Leh, the capital of Ladakh is a fascinating cum glittering hill station. Lying in the amidst of the snow-capped hills of Himalayas with many monasteries and colorful markets, it is also called the Buddhist capital of North India.
Located at the height of 11,000 feet, having many strikingly beautiful and majestic mountains, which slowly merge into an oasis of green fields.
But that is not at all here; it has more then enough to offer to the varied interests of the tourists it attracts from all over the world. The scene and adventure lovers may indulge in hiking, trekking, river rafting, polo and archery. The peaceful ones may try out meditation at the Mahabodhi Meditation center.
The must visit place in Leh is the Leh Palace, which is a baby version of the Potala in Lhasa. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh’s victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century. Then there are Buddhist gompas like the Namgyal Tsemo Gomapa, Soma gompa and the Sankar gompa, which are also a must see. One may also climb up the Shanti Stupa to get a better view of the neighboring fascinating locales.
Shopping is an thrilling experience in Leh. You can shop for turquoise and silver jewellery that comes here from Tibet and Burma. Souvenirs of the local handicrafts and the traditional clothes can be picked up from the Ladakh festival or from the bustling bazaar. Popular souvenirs picked up by tourists include, Thangka paintings, small prayer wheels, music bowls, Ladakhi carpets, rugs, shawls and stoles.
Leh (Ladakh) was known in the past by different names. It was called Maryul or low land by some Kha- chumpa by others.