Leh – An Exotic Trekking Destination In The Foothills Of Himalayas
With the rise of tourism in India, Leh, a beautiful city in Jammu and Kashmir is getting prominence. Primarily known for its serene landscape, Buddhist culture, and traditional food, it is a place to worth your visit. Head to the city during next vacation and pick from the best Leh hotels.
Leh, the former capital of the kingdom of Ladakh, is today the district headquarter of Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the second largest district in India covering an area of about 45,110 sq. k.m. The city is amongst the highest inhabited places in the county with an average altitude of about 2750 meters above the sea level. It is a remote area primarily inhabited by Buddhists. However, with the rise of tourism in India more number of tourists, primarily adventure buffs and nature enthusiasts, are visiting the city. Since there is a strong influence of Buddhism, there are often times when the city is called Little Tibet and Land of Lamas. Besides, the other popular sobriquets of Leh include: The Broken Moon, The Last Shangri-la, and The Land of Numerous Passes.
An interesting fact about the city: according to the geological studies the city was submerged under a large lake a few million years ago. The strong tectonic movements pushed the submerged part of the lake and formed the present Ladakh. The city is situated in the middle of the Himalayan Range and the Karakoram Range. The ancient Indus rivers flows nearby, whereas the region is primarily dependent on the Zanskar river for water. The temperature here is generally cold with the temperature falling below 0 degree C in winters. The higher ranges of the Ladakh towards the north are capped with thick layers of snow, whereas towards the south stand the sky-reaching mountains of Stok Mountain Range.
Leh, particularly for its serene yet stark geography, generates a huge tourist traffic. The surroundings are perfect for photography, and the cool weather during summer simply makes the town ideal for tour. The town was ruled by the descendents of kings of Old Tibet for centuries. It reached the prosperity peak under the reign of King Sengge Namgyal in 1700s. It became a major transit point on the silk trade route, which further helped the city to flourish. The best mode to reach Leh is via road. A road trip to the city is fun as one passes through several scenic spots of the region. Taxis and bikes can be easily hired from the nearby cities. It is advised to carry lots of woollen as it tends to get cold even in summer. However, the yak milk and the butter tea made of the yak milk will simply warm you up. There are a number of restaurants and Leh hotels that are run by locals serving traditional Tibetan cuisine, which is quite different from the food served in other parts of India. Trying the Tibetan food is a must-do.
Summer is the best time to visit Leh. The most significant places to visit in Leh that one simply cannot miss to visit include: Pangong lake, Thiksey Monastery, Nubra Valley, Hemis Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Tso Moriri, Shey Gompa, Dras, Jama Masjid, Stok Palace, and Spituk Monkey.