Ladakh Destination Guide

Ladakh is situated in the northernmost region of India, nestled between the Himalayas and the Karakoram Range.What makes it special isn't just its amazing views but also its rich culture. There are old Buddhist monasteries that peacefully exist alongside the strong people who live there. Ladakh has striking landscapes and exciting local festivals that attract adventurers and curious travelers. This introduction only shows a bit of what Ladakh has to offer. There's a lot more to discover and enjoy in this wonderful place.

District - Leh

State - Union Territory

Languages - Ladakhi, Tibetan, Urdu, Balti, Hindi, English

Best Time to Visit:

Summer (May to September): Ideal for trekking, sightseeing, and exploring the region. The weather is pleasant, and most roads and passes are open.

Winter (October to April): Perfect for experiencing the winter wonderland. However, many roads and passes are closed due to heavy snowfall.



Summer - 8°C - 25°C

Winter - -5°C to -20°C

Altitude - 3500 m




Ladakh gets festooned vibrantly to celebrate a number of festivals. Natives eagerly await to celebrate festivals in Ladakh. Amongst the popular ones, Hemis Festival outstands the rest. This fiesta is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava at the famous Hemis Monastery.


Other festivals which are celebrated here are Sindhu Darshan, festival celebrated on the full moon day (Guru Purnima) in May-June and Ladakh Festival, celebrated in September.


Things to do in Ladakh – 


01.  Attractions.

02.  Lakes

03.  Monasteries

04.  River Rafting

05.  Passes

06.  Trekking

07.  Festivals

01.  Attractions in Ladakh – 

Ladakh is a treasure trove of cultural and traditional heritage. Boasts of enchanting landscapes, snow-clad peaks, and high-altitude pass, Ladakh is truly a heaven. There are a plethora of tourist attractions in Ladakh which lures a large number of people from all over the country. Encompassed by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, Ladakh is embraced by Ladakh range, and the Zanskar range as well. Leh-Ladakh is well-known for its pristine beauty, glaciers, high-altitude mountain passes, pristine lakes, and shimmering rivers and a rich variety of flora and fauna. Leh Ladakh is one of the prime tourist destinations in India. It is a paradise of the Buddhist pilgrims, leisure vacationers, and especially adventurers.

Visiting Leh Ladakh can be a great experience as these places have a lot of natural beauty. There are a number of attractions in Ladakh that are filled with extreme pristine beauty, the list is inclusive of well- known ancient monasteries, other religious sites, palaces of the royalty, various gompas, mountain peaks, wildlife safaris, adventure activity spots and much more. Ladakh with a unique characteristic that is a blend of Indian, Tibetan as well as Buddhism linings makes it a place that is worth paying a visit to. The popular Ladakh sightseeing places are Magnetic Hill, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Ice Stupa, Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Diskit Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Pangong Lake, Tso Miriri, Tso Kar, and many more religious places.


This beautiful hilly region, every year, is visited by a large number of local as well as foreign tourists. It is both a popular summer as well as a winter holiday destination. The untouched beauty, snow-clad mountain peaks, lush greenery, and secluded spots attract a lot of honeymooners too. That is not all. There are numerous tourist places in the Ladakh region where people can indulge in adventure activities such as trekking, mountain biking, rafting, mountaineering, and so on, it is well-known amidst adventure enthusiasts too.

We offer a wide range of meticulously crafted Ladakh tour packages with which tourists get an opportunity to embark on the Ladakh sightseeing and explore the region in the best possible way. We offer customized Ladakh holiday packages as well and people can design their tour with the help of our tour specialists. 


·      Leh Palace

·      Stok Palace

·      Hall of Fame

·      Shanti Stupa

·      Jama Masjid

·      Tsemo fort

·      Old Town

·      Dha and Hanu

·      Tiger Hill

·      Drass War Memorial

·      Nimu

·      Maitreya Buddha



Ladakh is not without its share of natural, visual marvels and lakes are a big part of its humbling landscapes. Within the modest landmass it occupies, the Cold Desert of Kashmir has 3 beautiful lakes - Pangong Tso Lake, Tsomoriri Lake and Tsokar Lake - each more awe inspiring than the other. In fact, not many know that the Pangong Tso changes colors with every hour and turns from emerald green color to varying hues of sky and velvet blue. The best time to visit these lakes is in summers (May to July). During the winters, these lakes get frozen and become so solid that they are better used as roads. This page enlists and elaborates on the 3 lakes in Ladakh. Each lake is explained individually with handy information about its location, altitude and suggested activities.


·      Pangong Lake

·      Tsomoriri lake

·      Tso Kar lake

·      Yarab Tso lake



Ladakh is a treasure trove of Buddhist culture and traditions. Boasts of intricately built monasteries, Ladakh exhibits the cultural heritage of the bygone era. With the Ladakh monastery tour, the tourists can get an opportunity to explore the enchanting beauty of the famous monasteries in Ladakh.

During the long course of its history, Ladakh was ruled by several dynasties who brought their culture, religion, and traditions to this region, giving it a unique feature. As far as religion is concerned, Buddhism is followed here by a major portion of the population. Irrespective of the rugged terrain and remote inaccessible areas, monks and preachers passed through them and built monasteries all over the place. There are innumerable monasteries in Ladakh, some in ruins while others are still inhabited, running as educational and religious centres. It is no exaggeration that these gompas are a cultural and architectural delight.

We offer a wide range of customizable Ladakh monastery tour packages that suit every kind of traveller. Most of these monasteries are ancient and world-renowned. They are visited by both local and international followers of Buddhism in large numbers, every year. At Leh Ladakh India, we can have a number of excellent planned Leh Ladakh monastery tour packages. By opting any, you can experience the magnificence and grandeur of these serene sacred sites. The most popular Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh are Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Diskit Gompa, Spituk Monastery, Phugtal Gompa, Likir Monastery, Stakna Monastery, and Rangdum Monastery.

The Ladakh monastery travel package offers an excellent opportunity to the traveller to savor the Buddhist culture and explore the best monasteries in Ladakh. Most of the monasteries in Ladakh are situated on the hilltop. Their architecture is a perfect blend of Buddhist and Tibetan shills. Explore the sightseeing places of Ladakh with the variety of experiential Ladakh tours.



River rafting in Ladakh evokes thrill like no other. Settled in the lap of Himalayas, the difficult terrain has two swift rivers- Indus River and Zanskar River with exciting rapids, perfect for river rafting. The wonderful landscape of Ladakh adds to the delight of rafting. The towering mountains, Colourful Monasteries , ancient canyons formed by the river, chilly winds, the freezing waters and unrivalled  thrill, all make rafting in Ladakh an experience that you do not forget easily.

Luring visitors from all over the world, River Rafting in Ladakh is one of the most adventurous activities in India. Accessible only for three months of the year (July, August, September), as rivers get frozen in winters and start flowing in summer, getting to heavy flow in the monsoon. Experienced guides, efficient gear and

Learn more about your adventure expedition.

Indus River Rafting 

Locally known as the Singhe Khababs (out of Lion’s mouth), Indus River flows from north-west to south-east Ladakh. Originating in Tibet, near the Kailash Mountain and the Man Sarovar Lake, the river gets frozen in winter and flows in high speed during the month June to late August which is also the best time for adventure sport of rafting.

Expeditions for river rafting on Indus last for one to five days. Rapids on the river found are generally of I and II grades and at some places and grade III to even V rapids.

The most popular river rafting routes on Indus River are:

  • Phey – Nimo route

Rafting on this stretch of Indus River starts from Phey Village, about 12 km from Leh and ends at Indus-Zanskar confluence at Nimo, about 36 km from Leh, this route consists mostly of Grade II and III rapids. Adding to the thrill is the scenery of beautiful mountains, tiny hamlets and imposing old monasteries nestled among the valleys.

  • Upshi – Kharu route

In comparison to Phey-Nimo route, Upshi to Kharu route for river rafting in Indus is not too difficult. The river has Grade I and II rapids, with handful of grade III rapids too. Rafting starts at Upshi, about 90 km south-east of Leh, along the road which leads south to Manali, ending in Kharu.

  • Phey – Saspol 

This rafting adventure trip starts from Phey, about 8 km south of Leh and ends at Saspol, on Leh-Srinagar Highway, near Alchi. In addition to the thrill of the speedy waters, this route is blessed with the breathtaking view of landscapes and beauty of tiny hamlets on both sides of Indus River.

  • Kharu – Spituk 

Favored by the beginners and amateurs, this rafting route in Ladakh starts from Kharu, 45 km South-East from Leh and ends at Spituk, just short of Leh. The rapids are quite basic and the views are more than a beauty to cherish.

  • Saspol – Khaltsey

For the true adventure aficionados looking for exhilarating river rafting in Ladakh, the Saspol to Khaltsey route offers the ultimate challenge. The highlight of this route is the kilometer-long series of rapids at Nurla. The rafting will finish at Khaltsey 90 km from Leh.

River Rafting on Zanskar River 

Zanskar River is a north-flowing tributary of Indus River, perfect for thrilling river rafting in Ladakh. Frozen in the winters, Zanskar is famous for the frozen Chadar trek, but in the summers and the monsoon, the river has a swift flow.

The adventure –laden route is mostly upto the confluence of Zanskar and Indus. There are stretches on the river blessed with grade II to V rapids that includes Alchi, Nimmo, Upper Nimmo, Big Water 'Chilling', Zangla and Major Surprise (created by a recent land slide).

Here are some of the popular river rafting stretch on Zanskar River:

  • Tsogsti to Sangam

The easiest stretch on the Zanskar River for rafting, the route from Tsogsti to Sangam takes almost 1 hour with rapids of grade 1+. Enjoying the speedy flow of the river along with spectacular scenery creates cherished memories.

  • Choklamsar to Phay 

The rapids on the Choklamsar to Phay route are mostly grade 1-2 and can be easily covered in 1.5 hours. Passing through the ancient Zanskar gorge, the landscape is particularly impressive.

  • Schorpochay to Sangam 

This particular river stretch from Schorpochay to Sangam are dotted with grade 2+ rapids which offers a memorable rafting adventure on Zanskar River, that can be covered in 2.5 hours.

  • Phay to Sangam

Phay to Sangam stretch on the Zanskar River is dotted with rapids of grade 2+ which can be easily covered in 2.5 hours.

  • Sangam to Alchi

Posing a challenge to rafters, the river stretches to Sangam and Alchi has a number of thrilling rapids some of grade level 3+. Taking around 2.5 hours the adventure is also blessed with breath-taking scenery of the mountains.

  • Chilling to Sangam

One of the best experiences of thrilling white water rafting in Ladakh, the 30 km stretch on the Zanskar River from Chilling to Sangam is blessed with a number of Grades to 2-4. The impressive landscape along with the adrenalin pumping activity makes for some of the best Adventure sport in Ladakh.

05.  Passes in Ladakh – 


In medieval times, the Himalayan mountain passes used to be the major trade routes of the South- Asian countries. The great Himalayan passes were the means through which a larger part of the Indian subcontinent along with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan was connected to the rest of the world. In India, these routes were used for the trading of silk, spices and other goods. At present, these passes have immense military importance as a mode of supply for various military facilities such as food, fuel and ammunition. These high mountain passes play a major role in the growth of the tourism industry as major tourist destinations such as Ladakh, major areas in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim are approachable through these high mountain passes. Not all high mountain passes are accessible for a regular tourist due to unfavourable weather conditions.


·      Khardungla Pass

·      Chang La Pass

·      Bara – lacha La Pass

·      Tanglang La Pass

·      Fotu La Pass

·      Lachulung La Pass

·      Namikala Pass

·      Zoji La Pass

·      Umling La Pass



We know how beautiful Ladakh is. Its lakes, mountains, valleys, passes, monasteries and culture, everything possesses a magical touch, it seems. There are many ways of experiencing the beauty of Ladakh, but when it comes to coming close to nature, none can beat trekking. Trekking in Ladakh is adventure at its best. You come across rare sights which you wouldn’t otherwise. A thousand thoughts flood your mind as you walk past marvellous sights and think to yourself – the glories of Mother Nature are indeed infinite!

However, before you go trekking, you should know what the most popular treks in Ladakh are and what do each of them have to offer. This way, you can decide for yourself which treks you want to undertake. Before undertaking any trekking expedition in Ladakh, it’s very important to know the best time for trekking, the best season and other such information which makes your trekking tour a success. You will find all that in this trekking in Ladakh travel guide. Read on to know more!


Most popular treks in Ladakh


I am sure you are curious to know what the most popular treks in Ladakh are. Well, here it is! Below I will tell you the most popular treks of Ladakh that give you the best of adventure and sightseeing. You think you know what beautiful is? Wait till you undertake one of these treks.


Chadar: The Frozen River Trek


With the plummeting of temperatures during winters, the Zanskar River turns into a sheet of snow. This is when the famous Chadar Trek is undertaken. One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, it takes you to a world of icy wonders. At times, you will also have the feeling of sliding over icy ground. Be careful though, the trek can get quite challenging at times! What the Chadar Trek will leave you with are lovely memories and an appreciation of nature.

Altitude: 12,361ft, 3,850 m

Best Season: Mid-Jan to end-Feb

Difficulty Level: Difficult


Markha Valley Trek


Markha Valley Trek is one of the best treks for beginners in Ladakh. It’s also known as the “tea-house trek” because the trekker can expect accommodations in parachute tents at the villages along the way. It’s just the right trek for you if you are new to trekking. During the course of this trek, the spectacular beauty of Ladakh greets your eyes. The highlight of this trek is the Kongmaru La Pass, an incredibly scenic place located at an altitude of almost 5,000m. Besides this, you are treated to the gorgeous views of the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges, Kang Yatze and Stok Kangri peaks.

Altitude: 3,700m, 12,139ft

Best Season: June to September

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Stok Kangri Trek


You think you are tough enough? Try the Stok Kangri Trek. The Stok Kangri Trek is one of the most challenging treks in Ladakh. During the course of the trek, you come across various sceneries, each of which show a different picture of Ladakh’s beauty. You are also treated to spectacular views of Zanskar and Indus Valley during the course of the trek. It should be noted though, that this trek is certainly not for the faint of heart due to its incredible altitude and difficulty. Prepare yourself both physically and mentally before setting off. Once you reach the summit though, you can enjoy breathtaking views of K2, or Mt. Godwen-Austen.


Altitude: 6,000m, 19,685ft

Best Season: Mid-July to mid-September

Difficulty Level: Difficult


Snow Leopard Trek  


Snow Leopard Trek is one of the best treks in Ladakh because not only does it give you plenty of adventure, but also lets you admire its fascinating wildlife. Snow Leopard Trek covers the Hemis National Park which stretches to almost 600sq. km in the valleys of Markha and Rumbak. While the other treks show you the natural beauty of Ladakh, this trek gives you the chance of spotting rare and endangered species that live exclusively in the cold desert. Some of these are ibex, snow leopard, Ladakhi Urial, marmot, Tibetan Hare and antelope, besides others.  


Altitude: 3,000m, 9,842ft

Best Season: January-February

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Lamayuru to Alchi trek


What makes the Lamayuru to Alchi Trek different from the other treks is the glimpse it provides of the lifestyle of the Indo-Tibetan people. You get a chance to explore the rich history of the region through the walls of the ancient monasteries of Ladakh as well as the scriptoriums. The major attractions of this trek are the Lamayuru Monastery followed by Prinkti La at 3,750m and the Alchi Monastery along with isolated small villages including Ursi and Mang-Gyu. The most difficult part of this trek, however, is the steep trail that leads to Tar La Pass at 5,250m after crossing Ursi village.


Altitude: 5,200m, 1,7060ft

Best Season: May-November

Difficulty Level: Easy


Lamayuru to Chilling Trek


The reason you should go for the Lamayuru to Chilling Trek is that if offers a little bit of everything that Ladakh is famous for. Opting for this trek lets you enjoy not only the spectacular natural beauty of Ladakh but also get a glimpse of its spiritual and cultural side through the monasteries, villages and the locals whom you meet along the way. The Lamayuru to Chilling Trek also offers you the magnificent views of the Stok and Karakoram ranges as well as the Dungdung Chan La, Prinkti La and Kongskil La Passes. The best part about this trek is that anyone can go for it without requiring any experience in trekking.


Altitude: 4,950m, 16,240ft

Best Season: Mid-June to September

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Kashmir Great Lakes Trek


Want to give your trip to Kashmir a personal touch? Set off for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The trek takes you past the sights that have always dreamt of visiting, but at a close range. All the lakes of Kashmir pride themselves on their virgin like beauty. During the course of the trek, you will visit the famous lakes of Kashmir including Vishansar Lake, Gadsa Lake, Satsar Lake and Gangabal Twin Lakes. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek will also take you past beautiful streams, meadows and forests dotted with pine trees.


Altitude: 13,800ft, 4,206m

Best Season: June-September

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Ripchar Valley Trek


Ripchar Valley Trek is a favorite with the tourists. The prime reasons behind the popularity of the trek is the magnificent views it offers of the Ladakhi landscape. The trek takes you across spectacular mountain ranges including Zanskar, Karakoram and other ranges which form a part of the Himalayas. You also cross several small villages along the way, lush pastures and other sceneries that Ladakh is so famous for. The trek also takes you to the region of Chilling, renowned the world over for its production of copper.


Altitude: 4300m, 14107ft

Best Season: June to September

Difficulty Level: Easy


Lamayuru to Darcha Trek


You should try the Lamayuru to Darcha Trek in Ladakh if you want to experience the cultural and spiritual side of it. What many people tend to forget is that Ladakh is rich not just in its topography, but also in its culture. The trail is dotted with several monasteries, visiting which can be a spiritually uplifting experience. Some of these monasteries include Lamayuru, Phugtal Monastery and Lingshet village. This trek is a favorite with trekkers looking to explore the spirituality of Ladakh.


Altitude: 5000m, 16,404ft

Best Season: July-September

Difficulty Level: Easy


Jhunglam Hemis to Padum Trek


Jhunglam Hemis to Padum Trekoffers you one of the most enthralling trails for trekking in Ladakh. The trek covers the most beautiful places in Ladakh including the Markha Valley, Zangla Village and Zanskar Valley. You will also visit the renowned Hemis Monastery and see the beauty of villages like Chokdo and Chuskurmo. However, it should be remembered that the trail will require you to cross several rivers and constantly acclimatize due to the frequently changing altitudes. Certainly, this trek is not an easy one to undertake, however, the entire experience is worth it.


Altitude: 5200m, 1,7060ft

Best Season: August to October

Difficulty Level: Difficult


Lamayuru to Stok Kangri Trek


You have always been fascinated with the Himalayas, right? If you want to enjoy the breathtaking views it provides at a close distance, then the Lamayuru to Stok Kangri Trek is for you. The best part about this trek is that it can be undertaken by both amateurs and experts alike. The Stok Kangri peak can be accessed from the Markha Valley. The trek takes you through several villages located at high altitudes as well as a part of Hemis National Park, where you might be lucky to spot a few animals.  


Altitude: 6150m, 20,177ft

Best Season: Mid-June to September

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Padum to Darcha Trek


Can you imagine coming across the different topographies of Ladakh in just one trek? That’s what the Padum to Darcha Trek, one of the best treks to go in Ladakh, offers. It’s quite interesting to know that this trek is quite popular among the Europeans. The steepest point in the trek is the Shingo La which stands at 16,568ft. As for the special experience during the trek, that awaits you in the form of the Gombu Rangjom rock, where the yaks can be seen grazing in pastures full of wild flowers. Oh, and the trek also covers a point which the Indians are emotionally attached to, Kargil.


Altitude: 5000m, 16,404ft

Best Season: June - September

Difficulty Level: Easy


Rules and Permissions for Trekking in Ladakh


Before you decide to go trekking to these famous tourist destinations in Ladakh, there are a few rules which you should be acquainted with. Trekking in the areas around Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri requires you to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP). This can be obtained from any travel agent in Leh and costs around INR 100-200. If you decide to go on the Stok Kangri Trek, you will have to obtain a permit from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) at a price of around INR 2000. The office of the IMF is located near Chanspa Road in Leh. Trekking in the Hemis National Park also requires you to obtain a permit from the dhaba below Rumbak village. For Indians, this will cost around Rs. 20 whiles for foreigners, the cost will be around Rs. 100.



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