Exploring Leh, The Touristy Way | Guide to travel Leh

Please read part one and part two before reading this blog.

Part 1: Packing for an epic Leh and, Ladakh trip (opens in a new tab)
Part 2: Manali to Leh Roadtrip (opens in a new tab)
Part 3: Exploring Leh, the touristy way (opens in a new tab)
Part 4: Land of Baltic People, Turtuk (opens in a new tab)
Part 5:
Nubra – The Cold Desert of India (opens in a new tab)
Part 6: Coming soon

Last night, we fell into deep slumber soon after we laid down in not so comfortable guest house. We woke up at 7:30 AM, took a bath, and started looking for better hotels to stay in on google. Fortunately, we were able to find one deluxe room at Zostel. We checked in to our hotel and rented a scooty to explore Leh, and nearby places.

Important Tip: On day one, either take complete rest or go easy and explore nearby places.

Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
A selfie outside Gurudwara because a camera is not allowed inside Gurudwara.
The story of a demon and power of Spirituality – Who is powerful, any thoughts!

Once upon a time, a demon lived near the mountains of the Gurudwara whose terror couldn’t be tamed. While traveling back to Punjab, Guru Nanak decided to take some rest at this place. On learning about this, the frightened people approached Guru Nanak for help. So, he decided to help people and spend a few days here. One day, when Guru Nanak was meditating, the demon pushed a boulder from a nearby hill towards him. When the stone came in contact with Guru Nanak, it transformed into soft wax. The demon was not ready to accept defeat and he tried to push the gigantic boulder with his right foot. Guru Nanak was unharmed and continued meditating and the demon was shocked by such a powerful personality. The impressions of Guru Nanak’s back and right foot of demon are still preserved here.

Locals built the Gurudwara to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak. Now, this region comes under the Indian government so it is maintained by the Indian army. You will see a lot of military presence in this area. We had langar with Prasadam and continued driving towards the famous magnetic hills of Ladakh.

The Mysterious Magnetic Hill of Ladakh

Some villagers believed that there was a time when a road existed at the same place that could take people to heaven!

Mysterious Magnetic Hill

At this place, you can park the car in neutral and the car rolls backward uphill. This phenomenon stirred up many scientists as well. It might happen due to the optical illusion of landscape where an uphill seems to be downhill or vice-versa. No doubt, this place is scenic and one can’t resist capturing it in their memory. Have you visited Magnetic hills? Share your experience in the comments.

Sangam of Indus and Zanskar river

It is another touristy spot in Leh that should not be missed. If you are driving from Kargil-Leh then you can visit it on your way. The confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers is clearly visible. We had spent an hour near the riverside then the sand storm had some other plans for us.

Zanskar river gushing towards Indus
Confluence of Zanskar and Indus river
One can distinguish the two rivers by their colors
Driving towards Nimmu

It was a spontaneous decision to drive towards Nimmu and go for a village walk. We haven’t explored any specific place but spotted some old mud houses.

A shot while going for a Village walk
Shanti Stupa – A Buddhist Stupa

The stupa is huge and, located on a hilltop in Leh. When evening prayers started, this place became more magical. From this place, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Shanti Stupa
A cup of tea/chai at this high-altitude cafe, anyone?

You can also enjoy an evening meal at the café inside the Stupa premises.

Leh !
Shanti Stupa

The view from Stupa
Thikshey Monastery

On the 6th day of the trip, while returning back to Leh from Pangong Tso, we visited Thikshey and Shey monastery which gave us some insight into the life of Buddhist people and monks.

First sight of Shey Gompa! Beautiful isn’t!
Shey Monastery
The vibrant colors at Thikse Gompa!
A night lamp inside Thikse Gompa
Bird-eye view from Thikse Gompa
The flowers are blooming inside Thikse Gompa
An evening at Leh Market
Mall road, Leh
  • Buy some dehydrated berries, and apricots from locals.
  • Enjoy local bread if you enjoy trying new food.
  • Buy some local woolens for winter.
  • Enjoy an evening at a Café.
More places to explore near Leh
  • Hall of fame
  • Leh Palace to see the panoramic view of the city.
  • Monasteries – Stakna Monastery

Where to stay in Leh?

Stay is not a problem in Leh. It can cater to all types of travelers right from budget to luxury. We had booked our stay with Zostel and Smanla Guest House, both of them are located close to Leh market.

Where to eat in Leh?

Leh has good restaurants, cafes, and marts. You can get a lot of options in the Leh market.

De Khambir

Punjabi Tadka Restaurant ( Leh market) – For good quality North Indian food at an affordable price. We enjoyed eating aloo parathas with chole, curd, and pickle. So yum!

De Khambir (Leh market) – You can enjoy local bread such as Khambir, juices, and traditional butter tea at this place.

Meta Cafe for Coffee lovers (Leh market)

Butter Tea and local bread sandwiches at De Khambir

How to rent a bike/car/shared taxi in Leh?

  • Bikes and Scooty – You can get a range of two-wheelers in and around Leh market. We rented a scooty for INR 800/- per day.
  • Self-Drive Cars – The roads and terrain of Ladakh are tricky for inexperienced drivers. It’s better to travel with drivers who drove100 times on these roads and are aware of the terrain and weather. It is not allowed to rent a self-drive car in Ladakh. You can hire a car or a sharing taxi from the taxi stand. We booked a Tata Aria and shared it with another couple with the help of Ancient tracks. The driver and staff are very polite and experienced.

Best time to visit Leh?

The peak season to visit Leh is summer, April to June, and thousands of tourists explore this valley. Winters are extremely harsh in Ladakh and most of the places are inaccessible. Unsurprisingly, you can visit Leh in winter via flight. Some hotels and restaurants operate in winter as well. Chadar Trek is a popular attraction in Ladakh in December.

When are you planning to visit Leh! Share your thoughts in the comments.

Published by Shilpa Mandara

Exploring heavenly earth :)

2 thoughts on “Exploring Leh, The Touristy Way | Guide to travel Leh

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