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Leh Tours


On the banks of river Indus at an altitude of 11,000 feet, Leh is an important destination for Buddhist pilgrimage amidst breathtaking beauty. This land of majestic mountains is a complete beauty in itself. The roots of Buddhism were implanted here many centuries back and today this mountainous paradise boasts of many big and small Buddhist monasteries. Leh is also an important seat of Buddhist learning with followers from different parts of the world. It is essential to note that the monasteries are affiliated to different sects of Buddhism.

Facts and figures
Location from nearby major cities
Srinagar (256 kms), Jammu (364 kms).

Known For :
Leh is a revered pilgrimage destination for the Buddhists. It is also appreciated for its natural beauty.

Climate & the best time to visit :
Great fluctuations could be seen in the climatic conditions of Leh. It is hot during day time and one may even get sunburns. But temperature falls sharply at night to such levels that one may also experience frostbites. The summer temperature ranges from 30 degrees to -3 degrees while in winter it ranges from 15 degrees to -20 degrees. Rainfall is scarce as the average annual rainfall is only 50 mm.

The best time to visit Leh is between May and September.

Attractions in the City
Hemis Gompa Monastery>> Hemis Gompa : Located on the outskirts of Leh, Hemis Gompa is one of the important monasteries of the place. The monastery was built under the direct patronage of King Sinnge belonging to the powerful Namghyal dynasty of the place. The monastery has many thankas (paintings on cloth). The biggest of its kind is also kept in this monastery. The exhibition of this tankha takes place once in eleven years. In the month of June every year, a colourful fair takes place at Hemis the main attraction of which is mask dances by Lamas.

The Tsemo Gompa :
The Tsemo Gompa is another important monastery of the place. It is also called the Red Gompa due to its colour. The Gompa has a huge 2-storey high image of Maitreya Buddha flanked by Avalokitesvara and Manjusri figures. There is also a portrait of Tashi Namgyal, the main patron behind its construction.

Tiksey Monastery
An important monastery of the place, Tiksey is the most imposing monastery of Leh region. It is a 12-storey building painted in red with shades of white and ochre. The monastery has 10 temples surrounded by typical tapering walls. The huge complex also has many stupas, wall paintings, tankas, statues and large pillars engraved with Buddhist teachings. Another attraction of the monastery is a giant 15 metre high Buddha figure. The monastery is affiliated to the reformist Gelugs-Pa sect.

Soma Gompa :
The newest addition to the monasteries of Leh is the beautiful Soma Gompa. The monastery was built in the year 1957 to commemorate the 2500th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.

Alchi Monastery
Alchi is regarded as the jewel among Ladakh's monastic foundations. As a place of active worship, it was abandoned centuries ago. But it has been most lovingly maintained by the monks of Likir, the nearest functioning monastery. The monastery comprises of five temples, all of them stocking exquisite paintings and images. The murals here date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. According to art critics, some of the images are reminiscent of the paintings of the Ajanta Caves.

Tak-thok and Matho Gompas
These charming structures represent the smaller but much older Nying-ma-pa and Saskya-pa monastic sects of Buddhism. Tak-thok Gompa is situated at the foot of the Chang-la pass and incorporates one of the many caves in the Himalayas where Indian Buddhist apostle Padmasambhava is said to have rested and meditated. Matho Gompa is famous for the colourful festival of the oracles which is held every year in the first half of March.

Other Places to visit

Zanskar :
The Zanskar valley is marked by high ranges, fine Gompas and gentle people. It is the most isolated of all Himalayan valleys as it remains inaccessible for almost 8 months in a year. However, the hill ranges of Zanskar makes it one of the most popular trekking and mountaineering destinations in entire India.

Nubra Valley
Popularly known as the valley of flowers, Nubra valley is situated at an altitude of over10000 ft. Khardong la, the highest motorable road in the world at an altitude of 18,380 ft is located in this valley. There is also a beautiful monastery at Diksit in Nubra Valley which was founded in the year 1420. 7 kms from Diskit is the village of Hunder, famous for double hump camels. Such camels are found only in Central Asia apart from Nubra Valley. There are also a few hot water springs in the nearby villages.

Sani is a beautiful village located on the Kargil road. The main attraction here is the castle-like monastery which has been built on level ground. Its origin is associated with Kanishka (Kushan ruler of 2nd century AD) The main building comprises a huge multi-columned central prayer hall having many statues of popular Buddhist divinities.

How To Reach By Air
There is an airport in Leh. Direct flights are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar and Jammu.

By Road
The main road to reach the place is the Srinagar-Leh highway via Kargil. Though the distance to Leh from Srinagar is 256 kms, it takes almost a whole day to reach Leh due to the difficult terrain. The road is open between mid June and November only as heavy snowfall and landslide cuts it for rest of the year. Ordinary and deluxe buses of the J&K state road transport corporation regularly ply on this route.