Ladakh is known for its unique culture and awe-inspiring landscapes. The snow-clad high peaks, cold deserts, and massive glaciers define the topography of the region. And then there are some breathtaking lakes & rivers that captivate the visitors and offer ample opportunities for rafting.
Other than river rafting and taking a sightseeing tour of the beautiful places to visit in this region, there are some of the things to do in Ladakh trip that you simply cannot miss. These tourist attractions and activities ensure a joyful and exciting trip to Ladakh.
32 Best Things To Do In Ladakh
Planning a Ladakh trip can be exciting and challenging at the same time. What to do, where to do, how to do? And probably a bunch of questions are added to the mind. So, if you’re going to Ladakh for the first time, make sure to indulge into these fascinating activities and explore the culture and traditions of the place.
- Hemis Festival – Interesting Interactions
- Spot A Snow Leopard – Adventure
- Bactrian Camel Safari – Hunder Delight
- Highest Cafeteria In The World – On The Top
- Try Yak Cheese – Special Yak Cheese Momos
- Hang Out With The Monks – Reviving Talks
- Morning Prayer At A Monastery – Peaceful Expeditions
- Adventurous Roads – For Fun Seekers
- Eat Hot Butter Tea – Local Brew Chang
- Stay With The Locals – Away From City Life
- Old School Mills – Peep The Past
- Spituk Gompa Trek – Adventurous Expeditions
- Zanskar Valley Tour – For Daredevils
- Tso Moriri – Chill And Rejuvenate
- Magnetic Hill – Startling Experience
- Namgyal Tsemo Monastery – Cultural Insight
- Visit Lamayuru – Stargazing
- Take Unique Frozen Chadar Trek – Trekker’s Delight
- Grab The Scrumptious Local Food – Food Trails
- Glance The Beauty Of Nubra Valley – Panoramic Sights
- Strolling At The Donkey Sanctuary – Interesting Chats
- Trek To Drang Drung Glacier – For Thrillers
- Visit Illuminating Chemrey Monastery – Silents Talks
- Peaceful Hours At Shanti Stupa – Religious Visits
- Stop At Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib – For Some Peace
- Shop To Content At Main Bazaar – For Souvenirs
- Sunrise At Pangong Tso – Truly Breathtaking
- Enjoy The Ladakh Harvest Festival – A Cultural Triumph
- Enjoy The Matho Nagrang Festival – For Buddhist Celebrations
- Gather At Stok Palace Museum – For Culture Lovers
- Pay Tributes At Hall of Fame – For A Soldier’s Sacrifice
- Visit The Majestic Zorawar Fort – To Sense Pride
1. Hemis Festival – Interesting Interactions
One of the best things to do in Ladakh trip is seeing the Llams perform the colorful Chhams. You haven’t felt the spirit and true magnetism of Ladakh if you haven’t seen the dance drama flaunting vibrant clothes and formidable masks. Attend the Hemis Festival or Ladakh Festival to be mesmerized by the colourful dances.
Where: Hemis Monastery
When: 11th July to 12th July 2020
Highlight: the Chham Dance is quite famous; people dance wearing masks and the dance is symbolic of good winning over bad
2. Spot A Snow Leopard – Adventure
There is nothing as breathtaking as looking at a Snow Leopard seen in only a few places in the entire world. Spot the beautiful animal on the snow leopard trek in one of the popular Ladakh attractions – the Hemis National Park, home to more than 200 snow leopards which can be seen only in the winters.
Where: Hemis National Park
When: During summer
Highlights: Hemis National Park
3. Bactrian Camel Safari – Hunder Delight
A ride on the double humped Bactrian Camels at the sand dunes of Hunder is number three on our list of things to do in Ladakh for its terrain along the breathtakingly beautiful Shyok and Nubra River. This is the integral part of the caravans that used to travel on the ancient trade route.
When: during the summer months of June to September
Highlight: the scenic beauty that you’ll witness during your ride from Hunder to Turtuk
Suggested Read: The Ultimate List of Adventure Holidays In India for Summer
4. Highest Cafeteria In The World – On The Top
One of the unique Ladakh attractions is the Maggi point at the highest cafeteria in the world. You may have eaten this noodle everywhere possible, but you have not truly enjoyed it till you savor the 2-minute noodle overlooking the Himalayan ranges at Khardung La Pass, one of the highest motorable passes in the world.
Where: Khardungla Pass
When: the best time to visit Khardungla Pass is from April to June as well as September to October
Highlight: the fact that Khardungla Pass is the highest motorable road in the world is enough to give you a reason to visit this place
5. Try Yak Cheese – Special The Yak Cheese Momos
The wish-granting yak gives the nomads milk, butter and meat for the table and in absolutely no other part of the country are you going to get the chance to try out cheese made from the milk of Yak. Also called Chhurpi, try it in its local form or as the delicious Yak cheese momos. This definitely has to be on your list of things to do in Ladakh.
Where: Gesmo restaurant, Opp. Hotel Yak – Tall Fort Road Leh Jammu and Kashmir, 194101
When: Throughout the year
Highlights: Delicious Yak cheese momos
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6. Hang Out With The Monks – Reviving Talks
While connecting with the tourists and the locals on your trip is fun, but nothing can beat the magical aura of these Buddhist monks in the valleys of Ladakh who can be seen roaming around and meditate at the monasteries. Hung up on a monk strolling at a monastery and stay set to interact with him on his wise, divine experiences.
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7. Morning Prayer At A Monastery – Peaceful Expeditions
Don’t just visit the popular Ladakh attractions but also make sure to visit the beautiful Buddhist monasteries, instead stay overnight at the one! Enjoy a stay at Hemis monastery overnight which enables you to attend early morning prayers, a moving rejuvenating experience and we strongly recommended it.
Where: Hemis Monastery
When: 8:00 AM
Highlight: Morning prayers will be a mesmerising sight to see and will prove to be a great experience
Suggested Read: 12 Festivals Of Ladakh That Celebrate The Life In The Valley
8. Adventurous Roads – For Fun Seekers
To all the adrenaline junkies out there, a bike ride on the narrow & rocky terrains has to be on your list of adventurous things to do in Ladakh. Your trip is incomplete until you have driven the lonely but beautiful roads on a motorbike with nothing but the clouds above and the formidable mountains around. And if you are really in the spirit then drive to the Khardung-La pass, which at an altitude of 5,602 m is one of the highest motorable passes in the world.
Where: Khardung-La pass
When: if you want to experience the best of this pass, then make sure you plan your visit here in the months of April to August and September to October
Highlight: it is considered to be the world’s highest motorable road
Suggested Read: 7 Bullets Narrating Our Tales Of Ladakh
9. Eat Hot Butter Tea – Local Brew Chang
You might have had chai on every other place in the country, but when in Ladakh you have to try out the local Butter tea and if you are in for a good time then try out Chang, the local brew made in a cylindrical porcelain pot by fermenting miller. For the tea lovers this is a must thing to taste while in Ladakh.
When: Throughout the year
Highlight: the best thing about the two beverages is that they give you a fair idea about the local culture of Ladakh
10. Stay With The Locals – Away From City Life
Hotel stays are great but it isn’t a trip to Ladakh if you don’t experience life in the mountains. Get a whiff of the local culture first hand as you stay with a native Ladakhi family. Feast on the Ladakhi cuisine prepared right at home for an unparalleled experience.
Highlight: if you’ll stay with the locals, you’ll get a better idea of their lifestyle and their place will be like a home away from home.
11. Old School Mills – Peep The Past
See how one the most expensive handlooms in the world – the Pashmina is crafted only at these old school mills in Ladakh. You can haggle over prices in your city but this is one of the places you can actually see the magic at work. Extra points if you can find a Pashmina goat to pet. You will wish you could take one home.
Highlight: a Pashmina will give you an idea about the history as well as artistic aspect of Ladakh. It will also throw a light on the skills of artisans that live here
12. Spituk Gompa Trek – Adventurous Expeditions
Spituk Gompa is a magnificent ancient monastery resting at the top of a hill. One of the unique monasteries in Ladakh, it is quite a great place to explore by the adventurous souls. This location looks quite a vantage point along with the uneven mountains surrounding the place.
Where: Leh, Jammu and Kashmir 194104
Highlight: standing here one can enjoy a beautiful view of the entire landscape while enjoying the silence in the air
13. Zanskar Valley Tour – For Daredevils
This valley lies in the secluded region of Ladakh and is one of the most-visited places owing to its breathtaking view. This valley is considered to be a part of the Tethys Himalayas. There are cave monasteries and trekking trails enveloped within an awe-striking natural setting. You can even come to this side for enjoying thrilling river rafting.
When: the best time to visit Zanskar Valley is considered to be July to September
Highlight: come to this valley if you want to undergo an unparallelled sightseeing experience
Suggested Read: 8 Tourist Circuits To Cover The Best Of Ladakh
14. Tso Moriri – Chill And Rejuvenate
If you’re looking for a place where you can just sit and chill and enjoy the breathtaking views around, then picnicking at Tso Moriri can be a great idea. This lake is not that popular amongst the lakes of Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary. However, it is considered to be quite similar to the much-famous Pangong Lake. This lake is around 100 feet deep and is surrounded by the majestic hills.
When: during the winters, this lake freezes and therefore the summer months of May, June, July, and August are considered the best for visiting this lake
Highlight: apart from the hills, you can witness some unique species of flora and fauna here
15. Magnetic Hill – Startling Experience
The Magnetic hill in Ladakh is famously considered as the anti-gravity hill, as you’ll see that the vehicles don’t seem to move according to the force of gravity at this place. If you want to see the proof, park your vehicle and watch it move uphill on its own. Leh is at a distance of 30 kilometers from this hill and it is a must visit when you’re out to explore the magnificent tourist attractions!
When: the best time to visit this place is considered to be between the months of July and September
Highlight: there are some mythical stories attached to this hill which makes it all the more worthy to explore
16. Namgyal Tsemo Monastery – Cultural Insight
If you want to get closer to the spiritual aspect of Ladakh, then a visit to this monastery is a must. Traveling to this monastery is itself an experience you will cherish. On your way, you’ll witness the beautiful mountains, making the whole experience more mesmerizing. Many people come to this monastery to seek knowledge of Buddhism.
Where: Leh district, Ladakh
Highlight: the vibes at this monastery are quite amazing, making it one of the best places to visit
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17. Visit Lamayuru – Stargazing
If you want to watch the stars twinkling while sitting amidst the beautiful mountains, then this is the place for you. Popular by the name, Moonland of Ladakh, Lumayuru is a hamlet that lies at the Srinagar to Leh highway, at a distance of 100 kilometers from Leh. This place is essentially famous for the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. This is the place where you’ll see the nature at its best. People from different regions come to this spot to enjoy the nature’s best gifts. Also, some of the best Ladakh resorts are situated in the vicinity.
When: you can visit this village in the summer as well as monsoon months. However, it is suggested that you must stay careful during the monsoons as the chance of landslides are quite high
Highlight: stargazing at this point would be a delight and an experience that you’ll never forget
18. Take Unique Frozen Chadar Trek – Trekker’s Delight
Are you interested in walking across frozen sheets of ice? If yes, then take the Frozen River trek while holidaying in Ladakh. Being one of the most popular things in Ladakh, the experiences of this trek are spellbinding. You will also be capturing panoramic sights of frozen valleys while strolling here and the serene ambiance will surely make you fall in love with this place. This is one of the best activities to do in Ladakh.
When: In the month of December
Highlight: Frozen river and serene ambiance
19. Grab The Scrumptious Local Food – Food Trails
The place is known for offering multi cuisine food items including Indian, Tibetan, Korean, and Chinese. You must surely try Thukpa, Tsampa, and Skyu here to get the best taste of Tibetan cuisine. Apart from other delightful items to eat you must surely sip Chang, a local alcoholic drink before leaving Ladakh!
When: Throughout the year
Highlight: Must try Thukpa, Tsampa, Skyu, and Chang
20. Glance The Beauty Of Nubra Valley – Panoramic Sights
Another interesting thing to do here is heading to Nubra Valley. Located at a distance of nearly 140 kilometers from Leh, the place is known for its scenic beauty and adventurous expeditions. You will be crossing thriving Shyok and Nubra river to reach the valley which is also home to numerous beautiful monasteries. The area is under military supervision because of its proximity to Siachen Base camp. The place is also known for interesting Bactrian camel rides.
Where: Nubra Valley
When: Between June to September
Highlight: Scenic beauty, Bactrian camel rides, and treks
21. Strolling At The Donkey Sanctuary – Interesting Chats
Isn’t is surprising to visit Donkey Sanctuary on your vacation? However, it may sound funny, but the place offers numerous interesting reasons for you to explore the place. The sanctuary offers care to the old and sick donkeys of the regions and provides them the geographical conditions required for a healthy living.
Where: Khakshal Village, Leh Ladakh
When: Between June to October
Highlight: The place gives you a chance to be friendly with animals, who are usually mocked!
22. Trek To Drang Drung Glacier – For Thrillers
Another awesome thing to do in Ladakh is taking a trek to Drang Drung Glacier located in Suru Valley. The glacier extends from Kargil to Panzella and the region is believed to be the most fertile in Ladakh region. Don’t forget to visit Panikhar and Parachik on your way to Drang Drung glacier for the best experience. This is one of the most exciting activities to do in Ladakh.
Where: Suru Basin, Leh Ladakh
When: During summers
Highlight: Scenic beauty, adventurous expeditions
23. Visit Illuminating Chemrey Monastery – Silent Talks
Chemrey Monastery in Ladakh is an impeccable Buddhist monastery that was established nearly 400 years ago. Located at a distance of nearly 40 kilometers from Leh, the prime highlights of this monastery is the enormous statue of Padmasambhava and the ancient scriptures with text embedded in gold and silver letters. It was founded by Lama Tagsand Raschen and is known for its serene ambiance.
When: Between June to October
Highlights: Statue of Padmasambhava and ancient scriptures
24. Peaceful Hours At Shanti Stupa – Religious Visits
Shanti Stupa in Leh is amongst the most popular Tibetan structures that is known for its architecture and beauty. Its white-dome structure is truly mesmerizing and the place offers panoramic sights of the surrounding area. The place will surely give you a perfect chance to revive your soul amidst the peaceful ambiance of this stupa. The stupa was established by a popular Japanese Buddhist, Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura in the year 1991.
Where: Shanti Stupa Rd, Leh
When: Throughout the year
Highlights: White-dome structure and serene ambiance
25. Stop At Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib – For Some Peace
Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib comes on the way from your travel to Sham Valley from Leh. If you’re in luck and time, you will be able to taste the delicious food from the langar. The place is Devoted to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and is a sacred place built beautifully to commemorate his visit to Ladakh. The place is also flocked by Tibetans as they worship the presiding deity of Guru Gompa Maharaj.
Where: NH 1D, Phey, Jammu and Kashmir 194101
When: May to September (make sure the roads aren’t closed)
Highlight: Sometimes, the Indian army personnel get to serve delicious meals. You’d be lucky if you witness that.
26. Shop To Content At Main Bazaar – For Souvenirs
Wondering what to do in Ladakh? Engage in shopping extravaganza at the Main Bazaar, which is a sprawling marketplace in Leh. Get a whole range of affordable items like apparel, accessories, Tibetan jewelry, and more. The locals as well as the tourists visit the markets in abundance. With a multitude of shops, you can expect a whole lot of bargaining.
Where: Main Bazaar Road, Leh
When: Evening and Night
Highlight: High end items at a pretty moderate budget
27. Sunrise At Pangong Tso – Truly Breathtaking
One of the wondrous things to do in Ladakh is observing the sunrise at Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake. It is a supreme spectacle located at an elevation of 14,270 ft. above the sea level. With an estimated depth of 300 ft, a major portion of the lake lies in Tibetan Autonomous region. A breathtaking sight and true craftsmanship of nature.You will observe an eye catching blue sky which is tranquil, and cold. This is one of the truly amazing Ladakh lakes that you can find.
When: Early Morning
Highlight: The turquoise blue waters and sights makes it an awe-inspiring spectacle. No particular place to stay here except surrounded by Mother Nature.
28. Enjoy The Ladakh Harvest Festival – A Cultural Triumph
This is an annual event that continues for two weeks and usually falls in September. The festival witnesses a vibrant procession that starts from Leh and continues to move till Polo ground. It is an immense celebration full of ceremonial costumes, music, and cultural performances. What’s even better to watch are the lamas of the sacred monasteries performing masked dances. Explore a multitude of contests including wedding celebrations, archery and polo contests. Celebrating here can be considered as one of the top things to do in Ladakh.
Highlight: Catch the color of Asian, Tibetan and North Indian traditions that capture its customs through theater shows, folk dances, and music.
29. Enjoy The Matho Nagrang Festival – For Buddhist Celebrations
Another famous festival in Ladakh is the Matho Nagrang Festival where you get to capture the true essence of Buddhism. Also, called the festival of the oracles, it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan calendar. The monks perform masked dances with colorful silk robes depicting various Gods. The oracles predict the future, of the locals as well as the tourists. Witnessing the festival is one of the top things to do in Ladakh.
Where: Matho Monastery
Highlights: Two oracles, who after a full month of meditation and isolation make an appearance in the main courtyard with masked dancers.
30. Gather At Stok Palace Museum – For Culture Lovers
Get to understand the history and culture of the valley in this museum. Located within the residential compound of the royal family, this huge museum has only a tiny portion available for tourists. One can find precious artifacts, and relics which are heaven if you are a history lover. Other displays include royal seals, jewelry, photographs and costumes. The war memorials are exhibited in a separate area which include bows, swords, shields and arrows. This is one of the top things to do in Ladakh. In fact, the museum is awfully close to one of the most famous treks called Stok Kangri Trek.
When: Throughout the year
Where: Stok, Jammu and Kashmir 194101
Highlights: An intriguing collection of the region’s history built in a huge palace
31. Pay Tributes At Hall of Fame – For A Soldier’s Sacrifice
Visiting this majestic region, although, at the centre of Indo-Pak conflicts and not getting into a war museum is an activity you should try and add to your list. The Hall of Fame museum has been constructed by the Indian Army to remember the martyrs of several Indo-Pak wars over the years.
The museum is divided into 2 regions, one where the arms, ammunitions and weapons are displayed while the other region has the apparel and amenities used by the army during the wars.
When: Throughout the year
Where: Leh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101
Highlights: The displays give you chills and make you realize the sacrifices of the soldiers for the country
32. Visit The Majestic Zorawar Fort – To Sense Pride
If you are visiting Leh, a visit to Zorawar Fort would give you access to a majestic view of the entire city. It was built in the 1830s when the Dogras and Sikhs took control of the valley. Under the recent renovation process, there has been an addition of a museum to explore. This fort stands as a pride for the entire region, and is made up of local clay, sun-dried bricks, stones and wooden frames.
When: Throughout the year
Where: Skara Rd, Leh, 194101
Highlights: Witness the struggles that the fort went through during its conflicts with the Chinese
So, hurry up, it’s Ladakh calling! If you can’t keep your adrenaline rush at bay and want to experience the best sightseeing around this pristine land, then make sure to indulge into these things to do in Ladakh in 2020. But before that make sure to plan your Ladakh vacation with TravelTriangle!
Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Ladakh
A. Ladakh is famous for its scenic beauty, Buddhist monasteries, unique culture and exciting adventure spots. It is also known for its amazing trekking routes. Leh, Ladakh’s administrative capital, is also popular among tourists because of its beautiful surroundings and monasteries.
A. April marks the start of tourist season in Ladakh and it is the best time to visit Leh Ladakh. However, June is also considered one of the best times of the year to visit Leh by bike. Visiting Leh Ladakh is still a cherished trip for many. If you wish to see the snowy roads and mountains this is the best time to go for a holiday. By mid-June, the snow begins to melt and therefore some of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh is a treat to eyes.
A. The several places to visit in Leh Ladakh is surely an experience of a lifetime. The beautiful landscape, and the monasteries, Buddhist culture attracts tourists from all across the globe. Adventure activities like skiing, trekking and more also attracts travellers from far off.
A. Thukpa, Chutagi and Tapu are some of the famous food in Ladakh. These are the signature dishes of Ladakh which are worth drooling over.
A. Ladakh is famous for its adventure activities. It offers incredible opportunity for white water river rafting, camping, trekking and the exciting motor biking experiences. The Buddhist monasteries reflect the rich art and culture of the region and is one of the must-visit in Ladakh.
A. There are numerous things to shop in Ladakh. Some of the must-buy include Tibetan handicrafts and wares, silver and stone jewellery, pashmina shawls, other woolen items and Kashmiri carpets.
A. The most important part of Ladakh for its people is the Indus. The reason is that the most major historical and current towns namely Leh, Basgo, Shey and Tingmosgang are located close to the Indus River.
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