Ladakh stretches between the mountain ranges of the Himalayas (with the Stok Kangri as the most famous mountain) and the Karakorum and the upper valley of the Indus. The valleys are at an altitude of 3,000 m, making them the highest of Kashmir. The mountains reach heights of more than 7,000 m above sea level. Nun, which was climbed for the first time in 1913 at 7,135 m and the neighboring Kun at 7,077 m, which was first conquered in 1906, are the highest mountains in Ladakh. The capital of Ladakh is Leh (about 27,500 inhabitants). Not far from Leh is the Khardong Pass, one of the highest passable passes in the world.
List of sights
Alchi, a village and monastery situated on the bank of Indus River 70 km from the capital in Leh, is situated, unlike the other gompas in Ladakh, on lowland, not on a hilltop. The village is famous for the existence of one of the oldest…
Chemrey, gompa of the Drukpa (Red Hat) sect in eastern Ladakh, was founded in 1664 as a memorial to a local king.
Hemis Gompa, a monastery 40 km south-east of Leh in Ladakh, was established in 1672 by King Senge Nampar Gyalva.
Lamayuru Gompa, one of the largest and oldest gompas in Ladakh, housed up to 400 monks. The Indian scholar Mahasiddhacarya Naropa (956-1041) caused a lake which filled the valley to dry up and founded Lamayuru Monastery.
Leh, the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, is dominated by the ruined Leh Palace former home of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace. Leh is at an altitude of 3,500 m. Leh has…
Matho Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ladakh east of Leh, is the only example of the Sakyapa sect. It is known for its annual Oracle Festival, Matho Nagran, held on the 14th and 15th days of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. During…
Phyang Gompa, a Buddhist monastery located 16 km west of Leh, was established in 1515. The monastery is one of only two in Ladakh belonging to the Drigungpa School, one of eight schools derived from the teachings of Phakmadrupa Dorje Gyelpo…
Rizong Gompa, a Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Buddhist monastery, is situated at the top of a rocky side valley on the west of Alchi on the way to Lamayuru. It was established in 1831 by Lama Tsultim Nima under the Gelukpa order, at Ri-rdzong. A nunnery,…
Saspol has some caves with wall-paintings as old as those at Alchi.
Shey, located 15 km from Leh towards Hemis, has the old summer Palace of the kings of Ladakh. The palace was built more than 560 years ago by Lhachen Palgyigon, the king of Ladakh. The palace has the largest golden Buddha statue in Ladakh.
Spituk Gompa, a Buddhist monastery located 8 km from Leh, was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od in the 11th century.
Stakna Gompa, a Buddhist monastery of the Drugpa Sect, is located 25 km south-west from Leh on the right bank of the Indus River. It was founded in the late 16th century by a Bhutanese scholar and saint, Chosje Jamyang Palkar.
Stok Gompa, a Buddhist monastery 15 km south of Leh, was founded by Lama Lhawang Lotus in the 14th century. A ritual dance-mask festival is held annually. It is also the residence of the Ladakhi royalty.
Takthok Gompa, a monastery in the Sakti village 46 km east of Leh in Ladakh, was founded in the mid-16th century during the reign of Tshewang Namgyal on a mountainside around a cave in which Padmasambhava is said to have meditated in the 8th…
Thiksey Gompa (Thiksay Gompa), a Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) Buddhist monastery, is located east of Leh at an altitude of 3,600 m. The monastery is a 12-storey complex, noted for its images and mural paintings of Buddhist art displayed variously in its…
Zanskar covers an area of about 7,000 km², at an altitude between 3,500 and 7,000 m. It consists of the country lying along the two main branches of the Zanskar River; the Doda and the Lungnak rivers. The Zanskar River takes a north-eastern course…