergreen fields, mesmerising white snow and clear, intense lakes of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The Shanti stupa is located on the hilltop of chanspa, 5 km from Leh in Ladakh. The Shanti stupa is a Buddhist religious white shrine, built by bhikshu, a Japanese Buddhist monk. This stupa was built as a mark of 2500 years of successful completion of Buddhism. It represents world peace and stands as a symbol of friendship between Ladakh and Japan. At the foot of this shrine in Leh, the sacred relics of buddha remains protected. On the walls of this stupa are various sculptures that depict life stories of Buddha, such as his birth, death, etc.
Distance from Ladakh: 5 km
Further Read: 8 Tourist Circuits To Cover The Best Of Ladakh
Ladakh has been an unexplored and a magnificent wonderland in the Himalayas. It is a place considered as a heaven by anyone who wants to satiate their hunger for adventures. Ladakh gives you ample opportunities to indulge in adventure sports like water rafting, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, safaris, etc. Popular as the land of passes, Ladakh will always remain to be an alluring part of Jammu and Kashmir in India. So if you plan to enjoy a trip to Ladakh and can’t wait to explore its beauty, make sure to take a break from work and head to these places right away.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit Near ladakh
Is Ladakh worth visiting?
Ladakh is undoubtedly worthy of anyone’s visit. It is especially an ideal place for people willing to go on adventures on the road. Surrounded by surreal mountains and valleys, Ladakh will make you feel like you are closer to nature than ever. There are numerous tourist sites like Nubra valley, Khardung la pass, magnetic hill, Pangong Tso lake, etc that will make your visit worthwhile.
What should I carry for the Ladakh trip?
There are a few travel essentials that should be carried throughout your journey in Ladakh which include warm clothes like jackets, shawls, mufflers, etc. medical kit, moisturizer and sunscreen, cash, toiletries, photo identification proofs.
What are the best places to visit in Leh, Ladakh in winter?
Most of Ladakh stay inaccessible during this time of the year, owing to heavy snowfall. The region is very cold, with the temperature dropping till -50. However, this is a much-awaited time for trekkers wishing to go for Chadar Trek. This trek is recommended if you’re an experienced trekker.
What is the best way to explore Leh -Ladakh?
To feel the very essence of Ladakh, either drive on an Enfield or SUV to experience its rugged terrain and rough roads.
What is the best time to visit Ladakh?
The ideal time to visit Ladakh that offers magnificent destinations is between May and July. During these months, the weather remains perfect, and the highway from Leh to Srinagar becomes accessible. In the winter months, Ladakh experiences snowfall and too cold climatic conditions.
Does it snow in Leh?
Leh experiences snowfall from December to march. The temperature here, even falls to -12 degrees Celsius and becomes bitterly cold.
What is famous in Ladakh?
Attributes like unique culture and traditions, mesmerising scenic beauty, Buddhist monasteries, and interesting adventure sports are what make Ladakh famous and well known. Ladakh’s main city, Leh, is too replete with beautiful monasteries and surroundings, valleys in addition to the challenging Trek and hiking routes.
What are the exquisite ladhakhi items that must be bought?
Tourists generally buy the following items that are exclusively found in Ladakh:
1. Stone and silver accessories
2. Tibetan Handicrafts & Wares
3. Pashmina woolens And shawls
4. Kashmiri carpets and rugs
5. Apricots’ Jam, Oil
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