In Ladakh, most of the attractions are Buddhist monasteries and palaces. Almost every few kilometers you will find a monastery still well preserved displaying its rich architecture and great Buddhist culture. Ladakh is a province that is full of natural beauty and you don't have to go to a specific place to admire its allurement.

Hemis Gompa:- situated 40Km from Leh. Hemis is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh. The annual festival of the Gompa is held in summer in honour of Guru padma. Sambhava’s birth anniversary. It also has the largest Thanka in Ladakh which is unfurled once in 12 years. Hemis was built in 1630 A.D during the reign of Senge namgyal and flourished under the Namgyal dynasty.

Shey:- 15Kms upstream from Leh. Shey palace is believed to have been the seat of power of the pre-tibetan kings. A 8 meter high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, is installed in the palace. Shey is also the first capital of Ladakh.

Martho gompa:- Mato is five Km from stigma in a side valley. There is an important festival held here where the monks are possessed by spirits and go into a trans , slagna, on the road has a Gompes too.

Stok palace:- 17 km beyond choglamsarb is the stock monestry of built in 18th centuary.
The palace of last king of ladakh. Kunsang nangyal. It has a meuseum it has a unique colletion of ornaments from the royal family and exuistic Tangkhas, stok is also resident of present royal family.

Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey Monastery was built in the fifteenth century and it belongs to the Gelugpa Sect. Situated around 20 km from Leh, the structure of the monastery is the most impressive and grand in all of Ladakh. The monastery is located on the top of a hill and overlooks many small villages that are present in the valley on the foot of the hill.The monastery is still very lively and has around 10 temples inside the premises. Inside the monastery, you will find the one of the most photographed image in Ladakh, the 15 m tall Maitreya Buddha. It was built to immortalize the visit of Dalai Lama in 1970. If possible, try to come to this monastery in early morning or at noon. That is the time when prayers are held in the monastery. Accompanied by rolling drumbeats and Tibetan horns, the prayers are not to be missed.

Hemis Monastery

Currently the biggest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh is Hemis Monastery, built in the year 1630 by King Senge Namgyal. It is also called 'Chang Chub Sam Ling' which means the solitary place of the compassionate one. The monastery stands hidden deep in a gorge and a walk to the monastery will take you across many shortens and small walls. The monastery today belongs to the Kagyug Drukpa FEB31E Hat sect and is home to Drukpa Kagyug lineage. Inside the monastery, you will be spellbound to find the largest thangka in the world, which stands as tall as two floors in length. The thangka is displayed only once in 12 years and the next display will be in 2016. The monastery is also famous for the three day Hemis festival that is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava on every 9th, 10th and 11th of fifth month according to Tibetan calender. During the festival you will see Lamas and laypersons performing a sacFEB31E dance dressed in century old masks and traditional clothing portraying gods and demons and depicting triumph of good over evil.

Spituk monastery

Gompa is on the hill top near Indus, around 18 Kms from Leh. Which was founded in 11th century by Od-De the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub-od, the Gompa named Spituk (exemplary) when Rinchen Zangpo translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially it belonged to the Kadampa school then during the life time of king Gragspa Bumide made it Gayluk Pa order. the Spituk festival held every year from 17th to 19th days of the 11th month.

Phyang monastery

Phyang is 17 Kms west of Leh on the blue hill, belongs to Dingung order, founded in 15th century by Chosje Danma Kunja Dragpa in the time of king Jamjang Namgyal. Phyang monastery is also called Tashi Chosang, which mark the first established of the Dingung to teachings in Ladakh. The festival of Gang-Sgnon Tsedub are held every year from 17th to 19th of the 1st month.

Lekir monastery

Located around 52 Kms from Leh, know as Klu-Kkhjil (water spirits) founded in the 14th century by Lama Dhwang Chosje a great champion of meditation. The site of the monastery was encircled by the bodies of two great spent spirits. Therefore, name became widely renowned as Lekir. In the 15th century the disciple of Khasdubje know a lhawang Lodos Sangphu caused the monastery to flourish. This monastery also belongs to Gaylukpa school. Every year from the 17th to 19th of the 12th month the Lekir festival is held.

Alchi monastery

Alchi Choskor is the only monastery in the Ladakh on flat ground, around 69 Kms west of Leh. Largest and most famous of all of the temples and built by the great translator Ringchem Zangpo. The temple was founded in 11th century which accounts for the Indian and particularly Kashmiri influences.

Rizong monastery

Rizong is also known as Yuma Changchubling about 73 Kms from Leh and around 6 Kms from main road, founded about 138 years ago by the great Lama Tsultim Nima. Gompa belong to Gelukpa order. Dress and food provisions are provided for all member of the community by the Governing body of the monastery. The monastery is sited in a most solitary positions and there is a nunnery place called chulichan down the monastery. The work of spinning wool, milking, extracting oil for the temple lamps has to be performed by all the nuns.

Lamayuru monastery

The oldest and spectacularly set Lamayuru monastery is about 125 kms. West of Leh, founded in the 10th century in 11th century the Mahasiddha Naropa came to this place. Then Rinchen Zangpo translator came and built many temples and stupas and then teaching of the Kadampa school came to flourish. Later Jamyang Namgyal offeFEB31E it to Chosje Danma and Digung Kargyut school were introduced and named Yungdrung Therpalling. The Yundrung Kabgyad festival is held on the 28th and 29th days of the 2nd Tibetan month.

Zanskar Monastries

Sani Village:-
6 Km west of Padum on the road of kargil.The chief attraction here is the Sani Gompa a castle like monestry exhibits the Kanika stupa which unlike other monasteries of the region is built on level ground.By legand its initial foundation is associated with Kanishka on account of the Kanika Stupa which stands in the background of the walled complex. The main building composes a huge multi-columned central prayer hall housing an array of status of popular Buddhist divinities and Drugpa (old schools) high saints.
Sani is also associated with Narapa the famous Indian yogi from Vikramsila, who is said to have sat in meditation for some time under the Kanika Stupa. The site is now occupied by a small roomhousing a veiled bronze figure of the Yogi which is unveiled. Once a year in late july. A 2 day long festivali is held to celebrate this occasion which attended by people from far and wide monks from burden monestry perform masked dances as ritual offering.

Karsha:- it is a human settlement with ba\sic facilities. Karsha monestry 14 Km from Padum. The Gelugpa monestry at Kursha ks a must visit to know the importance of the religion in the livee of the inhabitants of Zanskar. The moral art displayed a labrank is other must check outing in zanskar

Stongdey:- the monestry of stongday lies 18 Km to the norh of Padum. On the road leading to the zangla. An old foundation associated with the Tibetan yogi. Marpa stongdey is now the second largest monestic establishmen of zanskar, inhabited by resident community of about 60 Gellkpa monks. The spreadly white washed complex has the number of temples, each a respositor of the regions which monestic legacy. Stongdey can be reached by foot in about 4 hrs by road. The climb up to the monestry is rather strenneous but it is worth to travel for the breathtaking scenery of the valley seen from here

Zungkhul:- the other spectacular cave monastery of zanskar are in Zongkhul. That falls on the Padum-Kishtwar trekking trail. Just before the ascent of Omesila Pass begins situated like a swallows nest on the rock face of the Ating.

Rangdum:- Rangdum (3675m) the farthest and the most isolated part of theSuru valley. Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colorfull hills on the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other. Situated 130Kms south-east of Kargil. It falls midway between Kargil and Padum.
The chief attraction of the area is an imposing 18th century Buddhist Monestry with about 40 monks in residence. Perched pictures quely atop a centrally rising hillock which is entrenched around by the bifurcated course of a wild mountain stream. The Rangdum monestry has the aura of an ancient fortification guarding a mystical mountain valley.

Where to Put Up

Ladakh is full of options for accommodation. There are lot of hillside resorts and hotels that cater to travelers of all kinds. The city sees a lot of business travelers as well and to satisfy their work needs, many hotels also have good business facilities. Few good hotels in Ladakh are Hotel Dragon, Royal Palace Hotel, and Hotel Mahay. You will also find many govt. run bungalows and tourist complexes in Ladakh.

Getting There

By Air

Leh has its own airport. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways both have regular flights operating to and from Leh. The city is also well connected to other major cities of India.

By Road

Leh is having a road connection to Srinagar and Manali. The route to Srinagar is open from June to October, whereas route to Manali is open from July to September.

Local Transport

Buses are the main mode of transport in Ladakh. You will also find jeeps and taxis for hire.