Let me tell you once and for all that Ladakh is an absolutely tranquil and pristine place with beauty and awe-strucking sights almost anywhere you go! Giving you a small list is an injustice andelaborating its beauty can never do justice to this place and hence would be waste of words and our time. So let me devote this piece to the interesting facts about the various well-known and lesser-known places in Ladakh, some tales old and new and get to know this breathtakingly beautiful place a little more closely.
It would have been any other Heritage Site with not much significance until recently when UNESCO recognized it as World Heritage Site and joined hands with the Basgo community to restore it. If you are wondering why is this the number one on our list, then you must know that this is one of the highlights of Indus Valley, the place where the earliest of known civilizations existed and getting to know your roots is indeed a wonderful experience.
There is no place for accommodation here, and you might even have to carry your own food but you can get something to eat 2 km away if you are heading to Leh, which is the most likely situation.
2. Nubra Valley
You might be amazed to know that this place was the trading route in ancient times. The name of this place literally means Valley of Flowers. Considering this place is almost 10,000 ft above sea-level, you can’t expect too much vegetation and flowers. Don’t kill me, I did not name it that way!
There is a good chance that you can find this place to be dry and patchy but the amazing fact is this is the prime farming kind of land in the entire Ladakh region! People grow apples, berries, oranges, apricots here.
As a city-dweller, you might be shocked to know that people here actually spend most part of their lives in entire isolation from the entire world!
If you look at it, there are just dusty streets and bus stands. But inside lies the greatest treasure of history and spirituality. This is the place that has the Zanskar’s oldest Buddhist Monastery, Karsha Gompa, dating back to 10th century!
If you reach here, you have just scratched the surface because there are other two interesting gompas inside the small villages. One of them is Phuktal, a monastery clipped on the caves.
If you were lucky enough to reach here(because the only way to reach here is by walking), you will find a sacred spring inside the monastery and 700-years old murals in ancient Alchi style.
Zhongkul is a very famous cave monastery in Ladakh but what makes it interesting is the legend associated with it. It says that an Indian Yogi, Naropa who was a teacher at Nalanda and VikramShila Universities, comes and meditates here in isolation. A footprint on a stone is said to be of Yogi’s and his place for meditation.
Though the place is very ancient but if you look at the walls, it shows great level of artistic achievement. If the sources are believed, they are the works of an ancient painter scholar, Zhadpa Dorje who lived some centuries back!
5. Pangong Lake
Though this lake does not need an introduction but talking about Ladakh and not mentioning Pangong will be unfair!
14,270 ft above the sea level, this lake is a truly magical experience. There is lesser aquatic life due to excessive saline water but the really weird part is that even after this level of salinity, the water freezes in low temperature.
This is the very place where the climax of famous movie ( 3 Idiots ) was shooted. And not just that, there are so many movies who could not find a more beautiful place.
While coming to Panagong, you might also encounter Pagla Naala( literally meaning “crazy stream”). This name is suggestive of its crazy nature to change its size every now and then during a day cycle only!
6. Drass War Memorial
The memorial was actually build to remember the sacrifices of our Indian Army soldiers in the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan. There is a famous gallery in the memory of the brave soldiers.
What will take you by awe is the picture of a Pakistani soldier, Karnal Sher Khan whose bravery impressed Indian Army so much that they insisted Pakistan to honor him. This small deed sends a message of love even during such catastrophic conflicts and the honor and respect Indian Army carries not just for the fellow soldiers.
This place gives you chance not just to remember the soldiers who gave their life to safeguard their nation but also makes us feel grateful about our soldiers who sacrifice their life every single day to safeguard our borders in such extreme climatic conditions in places like Siachen while we rest in or cozy,warm beds and enjoy our lives.
We might have not mention all the best places out there according to the tourist ratings but there are places with not just usual beautiful sight which the entire Ladakh region gives you but we have mentioned tell places that are integral to Ladakh and its glorious history and worth a visit!
Further Read: [ Top 7 adventure activities in Ladakh ]