Leh & Ladakh
About Leh & Ladakh
Leh is the capital of remote Ladakh – a vast highland desert lying between the Karakoram and the Himalayan ranges. Ladakh is the name of the eastern two-thirds of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Variously described as Little Tibet and the last ‘Shangri-La’, it’s in a beautiful Himalayan range, characterised by a desolate moonlike landscape and snowy peaks (it’s inaccessible by road during winter). Ladakh is extremely dry - with rainfall levels as low as in the Sahara - because the mountains keep clouds out. When Tibet was swallowed by China in the 1950s, the Chinese did their best to dilute Tibetan culture, but Ladakh’s Tibetans have carried their traditions forward unimpeded. That’s not to say Ladakh is untouched by outside influences. The area has been open to tourists since the mid 1970s, and substantial changes have occurred. There are still sections, however, that seem to have remained unchanged for centuries.
Leh Palace, which resembles Tibet's Potala, offers great views from its heights. Above the palace is Namgyal Tsemo gompa (monastery). The bazaar and old town offers greats atmosphere and Leh gompa (monastery). Just outside Leh are however probably the most stunning gompas. Some of these include the Shey, Hemis and Tikse monasteries.
Stok Palace, also just outside Leh is the seat of the erstwhile Ladakhi royal family, which now houses a small museum and the Stok gompa.
Leh & Ladakh Hotels
If you are planning a Leh & Ladakh holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Leh & Ladakh Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Leh & Ladakh.