Leh, the capital city of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, is a popular tourist destination known for its breathtaking landscapes, ancient monasteries, and rich cultural heritage. While Leh itself offers numerous attractions, there are also offbeat places in and around the city that provide a unique and less-explored experience. Here are some offbeat places to visit in Leh:
Stakna Monastery: Located about 25 kilometers from Leh, Stakna Monastery is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Indus River. This lesser-known monastery offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and houses a collection of ancient Buddhist artifacts and statues. Visitors can explore the monastery, admire the vibrant frescoes, and witness the daily rituals of the monks.
Chilling Village: Situated on the banks of the Zanskar River, Chilling Village is known for its traditional metalwork, particularly the skill of the copper and silver craftsmen. Visitors can witness the intricate metalwork techniques, interact with the artisans, and even try their hand at creating their own metal masterpiece. The village also offers a glimpse into the local way of life and stunning views of the river and mountains.
Basgo Monastery: Located about 40 kilometers from Leh, Basgo Monastery is a hidden gem nestled in the picturesque Basgo Village. This ancient monastery dates back to the 15th century and is renowned for its stunning murals and beautiful architecture. The monastery complex also houses a fortress and a temple, providing a glimpse into the region’s history and culture.
Likir Monastery: Situated approximately 52 kilometers from Leh, Likir Monastery is one of the most picturesque monasteries in Ladakh. Surrounded by scenic landscapes, this monastery offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can explore the monastery complex, witness the morning prayer rituals, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Hemis National Park: Located about 40 kilometers southeast of Leh, Hemis National Park is the largest national park in South Asia and is known for its diverse wildlife. This offbeat destination is home to several endangered species, including the snow leopard. Visitors can engage in wildlife spotting, go on treks in the park, and experience the pristine natural beauty of the region.
Alchi Village: Situated about 70 kilometers from Leh, Alchi Village is known for its ancient Alchi Monastery, which dates back to the 11th century. This monastery is renowned for its unique Kashmiri-influenced artwork and murals. Visitors can explore the monastery, wander through the village’s narrow lanes, and witness the traditional way of life.
These offbeat places in and around Leh offer a chance to explore the lesser-known attractions, engage with the local culture, and appreciate the natural beauty of the region. By venturing beyond the main tourist spots, you can have a more immersive and unique experience in Leh and its surroundings.