Leh & Ladakh is a dream destination for many of us.

However, only a few lucky ones visit this valley every year.

It wouldn’t be wrong if I say this land of high passes has been there on almost every traveler’s must-visit places list.

But that was not the case earlier.

It was quite an unknown land for many before 2009.

But after the release of a Bollywood movie ‘Three idiots’ showing glimpses of this region, it overnight becomes a hotspot form many Indian and foreign travelers.

Now in a single year, a big chunk of tourists visit this place and enjoy its beauty.

So let’s not waste time and see Why Ladakh is famous for and why so many tourists plan every year to this cold Indian desert?

17 Reasons Leh & Ladakh is Famous For

Being a traveler, I have been to this region a couple of times and I must say one of the major reason for this region to gain popularity is its mesmerizing beauty.
Thus said, there are certain things which cannot be found elsewhere apart from the Zanskar valley:

Ancient Buddhist Monasteries

If you have heard of Ladakh then you might have heard that how beautiful is its monasteries and Gompas.

Am I correct?

This region is known for its beautiful ancient monasteries and Gompas which chronicle the footsteps of Buddhism in India. These monasteries are beautiful to its chore with vibrant festivals, colorful attires, unseen rituals, ancient manuscripts, artistic décor, and various beautifully carved antiques, statues, murals which will surely take you back to the Tibetan era.

Some of the most popular monasteries in this region are:

  • Spituk monastery
  • Hemis monastery
  • Stakna monastery
  • Lamayuru monastery
  • Thiksey monastery
  • Matho monastery
  • Alchi monastery and
  • Stok monastery

Suggested read: 03 Secret Places To Visit In Ladakh That No One Is Ever Going To Tell You

Gorgeous Valleys

Being located in the northernmost part of India which is the home to the Himalayas, the region has been sculptured with some of the most beautiful and picturesque valleys.
It has been ridden with beautiful panoramic valleys that never disappoint you with its beauty.
Some of the most beautiful valleys in this region are:

  • Markha Valley
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Nubra Valley
  • Indus valley and
  • Dha Hanu Valley

Barren Panorama

You might have seen mountains with stupendous vegetations, hot deserts but have you seen cold deserts with a vast expanse of barren land?

If not, then the Zanskar region is the place you should visit next!

Situated at 11,562 ft, this region doesn’t get much rainfall so in result it doesn’t have much vegetation as well.

But you cannot take away its beauty. The region is still panoramic in its own style.

It’s barren but still has snow-capped mountain peaks.

Oxygen is less but people still live there.

Rugged Routes

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Tag Your 5 biker Rider's Friends In Comment . On the way down from Sach Pass to Killar you will come across a lot of water channels due to melting snow. The water is dead cold and you have to walk through it with your bike and someone helping you out on the way as well. It is rider's endurance and maneuvering test. Hats off guys 👏 👏 • Check out our Facebook page by clicking on the link in our bio section. • • Follow Our Community @himalayas.in @jannatehimachal • • Video Courtesy @mac_mg © • @thetravellinghawk_ @purohit3602 @viajar_with_us #ilovemountains #instalovers #InstaIndia #travelpassport #indiagram #sodelhi #nature_photography #igers_mumbai #asia #LonelyPlanetIndia #dslrofficial #cleanhimalayas #igersoftheday #beautifuldestinations #greenvalley #delhi_igers #landscape #landscapelovers #kullumanali #OutlookTraveller #india #LonelyPlanetIndia #passionpassport #roadtrip #vscoindia #bikerlife

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The Manali Leh highway and Srinagar Leh highway are known for some of the most rugged and hard to drive terrains throughout India.

It’s not at all easy.

Its not a joke riding through these high passes where you and your machine have to face various water streams, gravel patches, sand-laden routes, patches of kilometers with no roads and so on.

It takes a lot of skills to complete this circuit.

And riders from all around the world come here just not to conquer the peaks and passes but also to test their driving and riding skills.

Are you planning the same?
If yes, then make sure to read this article as well: Things To Know Before Visiting Leh & Ladakh: A Must Read Guide For All Riders

Scenic High Altitude Lakes

Ladakh has been blessed by nature with some of the most beautiful and scenic places. And some of them are the blue water high altitude lakes.

There is something different which makes these lakes so awe-inspiring like its picture-perfect blue water, clear skies with a backdrop of sweeping plains and snow-capped mountain peaks.

Some of these lakes are so beautiful that it doesn’t matter how many times you visit this place, it will still amaze you with its beauty.

 If you are planning to visit here, then you cannot miss these lakes for sure.

They forms an integral part of these region’s biodiversity and landscape.

Some of the most popular high altitude lakes in this area are:

  • Pangong Tso Lake
  • Tso Moriri
  • Stat Tso and Lang Tso
  • Nyak Tso
  • Mirpal Tso
  • Tso Kar
  • Kyun Tso & Ryul Tso
  • Kiagar Tso and
  • Chagar Tso

Conquering Highest Mountain Passes and Peaks

This region is known for some of the highest mountain peaks and passes that many trekkers and adventurers try to conquer like Stok kangri, Kang Yatse and NunKun.

Unfortunately, these high altitude treks are not everyone’s cup of tea!

However, many trekking specialist visit these region to conquer these peaks during both on and off season.

With low oxygen levels and strenuous climbs where the altitude is more than 6000 meters, it becomes a daunting task even for a seasoner.
But the rush that you get after climbing these peaks cannot be described.
Once you reach those peaks, you get the best bird’s eye view of the whole region including the India and China trade routes, distant valleys, mountain passes, remote villages in these trans-Himalayan ranges.

Experiencing High Altitude Camping & Trekking

Imagine surviving the toughest weather conditions and then sleeping under the stars!

What an experience it would be.

Settled at an altitude of 11500 ft. above sea level, Ladakh offers you an experience of a lifetime.

You can just pitch your own tents, cook your own food, sleep under the clear skies and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

If you are not very familiar with self-camping then you can also choose to stay at campsites.

Rafting at Zanskar

Reputed as one of the most beautiful regions in the Himalayas, the Zanskar valley has been laden with some of the most beautiful natural treasures. And one of them is the Zanskar river.

Flowing just beside Leh, this river is known for its dangerous rapids and beautiful landscapes. And due to this, a lot of travelers and adventurists come to this place to experience white water river rafting in Zanskar river.

Battling the turbulent waters of Zanskar river is altogether a different experience.

To Test Your Driving Skills

Without any doubt, the true adrenalin rush comes when you cover this barren land either by bike or by car.
Many riders and drivers, visit this valley only to test their skills.
Unfortunately, if you visit now you will ultimately see a bunch of newbie riders and drivers who have no idea about their machine lands here. This situation leads to a lot of fatal accidents and being a blogger, I would never suggest to test your skills here.

The roads are rugged and tough and can be very challenging even for professional riders.

Yes, I know the rush that you get after passing through a hostile stream and the rugged valleys but the fact cannot be denied that it can easily lead to a nightmare.

Before planning, keep in mind certain things:

  • First, know your bike
  • Know how to ride on mountains
  • Travel with all your safety gears
  • & please don’t drink and drive.

But let me tell you, if you are going for a road trip, then this route should top in your list.
It’s challenging & offer beautiful landscapes as well! 😛
Suggested read: Best Tips And Tricks For Your Ultimate Road Trip To Ladakh (Travel Hacks)

Living Like a Nomad

Oh well, this is one of the major reasons that many leave their cubicles and visit this region.
Many locals here live like nomads.
They always travel with all their basic amenities and stay in their camps/tents. And for an overnight stay, this is what you will find in most areas of Ladakh like Pangong Lake, Hunder valley, Tso Moriri Lake and so on. Plus these stays will not cost you much as well, only 150 to 200 INR per person per night.
However, there are options of Swiss tents and dome tents as well.

Here, camping is one and the only way for an overnight stay.
And seriously, who doesn’t want to do an overnight camping overlooking the blue water of Pangong or Tso Moriri lake.
No technology, no infrastructure and far away from the hustle and bustle of civilization.
Amid the towering mountains and valleys, camping here seems more like a dream come true.

Capturing the Cold Desert

Leh region has been termed as the crown of Indian Peninsula and why not?

It is an impossible task to not shoot a masterpiece when you visit here. The sheer beauty of this region, the barren sand dunes, the changing colors of mountains, the clear skies, the blue water of all those high altitude lakes and the colorful Gompas & Monasteries make it one of the most sought after destination for any photographer.

It is blessed with some of the most amazing views and natural colors, & here adding filters can be optional.

This region has been specifically designed to maximize photography opportunities.
Capture the age-old monasteries, super blue lakes, rare wildlife species that can be seen nowhere else in India.

Magnetic Hill

Planning to visit here and haven’t heard of the ‘Magnetic Hill’?

Are you serious?

A small stretch of road located just 30 kms from the Leh city is known to defy the laws of gravity.

This road basically pulls stationary vehicles upwards and that is why it is one of the most famous places in Ladakh.

Being located on Leh Manali highway, it can also be used as a perfect pit stop of travelers going to Leh.

However, there are various theories for this phenomenon but the best one is to experience it on your own.
Check this video as a reference:

Hemis National Park

Established in the year 1981, this high altitude national park is popular for its snow leopards. The park has been named on the Hemis Gompa, which is one of the most well-known gompas on this region.

Being located in the rocky terrains of this region, Hemis National Park is nothing less than a treat to the eye. The panoramic beauty of this national park will leave you and your lens spellbound to its chore.

The park has been covered with alpine forests and magnificent rocky mountains.

Plus one of the highest peaks that is the Stok Kangri peak is also located in this park.
So make sure to add this in your itinerary.

Ladakhi Cuisine

We are all so familiar about the passes and the valleys here but left wondering when someone asks us about the cuisines of the Zanskar.

I guess, most of us had an idea that this region is all about Momos and noodles.

But that’s not at all true!

Apart from Dumplings and Thukpas, you can even try

  • Gyathuk,
  • Ti-Mok
  • Chu-Tagir and
  • Phating

Similar to Kasmir, Ladakh is also famous for its breads, that many locals eat during their breakfast and lunch.
Plus you can also try the famous Ladakhi pulao which is very distinct from other popular versions of Indian pulao. In addition to it, do give a try to Skyu a traditional soup-based dish prepared from wheat and root vegetables and Tingmo a street food made of either veggies or meat.

To know more about local cuisine you may watch this video as well:

Colorful Festivals

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The Tibetan New year is also known as #Losar and is mainly celebrated for 3 days in late January or February in #ArunachalPradesh. Marked with ancient ceremonies that represent the struggle between good and evil Lossar has people chanting and passing fire torches through the crowds. Be a part of this colorful festival and enjoy it with dance and music. For more information visit www.ivat.com Or mail us at travel@ivat.com #IVAT #IncredibleIndia #TourAgent #VisitIndia #HolidayPackage #IncredibleIndia #festivals #culture #holidaypackages #visitindia #indianfestival #music #festivallife #travelling #traveller #aroundtheworld #india #indianculture #worldfestival #touragency #luxurytravel #luxuryhotels #luxurytraveller #dancemusic #losarfestival #passionpassport

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You might have heard of Holi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas or Dussehra.

But have you heard of Losar festival, Hemis festival, Kalachakra, Naro Nasjal, Dosmoche, Tak, and Phyan?

If not, then you are going to miss one of the most vibrant and colorful festivals in all over India.

Festivals in here are not just vibrant but unique in their own ways. Monks and locals wearing dragon and other colorful costumes dance throughout to showcase different mythical stories.

Here festivals are more of a mixture of dance forms, mythical stories, colors and unique vibes.

Apart from this, you can also enjoy local cuisine, drama performance, which is a fusion of drums, trumpets, and thumping steps of the masked Lamas.’

Watching these beautiful and colorful festivals is a lifetime experience and is something which you should experience once in your life.

Generous & Welcoming Locals

If you still have the same question what is famous in Ladakh?

Then, let me tell you after completing this trip one thing that you will never forget is the local people.

The locals play an important part in gaining the popularity of any tourist destination.

And likewise, Ladakhis are one of the major reasons that travelers still love this place.
With Central Asian or Turanian features, locals here are generally peace loving souls with a very humble nature. You will always find them smiling and greeting you with open hearts.

Almost half of this region’s population follows Buddhism and the other half follows Islam.

If you have lost your way or facing any issue during your trip, ask them, trust me they will surely help you out without trying to scam you.

Cheap Accommodations

If you are the kind of traveler who travels on budget then Ladakh is the best place to be.

I know, you might have heard about this place that it is costly!

Am I correct?

But it’s not at all true.

In Leh and even in the outskirts of Leh you will easily get hotel rooms at under 600 INR per night with clean interiors, bedsheets and tidy bathrooms.
Even in various places like Sarchu, Pangong, Pang, Tso Moriri you can easily get a bed in makeshift camps at under 150 to 200 INR per night.
Plus, In many villages the locals let you stay with them at only 100 to 200 INR.
What more you want?

So now, if anyone asks you

So Why Ladakgh Is Famous?

  • Ancient Buddhist Monasteries
  • Gorgeous Valleys
  • Barren Panorama
  • Rugged Routes
  • Scenic High Altitude Lakes
  • Conquering Highest Mountain Passes and Peaks
  • Experiencing High Altitude Camping & Trekking
  • Rafting at Zanskar
  • To Test Your Driving Skills
  • Living Like a Nomad
  • Capturing the Cold Desert
  • Magnetic Hill
  • Hemis National Park
  • Ladakhi Cuisine
  • Colorful Festivals
  • Generous & Welcoming Locals
  • Cheap Accommodations

So hopefully now you know, “why Leh and Ladakh is so famous” and why so many tourists visit this region every year.

If you like this article you can even follow me on Facebook or Instagram as well 😛

However, if you have any other questions you can comment below or can message me on both of my above-mentioned accounts.
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The Poor Nomad
(Your Travel Guide)