Plan a Perfect Local Sightseeing of Leh in 2024 With These Insider Facts

There is a common notion with Leh that the place seemed to be comparable with other hill stations in India. Are you one of those? Do you think Leh offers the same vibe as other hill stations? We guess you have arrived at the right place. It doesn’t matter whether you have visited the union territory of Ladakh or are planning to visit Leh; this blog will give you a different experience of this heavenly place.

In case you don’t know who we are…

We call ourselves Travel Freaks…

Till now, in our blog series, we have shared our experience on how to plan a trip to Leh from Jammu and Kashmir. Please give it a read. Of course, you can also start your journey by directly taking a flight to Leh, in case of time constraints. However, we would like to highlight the most crucial aspect of travelling to this part of the world: acclimatization. Acclimatization is quite essential for your safety due to lower air density.

We travelled from Kargil the previous day and reached Leh by evening. The next day was dedicated to most local spots around 25-30 km from Leh City.

As it was not so far from our stay, we started at around 9 o’clock in the morning after breakfast. An important thing to note is if you are not travelling by two-wheeler, you need to hire a local vehicle to explore the Ladakh region. Outside vehicles are not allowed to explore the Ladakh region.

As usual, we were pretty excited to explore new places. From now until the end of this blog, we will name the places and share our experiences, which will help you plan your day trip. The first on our list is…….

1. Thiksey Monastery

It took us about half an hour to reach this famous monastery. The entry fee was 50 INR per person. As we got out of the vehicle in the parking, we saw a vast Buddhiststyle gate. We walked through the gate and climbed stairs to reach the main temple complex. The stairs were a bit steep.

There was a 50-foot-high statue inside the main temple complex. The Tibetans call the statue a future Buddha or Maitreya Buddha.

There were prayer halls where we spotted monks praying. There was also a room where you could learn about the monastery’s past.

On top was a terrace with a 360-degree view of the surrounding areas. It was both fantastic as well as breathtaking. The monastery was residential, as we noticed a few monks performing their daily rituals. We spent an hour getting mesmerised by the beautiful temple complex. The location of the Thiksey Monastery was something we were in awe of.

We took a lot of snaps as memories of this beautiful complex and moved on to our next destination……..

2. Hemis Monastery

It was another half an hour ride. The place also had an entrance fee of 50 INR per person. There was a large prayer wheel just close to the ticket counter. We took the tickets and headed into the temple complex.

The first thing we noticed on entering the complex was the vastness of the monastery. Just like others, we entered the Hemis Museum through the souvenir shops within the museum. Photography was prohibited within the museum, and we had to submit our phones and cameras in a locker.

We proceeded to enter the museum. We noticed many paintings in the museum depicting Buddhist deities with historical significance. There were various religious instruments, such as trumpets, drums, and other instruments. Overall, the museum had a pretty good collection of Buddhist artefacts.

There was a signboard that highlighted the fact that Hemis Monastery was somewhat related to the Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. We understood that the Drukpa lineage focuses on some advanced meditation practices. There were meditation halls as well. Most importantly, the place was home to a large community of monks. We even noticed many travellers arriving by bike, taking a keen interest in the monastery’s history and culture. We were delighted to see such a sight.

It was an excellent one hour that we spent before we moved to our next destination on our list……..

3. Rancho School

We were at the Rancho School, a 45-minute drive from the Hemis Monastery. In case you are an Indian, we assume that you have watched the famous movie “3 Idiots,” which was released in late 2009. The place was related to that movie.

Locals claim that a part of the movie was shot at the place. We did notice that the place had many wall paintings from the film. We felt nostalgic by watching various movie moments painted on the wall.

The place was not so big, yeah there was a school open for travellers to visit. However, with time, the school authorities have stopped allowing visitors to enter the premises due to an increase in the number of visitors arriving.

We tried to capture as many snaps as possible for the place before heading to the next place.

4. Shey Palace

It was about 10 minutes to the Rancho School. There was an entrance fee of 30 INR per person. You need to hike up a bit to reach the palace. After seeing the two beautiful monasteries of Thiksey and Hemis, we assumed this place to be similar. To our surprise, this place was a little different. You will get a good view of the surrounding area as you hike up the palace.

Even though many rooms were closed, you would still love to sit outside and immerse in the beauty of the breathtaking view. A monastery was attached to the palace, which was also a part of the Drukpa legacy, like the Hemis Monastery.

We were starving for lunch. So we departed within half an hour to our next spot before heading for lunch.

5. Sindhu (Indus) Ghat

This was another 15-minute ride from the Shey Palace. There was no entrance fee for the place. As we got out of the vehicle, we saw the river Indus flowing through the banks.

We learned about the Sindhu Darshan Festival, celebrated during the first week of June. This could be understood by the fact that we saw galleries to sit in and well-built podiums for evening aarti. However, the backdrop of the Sindhu Ghat caught our attention the most.

It was around 1 o’clock when we returned towards our stay to have lunch. While having lunch, we remembered the Inner Line Permit required to explore the Leh Region. So we suggest our readers apply for the permit well before your arrival.

Returning to our journey, after lunch, we were busy with the permit, and at around 3:30 PM. we left for the rest of the spots for the day. The second half started with……..

6. Hall of Fame

When we visited the Kargil War Memorial, we were pretty excited. The same was the excitement level. The entry ticket was 125 INR for the museum and 125 INR for the light and sound show. However, we needed to wait till 6 o’clock for the light and sound show. Hence, we purchased the museum tickets only.

Another vital thing to note is that you cannot buy your tickets in cash. Instead, you need to use either credit or debit cards.

Soon, we entered the museum that has most of the war history related to the Ladakh region, especially the Kargil War. Every bit of history gave us goosebumps.

After visiting these places, we learnt how our armed forces stood firm against all odds and came out with flying colours. There was a room where the miniature model of the Kargil War battleground was created to showcase the movements of our soldiers during the war.

Soon after exploring the museum, we walked outside to see the Indian flag, and there was a martyr’s ground just adjacent to the area where the Indian flag was hoisted.

We spent around an hour before quickly heading to the next spot as dusk was approaching.

7. Leh Palace

Leh Palace was also in close proximity. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the place. The entrance fee was 25 INR per person. The palace was built during the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal of the Namgyal dynasty. There were about nine floors in the palace.

We started exploring each floor at a time. Sometimes, the door entrance was relatively short, and we bumped into it quite a few times.

The best part was that a few floors had a terrace from where you could get a good view of the surrounding Leh city.

It was a good evening for us as we relaxed on the terrace of the Leh Palace. It was about 5:30 PM when we realised we had to move to the last spot of the day……

8. Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa was also in proximity to the Leh Palace. There was an entrance fee of 30 INR per person. You need to hike up a bit to reach the stupa. The best part was that we reached by dusk, and the whole city of Leh lightened up, looking beautiful.

The Stupa was new as it was built in the 1990s by a Japanese Buddhist Organization. The central dome was white in colour, just like other Buddhist stupas.

This place is quite popular among travellers to witness sunrise and sunset. Finally, with such breathtaking views, a fantastic day at Leh ended.

There are more exciting stories awaited the next day. Hope you got a glimpse of Leh through our eyes and follow us for more compelling stories.

Wait! We are not going anywhere without this last question……    

9. What kind of help are we going to provide?

Let us inform you that we prepare itineraries not only for anywhere in India but also for Asia. We have been travelling since we were toddlers. So here in our blogs and stories, we will give you a glimpse of our journey and help you plan your trip.

Read about our Uzbekistan blogs.

Read about our Kazakhstan blogs.

Read about our Singapore blogs.

Read about our Vietnam blogs.

Read about our Cambodia blogs.

Read about our Bali blogs.

Read about our Kuala Lumpur blog series.

Read about our Sri Lanka blogs.

Read about our Nepal blogs.

Read about our Char Dham blogs.

Read about our Ladakh blogs.

Read about our day trip to Hyderabad.

Read about our Madhya Pradesh blogs.

Read about our Andaman and Nicobar blogs.

Do follow our Instagram handle @mindfulllofvacations and watch for the next destination story of a new place. For any query related to any trip, drop a mail at

by mitkau

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