A Travel Guide to Leh

Leh Airport Directory (IXL)
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Leh is the capital city of the union territory of Ladakh, which used to be home to the historical royalty of Ladakh. Nestled in between the lofty Himalayas, Leh is a traveller’s delight. The rugged mountainous terrain attracts adventurers who are up for a challenging trek and revel in the beauty of the small town and its uninhibited surroundings. Riddled with passes and tricky landscapes, Ladakh is famous among the biker circuit in India, as it is home to three of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world. 

Best time to visit Leh

Leh is one of the coldest places in India. Visit Leh during the summers to catch a break from the sultry heat in the rest of India. The months of April to July have temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C. A breakdown of the different seasonal conditions in Leh will help you plan the best time for you to visit. 

  • Summer: Summers in Leh are comfortable and also pose delightful conditions for travellers. The summer months in Leh are from March to June, and temperatures do not generally exceed 30°C. It is sunny, which is an excellent feeling amid the chilly Ladakh valley. 
  • Monsoon: Leh faces monsoon between July and August. The temperature falls between 10°C and 20°C. The showers of rain are short-lived, but they make the weather extremely chilly. 
  • Winters: The months between September and February are freezing. Leh experiences heavy snowfall amidst sub-zero temperatures. The early winter months are suitable for adventurers looking for a snow-filled visit; however, the latter months of winter are incredibly harsh to enjoy a comfortable stay. 

Most spoken languages in Leh

  • Ladakhi is the native language in Leh. It has Tibetan origins. The dialects differ from region to region, with the influences of both Ladakhi Muslims and Ladakhi Tibetans. 
  • Hindi and English is also spoken across tourist areas of Leh due to a high influx of tourists to the place. 

How to reach Leh

Unless you are riding your motorcycle up to Ladakh, here is how you can reach Leh. 

  • By air: You can book your IndoGo flights to Leh to the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. It is connected to major cities of India like Delhi, Srinagar, Mumbai and Kolkata. The airport is only 3.8 km away from the central city of Leh. Delhi to Leh flight tickets as well as the return Leh to Delhi flight tickets can be booked on our website.
  • By train: There are no train stations in Leh. The nearest railway station is in Jammu, which is a 15-hour drive from Ladakh. 
  • By road: Leh is accessible through either the Srinagar-Leh Highway or the Manali-Leh Highway. Various state and private buses ply on this route.
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Places to visit in Leh

  • Leh Palace: Built approximately around the 1600s, Leh Palace is one of the reminiscent traces of the royal family of Leh. The lofty palace has stood the test of time and is now a museum, which houses an elegant collection of royal antiques and jewellery. The palace is open to visitors. The exquisite and beauty of the palace is mesmerising. It is also one of the most significant historical landmarks in Leh. 
  • Magnetic Hill: In the middle of nowhere in Leh lies an uphill road with the sign, ‘Magnetic Hill’. This is a place of scientific miracle and one which intrigues visitors in Leh. When you park your vehicle near the signboard, the car starts moving up on its own against the natural course of gravity. This extraordinary place defies the laws of gravity and boggles the mind! 
  • Namgyal Tsemo Gompa: This is one of the monasteries in Leh built by the royalty around 1430. A three-story statue of Lord Buddha, which is made of gold, stands tall at the monastery. It is a very clear sight amidst the clear skies and unpopulated stretch of area in Leh. 
  • Nubra Valley: The place is called the valley of flowers in the Tibetan dialect. The area is a scenic sight that gets imprinted in the memory of tourists. It is the confluence point of the Shyok River and the Nubra River. You have to travel through the Khardung La (Pass) to reach this enthralling place.
  • Lamayuru Monastery: The Tibetan Buddhist monastery is one of the grandest monasteries in Leh. Located on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, this is one of the most famous monasteries in the region. Enjoy great views and learn a lot about the local Buddhist culture when you visit Lamayuru, it is filled with peace and tranquillity along with the freshness of the mountain winds.

Places to eat in Leh

The cuisine in Ladakh is very similar to the cuisine of Tibet. It warms the soul along with the body in the frosty weather of Leh. Enjoy piping hot thukpa, momo, skyu and butter tea, among various other local culinary delights. These are some of the best places to grab a bite in Leh.

  • Namza Dining: Namza is a cosy eatery that overlooks a quaint garden. They serve cuisine which has recipes tracing back to the time of the Silk Route. They have a wide range of authentic cuisine along with a studio too, which showcases local artwork. 
  • Tibetan Kitchen: Located in the main bazaar area of Leh, this place serves up excellent Ladakhi and Tibetan food. Locals and tourists swear by this place. 
  • Wanderers Terrace and Café: Enjoy an incredible view of the Leh Palace as you dine at this chic rooftop eatery. The thukpa and skyu are the most recommended dishes in this restaurant. 
  • Sky Wok Restaurant: Sky Wok is a beautifully done up modern restaurant, which serves some of the best food in the area. Their wood fire pizza is a must-try.

Shopping in Leh

When visiting Leh, it is imperative to head back home with a souvenir or the beautiful handicrafts of the area. Rugs, shawls, exquisite stones, fresh fruit preserves and much more; Leh is an excellent place for visitors who would like to indulge in shopping. 

  • Main Bazaar: The bazaar area of Leh is the ultimate shopping destination in the city. From jewellery, handicrafts, souvenirs, antiques and woollens, you can find everything in the bazaar. Immerse in the beautiful local culture when you explore the bazaar. 
  • Zanskar Arts: This shop is one of the best places in Leh to shop for local handicrafts, especially apparel, shawls and rugs. They are renowned for their beautiful pashmina shawl collection. 
  • Moti Market: This old market in Leh is a tourist hotspot where you can find rare gems, precious stones, and various antique souvenirs.

Where to stay in Leh

Enjoy a luxurious stay and enjoy majestic views from some of the best hotels in Leh. 

  • Stok Palace Heritage Hotel: The Stok Palace Heritage Hotel is one of the palaces of the Ladakh royalty, which has been converted into a hotel. This grand place has been open to visitors since 1980 with the blessings of the Dalai Lama. Enjoy unmatched views and services when you stay here. 
  • Himalayan Residency Ladakh: Located very close to the Leh Market, this quaint hotel is very close to the popular tourist sites in Leh, like the Leh Palace, Sankar Gompa and the Shanti Stupa.
  • The Indus Valley: Indus Valley sits along the Stok Ranges. The palatial architecture is beautiful and a great place for a getaway. The place is elegant and offers one of the best services in Leh. Enjoy a great hot tub dip while enjoying the scenery. 
  • The Bodhi Tree: The Bodhi Tree offers a very homely staying experience. It is a charming place that blends traditional architecture along with all the modern amenities. Located away from the city, the Bodhi tree offers a peaceful stay.

More reasons to visit Leh

  • Pangong Lake: Sitting at 14,270 feet above sea level, Pangong Lake is a breath-taking sight. The lake is frozen with a thick sheet of ice on top. You will go through the Chang La to reach the lake, which borders China. The pristine clear water can be seen through the ice. Migratory birds visit this mesmerising place, and chameleons are often found wandering in the vicinity. 
  • Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary: Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary is a treasure chest of Himalayan flora and fauna. Snow leopards, Ibexes, Ladakh Urial and White Rumped Shama, are just a few of the numerous animal and bird species which can be spotted in the sanctuary. You can explore the sanctuary by taking a jeep safari. The sanctuary protects a lot of endangered Himalayan animals and birds. 
  • Thiksey Monastery: This old monastery was established in 1430 and houses various ancient shrines. Located towards the north of the Indus River, this monastery stands on top of a hill. The Gustor ritual is a very famous festival held in this monastery, which is an intriguing experience. 

Festivals in Leh

  • Ladakh Festival: The Department of Tourism organises a seven-day festival called Ladakh Festival every year. The primary aim of the festival is to boost tourism and takes place in September to extend the lean tourist season in the region and therefore represents the area's rich cultural heritage. To experience such spacticular festivals, you can book domestic flight from IndiGo and avail excellent offers on the Leh flight tickets.

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