Journey To Leh
When you get a golden opportunity to visit the ‘high-desert city in the Himalayas’ aka Leh, you should grab it firsthand. The first thing that greets you from your flight are the Himalayan and Shiwalik ranges, which are enough to take your breath away. The allure of the mountains sort of put you in a trance and all your mundane problems seem distant.
Leh is a land that is an amalgamation of Buddhism, breath-taking landscapes and the right amount of patriotism.
Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame is a museum constructed and maintained by the Indian army in memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak wars.
The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.
The perfect Travel Companion for my Leh trip for all intents and purposes
Glorious Thiksey Gompa is one of Ladakh’s biggest and most recognisable monasteries. Covering a large rocky outcrop with layered Tibetan-style buildings, it’s a veritable monastic village incorporating shops, a school, restaurant and hotel.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, is a beautiful Gurudwara sahib constructed in the memory of Guru Nanak, about 25 miles away from Leh, on the Leh-Kargil road, 12000 ft above sea level. The Gurdwara was built in 1517 to commemorate the visit to the Ladakh region of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder Guru of the Sikh faith.
Moonland of Lamayuru
Astounding beauty welcomes you to this absolutely mesmerising spot. Fondly, known as Moon land amidst the locals, Lamayuru in Ladakh, a few km ahead of Likir, is quite certainly moon on Earth. The soft craters, orangish yellow land simply add charm to the surreal beauty of Lamayuru.
The different beauty of Moonland will leave you breathless, to say the least. Unlike anything you have seen before, the journey to this alluring spot is definitely worth the effort. It is believed a Buddhist lama, Yuru was looking for a spot to set up his monastery. As he set foot on this spot, his decision was made. Moonland as it is known now was then completely submerged in water with a few craggy rocks on the surface. Using his immense spiritual powers, Lama Yuru ordered the waters to recede in order to have land for his monastery. And, quite certainly the waters did recede leaving this unreal piece of land for a beautiful monastery.
The monastery set along the foot of the mountain is a sight to behold. Small yet charming, visit the monastery for its unique history and simplicity. The uncanny beauty of Moonland will completely bedazzle you offering you an unforgettable experience.
A small village in Leh, Alchi is the home to the famous Alchi Monastery or Alchi Choskhor. This historic monument dates back to the 12th century. However many monasteries you see in Ladakh, you will not see anything like Alchi.
To begin with, it’s not a gompa but a chos khor, a sacred enclave and a seat of learning. No monks live at Alchi and it is lamas from nearby Likir who look after it. For another, Alchi holds a record of Buddhism from the time of the 11th and 12th centuries that is quite unique.
A place of importance in these centuries, it was abandoned as a place of worship — for unknown reasons — in possibly the early 16th century, which accounts for the superb preservation of its exquisite frescoes — rare Ladakhi pieces of art that have not been painted over for centuries.
Alchi also thus depicts Buddhist art from before the time Ladakh looked to Tibet for religious inspiration, from a time when Kashmiri artists were painting the Ladakhi walls with their style of depiction.
ENROUTE NUBRA: CROSSING KHARDUNG LA
On your way to Nubra you cross the mighty Khardung La, which is the highest motorable pass in the world, “La” is local terminology means a “pass”. It stands at 18,380 ft above sea-level and the mountains have a majestic aura around them.
A verdure of green in the arid Karakoram Range, Nubra Valley in Jammu and Kashmir is strategically located near the Khardungla Pass and Siachen Glacier. To travel here tourists require an Inner Line Permit, obtainable in Leh. Take a long walk and enjoy the gushing and splashing river Shyok.
Located at a distance of 160 kms from Leh, the Nubra Valley is a place of beauteous scenery, with the lush green valley standing in sharp contrast to the lofty barren mountains.
The meeting place of Nubra and Shyok rivers, this valley divides the Karakoram Ranges and Ladakh. It is the irrigation of these rivers that the villages located nearby achieve their swaying fields in this area which is otherwise a mountain desert.
A Buddhist dominated society, one can visit Samstanling Monastery and Diksit Monastery when here. The 35 meter tall statue of Maitreya Budhdha is intricately decorated and with the barren colourless hills in the background, it is a divine sight.
Pangong Lake also known as Pangong Tso is a beautiful lake situated in the Himalayas and is 135 km long, extending from India to China. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 14,300 ft and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country.
The beauty and allure of this lake has attracted people from all over the country and beyond.
The one factor that makes this Lake so popular is the fact that it keeps changing colors. Situated in the Himalayan range it is approximately 140 km from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. The name of the lake Pangong was got from a Tibetan word Banggong Co that means a narrow and enchanted lake. And now you know that the lake has got its name rightfully.
You are sure to be enchanted by the charm. And because the lake is a long stretch, one third area of the lake lies within our country and the other two third portion lies with Tibet and is controlled by China.
Leh is home to beautiful fauna. Majestic Horses, who are busy eating flowers or drinking water from trapped water bodies, to the rodent like Marmot, the midget goats aka the famous Pashmina Goats, exotic birds which are a common site at Pangong Lake and not to forget the furry dogs (who locals ask people to be aware of).
One comes back charged with a certain amount of patriotism and an inclination towards spirituality. And for all those who are in search for themselves, who knows, you might find yourself in this pious Land of the Lamas.