Introduction to Leh

Himalaya, India

Spend the day exploring the fascinating labyrinth of Leh, with its unique character as a Central Asian trading town.

Start in the morning from the main street which is open and airy, with rows of shops on either side. Leh is very Tibetan; the national dress, 'stove-pipe' hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are widely spotted through the town. You will have th chance to visit The Royal Palace, which dominates the town and is reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses of Leh with flat roofs clearly show a unique departure for this area.

During the morning you will also have the chance to visit the Snow Leopard Conservancy where you will gain a better understanding of the efforts made by the authority with the help of the local community to conserve the endangered snow leopard.

In the afternoon you will continue to Thiksey Gompa which is the most picturesque monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus complemented by magnificent views of the valley.  The gompa possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hundreds of hand-written or painted prayer books and alongside the new temple contains a 15-meter tall Buddha statue, constructed in 1970 to commemorate a visit to Thiksey by the Dalai Lama and is the largest Buddha figure in Ladakh construct.  The statue was made entirely by local craftsmen and represents Maitreya,  the Buddha of the Future.

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