Leh is a town in the Leh district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Buddhist sites and nearby trekking areas, camping, camel safaris and games of polo are the best things to do in Leh. It was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, the seat of which was in the Leh Palace. The massive Leh Palace, modelled on Tibet’s Potala Palace which was the Dalai Lama’s former home is a must see, among other monasteries and Hot water springs which are part of the best tourist places in Leh.
Foodies must try local Ladakhi food, like Thukpa, Sku and Khambir which is nourishing and usually mildly flavoured. If you love shopping then visit the shops in the local markets for curios and souvenirs. Khardung La, Magnetic Hills, Nubra Valley, Shanti stupa and Tso Moriri are some amazing places to visit in Leh.
Leh has a cold desert climate with long, harsh winters from October to early March. The minimum temperatures can go well below freezing for most of the winter. You can also enjoy occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine and warm during the day. If you want to get away from the extreme heat of the plains then Leh is the best place to visit. If Kashmir is the Paradise on earth then Leh too is not to be left behind. Nestled between the Himalayas and the Karakoram Range, Leh attracts tourists with majestic snow covered mountain tops, lush green landscape and sparkling blue waters of its lakes.
Leh is connected to the rest of India by two high-altitude roads - The National Highway 1D from Srinagar via Kargil and the Leh-Manali Highway. Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport has flights to Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar. You are sure to get lured to the place once you visit and try out all the best things to do in Leh.
Places to Visit and Things to Do in Leh
People Also Ask About Leh Things To Do
What are the best things to do in Leh?
There is plenty to do in Leh. With so many places of attraction and activities to participate in you will have a busy time during your trip to Leh. The major attractions to visit are:
- Leh Palace
- Namgyal Tsemo Gompa.
- Shanti Stupa.
- Cho Khang Gompa.
- Chamba Temple.
- Sankar Gompa and village.
- War Museum.
- The Victory Tower
- Zorawar Fort.
Participate in activities like:
- Watching sunrise
- Visiting the Lakes
- Visiting the confluence of River Indus and Zanskar
- Bird Watching
- Moon Watching
- Stacking wishing stones and making a wish
- Visiting a local family
- Praying and Spinning the prayer wheels
- Take a camel safari
- Cook pasta in a hot water spring
- Enjoy the snowfall.
What are the adventure activities to do in Leh?
Adventure in this region has its own taste. Leh Ladakh is blessed by high passes, high altitude ranges, scenic trails, massive lakes, deep valleys and these creations of nature make a perfect platform for a great variety of adrenaline pumping action. Enjoy innumerable adventure sports like:
- River rafting
Which are the best places for trekking in Leh?
Get into the spirit of adventure among the mountains and valleys of Leh. You must explore their sheer beauty whether you are a newbie trekker or a pro. There are routes to suit all needs. Here's presenting some of the best treks in Leh:
- Spituk to Stok
- Markha valley
- Hemis Gompa.
- Parang La
- Kang Yatse
- Chadar Trek
Which are the best campsites in Leh?
A good way to celebrate this beautiful world is to camp far away from the madding crowd, live under the open sky and taste the adventure of a lifetime. The mesmerizing landscapes of Leh - Ladakh make it a romantic camping destination. With fluttering prayer flags all around you, enjoy a holiday that will be completely different from every possible holiday you have been on. Camping across the various destinations here can sure prove to be a great way to explore the beauty of the unadulterated nature here. Vendors will arrange for you to camp at:
- Pangong Lake
- Banks of the River Indus
- Spangmik Village
Which are the best routes for biking in Leh?
The Leh Ladakh bike trip is a must in every biker’s wish list. The roaring engine, echoes amidst the barren hills, the challenging roads and the gust of the chaste breeze striking their faces makes every rider’s spine tingle.
Embraced by the arms of the gigantic snow-capped mountains of the Himalaya, the mesmeric vista of Leh is an ideal destination for a bike trip. On your way witness not only the exotic views but also the immaculate culture amidst the quaint villages and monasteries.
Taking a road trip to and in Leh gives you an opportunity to explore some of the highest traversable mountain passes in the world.
You can make this trip through:
- Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali
- Delhi – Manali – Leh – Delhi
Between Manali and Leh you will come across:
- Lahaul valley
- Baralacha La
- Tanglang La
In Leh you get to see:
- Khardung La
- Nubra Valley
- Hunder and Panamik
- Chang La
- Pangong La
Which are the best destinations for a jeep safari in Leh?
Various road routes leading to Leh attracts all adventure seekers. Replete with a number of shades of nature’s beauty this route can test any adventure junkies patience and determination. If you are a person who seeks a certain level of comfort along with thrill then a jeep safari is ideal for you. Various road routes for Jeep Safaris can be undertaken. Contact your operator and choose one of these:
- Manali – Leh
- Amritsar - Manali - Leh
- Srinagar - Leh
- Chandigarh – Manali - Leh
On your way enjoy stopovers and drink in the beauty of
- Rohtang Pass
- Sand and Rock Natural Formation
- Fast Flowing Streams with icy-cold water
- Brown and Arid Mountains
- Lahaul Valley
- Spiti Valley
- High Mountain Passes
- Gata Loops
- Indus River
- Khardung La
- Pangong Lake
- Alchi and Lamayuru Monasteries
- Zozila Pass
Where can we enjoy River Rafting in Leh? How much will it cost?
River Rafting is one of the most exciting adventure activities that can be undertaken in this region. Choose the grade of rafting depending on your skill and experience. The two rivers you can traverse are:
- River Indus
- River Zanskar
There are several operators who can give you this thrilling experience between several points in and around Leh. As far as the raft is concerned, it is best to go for the medium one as it is both challenging and fun. Choose between the several points on offer:
- Phey – Nimo
- Upshi – Kharu
- Upshi – Nimo
- Phey – Saspol
- Kharu – Spituk
- Saspol- Khaltsey
- Phey – Indus via Zanskar
- Nimo – Alchi
- Alchi – Khaltsey
You may need to pay anything between Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 1800/- or a little more depending on the operator and the facilities provided.
Where can I experience a camel safari in Leh?
The scenic beauty that one finds in Leh is awe-inspiring and the best way to experience Leh Ladakh and feel like a local is to travel on camel back like in early times. Camels were considered one of the best modes of transport and were used by merchants and traders for the 'silk route’. Taking a camel safari in Leh is a definite activity to indulge in. It is the best way to explore the marvel of this region. Travelling on a trotting camel through the clean black roads and the huge mountains is a marvelous experience which you are never likely to forget. Just close your eyes and imagine yourself riding on a double-humped camel through the Nubra Valley amidst the breathtaking beauty of Leh. It is the most magical experience you can ever have. Taking a camel safari in Leh would ensure that you experience the surroundings just as they are. Vendors offer a number of camel safaris but the most famous route is Nubra Valley via the Khardung La pass.
Which are the best monasteries for a must visit in Leh?
Every year, millions of people from all corners of the world swarm to various monasteries in search of inner peace. They are considered to be one of the most holy and sacred places. Buddhist monasteries are the most spectacular. In India, these monasteries are mostly located in the northern or eastern part of India. They depict the life and teachings of Buddha. The Leh Ladakh region is popular for its incredibly beautiful monasteries! They tell us about the rich culture of Ladakh through their architecture, ancient texts, and paintings. Nowadays some of monasteries in Ladakh have started to offer staying facility for tourists.
Visit at least some of the following if not all:
- Sumda Chun Monastery
- Spituk Monastery
- Rizong Monastery
- Lamayuru Monastery
- Namgyal Tsemo Monastery
- Shey Monastery
- Diskit Monastery
- Sankar Likir Monastery
- Rangdum Monastery
- Thiksey Monastery
- Phuktal Monastery
Which are the famous lakes to be visited in Leh?
Within the modest landmass it occupies, the Cold Desert of Kashmir Leh Ladakh is not without its share of natural, visual marvels and lakes are a big part of its landscapes. Each of its lakes is more awe-inspiring than the other. Very few of us know that the Pangong Tso changes colour with every hour and turns from emerald green according to the various hues of the sky. The best time to visit these lakes is in summers because, during the winters, they are frozen and become so solid that they are better used as roads. Make sure you visit these:
- Pangong Tso Lake
- Tsomoriri Lake
- Tso Kar Lake
- Yarab Tso Lake
Where can I play polo in Leh? Is it a popular sport there?
The game of Polo was introduced to Ladakh from neighboring Baltistan from its country of origin Persia. Every village in Ladakh has a polo ground and this game is an integral part of the Ladakhi culture. It is an important part of the fortnight-long Ladakh Festival held in September. While the British rules of Polo have become refined, the game in Leh Ladakh continues to be rough and tough and one of the most popular games.
During the seventeenth century, Sengge Namgyal, the King of Ladakh laid the first royal polo ground in the Murtse garden below Leh. The present polo ground in the center of Leh adjoining the Deputy Commissioner’s office is the venue for Exhibition and tournament matches.
Which is the best location for ice skating in Leh? How much will it cost?
Winter is the time in Leh when you get to see the genuine beauty of the roof of the world. Though most people would wonder at the advisability of visiting Leh during winter but if you want to experience the place close to its people this is the best time. Also the adventure freaks among you who want to experience natural ice skating in the frozen lake or river must make use of this opportunity. Try out these:
- Pangong Tso Lake
- Indus – Zanskar confluence
- Ice skating Rink
Which are some best locations to do mountain climbing in Leh?
The ranges of Leh is every mountaineer’s dream. With the region divided into segments of the Karakoram and Zanskar mountain ranges, mountaineering in Ladakh is one of the most thrilling experiences. The climate, environment and topography of Ladakh make the climb physically demanding yet for all the mountaineers out there, Leh with its natural charm and beauty, is the place for you! With a variety of beautiful, interesting and challenging climbing routes in this region Leh attracts people from all over the world. Listed below are some of the most mesmerizing ones:
- Nun Kun Massif
- Stok Khangri Massif
Where to do quad biking in Leh? What are its charges?
Those adventure lovers who enjoy a trip to the mountains must take the opportunity of quad biking in Leh. Go with friends or alone don’t miss out on this adventure. Make the most of quad biking in:
- Khardung La
- Nubra Valley
Which are some of the difficult treks in Leh?
Trekking amongst the beautiful and majestic regions of Leh is every adventure lovers dream. Depending on your abilities choose between the challenging and easy treks. If you have the stamina go for these:
- Stok Kangri
- Markha Valley with Stok Kangri climbs Trek
- Jhunglam Hemis-Padum Trek
- Frozen River Trek – Chadar
- Kang Yatse and Dzo Jongo
- Saboo and Khalsar Trek
- Parang La Trek
- Lamayuru to Chilling Trek
Which are some of the easy treks in Leh?
Even if you are first time trekker don’t hesitate to try out trekking while in Leh. Make the most of your visit take the challenge and try out the easy treks.
- Sham Valley Trek
- Spituk – Stok Trek
- Spituk – Matho Trek
- Nimaling Plateau
- Indus Valley Trek
- Markha Valley Trek
- Nubra Valley Trek (Phyang to Hunder)
- Ripchar Valley Trek
Which are the best winter treks in Leh?
Trekking in Leh during the winter months is definitely not an easy job. However those who enjoy an adrenaline rush at the name of adventure venture into the area to enjoy trekking. Make these treks:
- Snow leopard Trek
- Chadar Trek
- Lamayuru - Zanskar Trek
- Sham Valley Trek
- Nubra Valley Trek
- Pangong Trek
Which are the best summer treks in Leh?
For those who prefer a comfortable weather and enjoy trekking go for a trek on the following routes:
- Spituk to Stok.
- Chadar Trek
- Parang La.
- Markha Valley
- Kang Yatse
What are the things I can do when I visit Pangong lake in Leh?
The brackish water of Pangong lake has sparse vegetation and is no aquatic life except for small crustaceans. It is a haven however for bird watchers. Currently, in the process of being identified as an acclaimed wetland under the Ramsar Convention, it acts as an important breeding point for several migratory birds such as Brahmini ducks and Bar-headed goose. The waters of Pangong Lake changes its colour in many shades of blue and green with the changing position of the sun in the sky. Interestingly, only 1/4th of the lake lies in India and the rest flows into the Tibet region of China. Spangmik Village which is located about 7 kilometres along the southern shores is the farthest village of Pangong area. From here, one can enjoy spectacular views of the Chang-Chenmo range. So if you are an avid bird watcher or nature lover there is much in store for you.
Is it safe to go for a snow leopard trek in Leh? Do I need any precautions?
Safety among wild animals depends on your own behaviour. Therefore going on the Snow Leopard trek would involve the usual precautions. The Snow Leopard Trek is one of the popular winter treks in the Ladakh region. It lies in a territory which has a wild stretch of rugged mountains dotted with animals like snow leopards.
When should I go for Chadar Trek in Leh? Is it open throughout the year?
The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is definitely a winter trail. Located in the Zanskar region of Ladakh it becomes the only path to travel in the area during the harsh winter months. The trail which is really a necessity during the freezing winter months has also become popular with Indian as well as international adventure tourists. Since it serves as the only means of travel even during the winters it can be availed of at other times of the year too.
What are the activities that I can do at Nubra valley in Leh?
Once you have reached Nubra Valley in Leh you can choose from among plenty of activities. You may choose activities in the valley itself or a little away too. Take your pick from among visits to:
- Panamik village.
- Hundur monastery.
- Yarab Tso
- Diskit monastery
- Samstanling Monastery.
- Lachung temple
- Maitreya Buddha.
You can also go on a
- Bactrian camel Safari
Which are the best areas for shopping in Leh? What are the must buy things from here?
Shop for mementoes and curios in Leh, to take back for friends and family. Woollens, Pashmina, Tibetan handicrafts – there is a huge choice laid out before you. Go to local markets or individually owned shops to get a huge variety of things to buy. You will get shops selling
- mortar and pestles
- traditional Ladakhi tea pots
- Buddha idols
- Local dresses
Where can I taste the best food in Leh?
There are various restaurants to satisfy your needs but the best would be to try out the local dishes sold at small outlets. You can have your mutton and chicken preparations anywhere at all but you must try out
- Paba and Tangtur
Which are the famous places to visit hot springs in Leh?
One of the most interesting things you can do in a cold desert is to take a dip in a hot spring. A visit to Leh remains incomplete if you don’t take a dip in the hot water springs and even cook your pasta there. If you are in Leh do visit the Panamic Village hot springs.
Which are the best wildlife experiences in Leh?
The terrains of Leh Ladakh and the waters of the lake make it a paradise for wildlife. You can meet snow leopards and migratory birds. In fact, the Snow Leopard Trek is named that way since the trail can bring you face to face with a snow leopard. Visit the Hemis National Park for the best wildlife experience. It is the only national park in India north of the Himalayas, the largest notified protected area in India. It is home to a number of species of endangered mammals including the snow leopard. There is a breeding population of snow leopards, especially in the Rumbak catchment area. Other than that you will also come across the
- Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep)
- Bharal (Blue Sheep)
- Red Fox
- Asiatic Ibex
- Tibetan Wolf
- Eurasian Brown Bear
- Golden Eagle,
- Lammergeier Vulture,
- Himalayan Griffon Vulture.
- Brown Accentor
- Robin Accentor
- Tickell's Leaf Warbler
- Streaked Rose Finch
- Black-Winged Snow Finch