Places To See(LEH LADAKH)
is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, 'stove-pipe'
hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The
Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala
in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer
flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture
change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. We do not try
to do too much on this first day. After visiting the palace, we browse
around the bazaars.
The town, at an altitude of 3500 m (10,500 feet), is the ancient capital
of Ladakh and its kings once commanded a huge civilisation stretching
from Baltistan in the west, almost as far as Lhasa in Tibet. Leh is
full of interest and dominated by the semi-ruined Royal Palace. The
old town is a maze of narrow streets, temples and bazaars and is a
great place to explore.
Ladakh is far too kaleidoscopic to be dismissed with a string of platitudes.
Its people, even the meanest peasant, are imbued with a culture handed
down from generation to generation for thousands of years. Ladakh
is the most interesting country to visit that one could possible imagine.
It fulfils almost all the expectations of the traveler who is prepared
to see it through his own eyes, to experience it through his own emotions,
to comprehend it through his own sensibility.
by two of the world's hightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya
and the Karakoram, Leh Ladakh was formed only a few million years
ago by the buckling and folding of the earth's crust as the Indian
sub-continent pushed with irresistible force against the immovable
mass of Asia.
Attraction In Leh:-
STOK: Visible in the distance, at the top of a huge moraine of pebbles swept
down from the mountains, the elegant four-story STOK Palace stands
above barley terraces studded with threshing circles and whitewashed
farmhouses. Built early in the nineteenth century by the last ruler
of independent Ladakh.
GOMPA : the seat of the yellow Hat Sect and one of the few gompas built in
the valley bottom, is a 3 km. Pleasant walk through fields. It houses
the chief lama of Spituk and 20 others. The newer monks quarters are
on three sides of the courtyard with steps leading up to the Du-Khang
( Assembly Hall ). There are a number of gold statues, numerous wall
paintings and sculptures including a large one of the 11 headed, 1000-armed
PALACE : Looking for all the world like a miniature version of the Potola in
Lhasa, Tibet, the Palace was built in the 16th century.
old summer Palace of the kings of Ladakh, Shey ( 15 km. From Leh towards
Hemis ) was built more than 550 years ago by Lhachen Palgyigon, the
king of Ladakh. It stands next to the remains of a larger construction
on the east side of a hill, which runs south-east towards the Indus.
From the Palace you can see over the fertile Indus plain, north-east
to the Thiksey Gompa and over the Indus to the Zanskar mountain range.
Hundreds of Chortens of the most diverse from and size stand on the
barren plains to the north, separated from the fertile riverbank along
the Hemis road. The old palace Gompa has the largest golden Buddha
statue in Ladakh.
500 year old Thiksey monastery, perched on a hill high above the Indus
has about 100 yellow cap monks. On the right of the entrance to the
main courtyard, a new chapel houses an enormous 15 meter high, seated
Buddha figure. The morning prayer can be witness around 6 AM, but
there are also prayers closer to noon, preceded by long mournful sounds
from the horns on the roof. The monastery mountain is best ascended
on foot although there is also a new road up to the monastery. The
temple of Zan-la is beside the car parking area on this road. On the
walls of the Gompa courtyard are some interesting Tibetan calendars.
In the chapel is a picture near the central Chamba statue, of Tsung-Khapas,
the founder of the Tugend ( Gelupa ) sect. Some steps run up to a
roof balcony from which there is access to the rooms of the head lama.
HEMIS: It is the wealthiest , best known and biggest Gompa of Ladakh. Its
popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer.
The festival is in honor of Guru Padma Sambhavs birth anniversary.
It also has the largest Thanka in Ladakh, which is unfurled once in
12 years ( next in 2004 ). Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign
of Sengge Namgyal , an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It flourished
under the Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favored for Drugkpa Sect,
which managed the monastery. It is divided into two, the Assembly
Hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang,
is also used as a Green room by the dancers during the
festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a
surfeit of frescoes among them the Buddhist Wheel of Life ( Kalachakra
) and the Lord of the four quarters, besides rows of prayer wheels.
options are easily available at Leh. Leh has several hotels and guesthouses
that mostly open in the peak season from July to mid September. Budget
lodging is available in three main areas: the old town, the newer
areas along the Fort Road, and within the peaceful village of Changspa.
The wooden lodges may be mid-range or top-end lodges offering comfortable
stay at Leh.
Delicious and hygienic food is also available in plenty at Leh. You
may feast on a variety of cuisines in Leh. Indian delicacies and especially
the Kashmiri dishes are popular. Tibetan as well as western cuisines
are easily available. During your stay in Leh the bakeries and their
sweetmeats are a must checkout.
Important Places in Ladakh