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Discover The Surreal Historical Places In Leh Ladakh For An Ultimate Trip

By Swati Mishra

Updated - May 9, 20248 min read

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Before you start reading our blog, do figure out a season in which you're planning to go for which we have curated a complete guide for the same - An Ultimate Guide To Leh-Ladakh, pick your favorite season and enjoy the beauty of nature at it's best only in Leh Ladakh.

Situated in between serene mountain passes and on heavenly mountain tops, the monasteries in Leh Ladakh offer peace and solace.  There's so much to learn from these monasteries, palaces, and castles and if you want to plan wisely then make a plan when they have their festivals taking place within the monasteries - we promise you'll have an unforgettable experience witnessing the real beauty of tradition and culture at these monasteries, palaces, castles and museums which bring together the best historical places in Leh Ladakh.


1. Takthok Monastery

Housing close to 55 lamas, Takthok Monastery is famous for its magnificent architecture, murals, assembly hall and the holy throne of Dalai Lama. The monastery has a temple, a Dukhang which is stands for an assembly hall and caves. The monastery also has  the Kandshur, the sacred book of Buddha’s teachings in 108 volumes. Exciting Right? Intrigued to know what's more - pay a visit to it!

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Highlights - Meditation cave of Padmasambhava and statues of Future Buddha and Dorje.

Best Time To Visit - Summer time when the festival happens on the 9th and 10th days of the Tibetan calendar’s 6th month and sacred dances are seen at this time. 


2. Thiksey Monastery

Situated at an altitude of 11,800 feet, it is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh. It is famous for its pilgrim activities, architecture, and exploration. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the flood plains of the Indus Valley from there. It's painted in red, yellow and white. Maitreya Temple is the main attraction inside the monastery as it's dedicated to Lord Maitreya who is considered to be the Future Buddha. It's definitely one of the most beautiful historical places in Leh Ladakh.


Highlights - A two storey tall statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is the largest statue in Ladakh is a major attraction. Also, its assembly hall which houses numerous manuscripts and murals is an interesting feature.

Best Time To Visit -  It is open from 7 am till 7 pm. Many people come by 7 am to be a part of the morning prayer there.


3. Castle Of Sani

This castle is blessed by Padmasambhava of Oddhiyana and is also a cemetry of Dechendal which makes it one of the most important historical places of Leh Ladakh. The Stupa of Kanishka is also built inside the Castle of Sani. There is also a meditation cave, it is said that The Guru stayed there and practiced meditation for a long time.


Highlights - The most sacred statue of Naropa which is unveiled on the 15th, day of 6th, month of the Tibetan calendar can be seen and there are also various surreal wall paintings inside the castle executed by Zadpa Dorje.

Best Time To Visit -  November To March


4. Leh Palace

It's a perfect place to enjoy the Divine panoramic view of the entire Leh along with Zanskar mountain range. From the top of this glorifying palace, you can also take pleasure to experience the aesthetic beauty of sunsets and sunrises. The opening time is 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM so make sure you visit it during these hours. It was constructed and completed in 1553 and completed in the 17th century - imagine the kind of history waiting to unwind by you. It depicts Medival Tibetan Architecture and is also known as the hub of Buddhist culture.
Highlights - Panoramic views of mountain ranges, A vast collection of crowns, ceremonial dresses and jewelry, Tibetan Paintings, Interiors made out of wood carved figurines 
Best Time To Visit - April To September

5. Stok Palace

This is another beautiful architectural construction in the arms of Leh to show the royalty of the royal family. It displays crowns and various royal amenities to make the tourists go starstruck. Along with royal glory, it has gardens amazing views and the complete aura of the place is royal. It was built in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal, it was open to the public after the blessing of his holiness - The Dalai Lama. Missing out on this beautiful historical place in Leh Ladakh will definitely leave you with regret.
Highlights - A library with 108 volumes of the Kangyu, Queen’s ancient crown called Yub-Jhur and a sword that the king’s Oracle managed to bend into a knot called the Uri Geller–style.
Best Time To Visit - May to September

6. Castle Of Tingmogang

It is located at about 92kms west of Leh. It was built at a time when Gragpa Bum was ruling over Sham. He was the younger brother of the 17th century kind - Takspa Bum-Kde. There is also a red chapel - Tsuglagkhang Marpo, inside the castle which has a 3-story high image of Buddha Maitreya. Tingmosgang Ladakh is essential from recorded perspective. At the point when Fifth Dalai Lama passes away, the official that was administering the Tibet sent the head of Drukpa to arrange in 1684 and settlement of Tingmosgang were marked in the middle of these two nations Ladakh and the Tibet. Limits can likewise be seen between these two nations.

Highlights - A self-originated image of Avalokitesvara was brought from Kamnup & installed inside the castle of Tingmosgang which is symbolized as an object of merit.

Best Time To Visit -  June To September


7. Shanti Stupa

Constructed in 1991, It's a white-domed stupa situated on the hilltop of Chanspa. It rests on the hilltop at 11841 feet above sea level from where you can witness a panoramic view of Changspa village which is a breath-taking sight. It is situated opposite to the Leh Palace and is illuminated with lights at night which a beautiful sight - it's considered as one of the best places to visiti in Leh Ladakh when considering tourist attractions. Timings to visit - 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Highlights - Relics Of Buddha, Dharmachakra, Scenic hilltop views, Sight of traditional Ladakhi houses.
Best Time To Visit - May to September


8. Hemis Monastery 

It'd interest you to note that Naropa- an Indian Buddhist attained enlightenment at the Hemis Monastery. It is one of the wealthiest and the largest monasteries in Ladakh. It's one of the most beautiful Tibetan Buddhist Monastery In India. You'll awestruck by the beauty of the architecture and interiors. You can pay a tribute to the two big statues of lord Buddha and Guru Rimpoche inside the monastery.

Highlights - It has a mesmerizing architecture, and you can witness the beauty of a huge copper statue of Buddha. It also houses a number of Buddhist relics and ancient items. 

Best Time To Visit - The best time to go there is during the two-day Hemis Festival, which is held in June-July where you can enjoy the famous Cham Dance or Masked Dance.


9. Shey Palace

The Shey Palace complex is located on the hillock in Shey which is 15 kms to the south of Leh-Ladakh. Shey used to be the summer capital of Ladakh in the history. It's almost in ruins now - it was built by the kind of Ladakh - Deldan Namgyal. It was a summer retreat place for the kings of Ladakh. It was constructed in 1655 and it also has the second largest statue in Ladakh inside the Shey Palace Complex.

sheypalace-historical-places-leh-ladakh_imageHighlights - The offerings placed to the deities for worship are grain, jewels, holy signs and with mantras inscribed on them. The ruined remains of an ancient fortification above the palace depict the antiquity of this site and inscriptions were found inside the Palace.

Best Time To Visit - July to September


Suggested Read:
9 Adventure Sports In Leh Ladakh For Every Thrill Seeking Soul
Not Just Thukpa - 10 Best Delicacies From Leh Ladakh Cuisine
Divided By Cities, United By Traditions - 12 Festivals Of Leh Ladakh


Q: Which are the best places to visit in Leh Ladakh?
A: Rumste, Turtuk, Basgo, and Sumur
Q: Which are the best monasteries in Leh Ladakh?
A: Disket Monastery, Chemdrey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Spituk Monastery and Hemis Monastery.