This post was last updated on September 4th, 2020
Ladakh, the land of high passes and extremes is a popular tourist destination for adventure enthusiasts. Among the most beautiful places in India, Ladakh sends a welcoming invitation to ardent tourists to explore its outskirts and nearby places. The calm beauty of the places near Ladakh attracts a huge number of tourists every year. To restore your tired body and mind, a trip to Ladakh works like therapy. If you too want to set on for a Ladakh vacation, here are the most exciting places to visit near Ladakh within 500 km. Enjoy the best attractions near Ladakh and make your trip memorable.
Take a look at these 8 awesome places near Ladakh
Which will bring some peace and enhance your travel experience.
Khardung La Pass – A High-Altitude Biker’s Paradise
Also known as Khardzong La, Khardung La Pass is among the best places to visit near Ladakh within 50 km. This mountain pass in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir is close to Leh. Counted among the highest motorable roads in India, Khardung La offers a fresh take on an adventurous road trip. Most of the traveling enthusiasts generally visit this place before wrapping up their trip. It is a gateway to Shyok and Nubra Valley, and an ideal attraction for mountain bikers and adventure freaks. To explore these places, visitors need an inner line permit.
While reaching its top, one can witness striking views of the Karakoram Range and the Himalayas. Some other places to visit near Ladakh within 50 km include Hemis Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Hemis National Park, Magnetic Hills, Leh Palace, and Jama Masjid.
Trivia: Khardung La is historically significant as it lies on the Silk Route between Leh and Kashgar, China. Almost 10,000 horses and camels used to carry silk through this route.
Distance from Leh: 39 km
Things to Do: Trekking, Biking, Photography
Chang La Pass – One of the World’s Highest Mountain Roads
Another jewel in Ladakh – Chang La Pass is one of the highest motorable roads in the mountains in the world and among the unmissable places to visit near Ladakh within 100 km. Adventure freaks and bike riders love this Pass for a thrilling ride. It is also home to the highest research station in the world, run by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India. Surrounded by breathtaking scenic beauty and tranquility the place receives heavy snowfall throughout the year. Chang La Pass is a well-protected zone and safeguarded by the Indian Army. A Ladakh’s trip is incomplete without visiting Alchi, a popular tourist spot within 100 km to witness the distinct cultures of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.
Trivia: Did you know? The Pass got its name from the temple dedicated to hermit Changla Baba.
Distance from Leh: 75 km
Things to Do: Trekking, Biking, Photography, Skiing
Pangong Tso Lake – The Lake of Changing Colors
Pangong Tso Lake is one of the popular tourist attractions and places to visit near Ladakh within 200 km. The lake is famous for its changing color ability. It is said that the color of the lake changes from shades of blue to green to red. Also, it is one of the highest altitude saline water lakes set in the lap of the giant Himalayas at a height of 4000 kilometers from the main sea level. During winters, the lake remains completely frozen and farmers walk through the lake to the other side of it for pastures. An inner line permit is required to visit this famous spot.
Trivia: The Lake became more famous after the shooting of the movie Three Idiots in 2009, however, a part of the song Satrangi Re from Dil Se movie also was shot here in 1998.
Distance from Leh: 223 km
Things to do: Biking, Camping, Photography
Lamayuru Town – The Moonland of Ladakh
Popularly known as the Moon land of Ladakh, this small hamlet is an ideal stopover between the Kargil-Leh routes. The brown colored soil of this place gives it a yellowish-orange formation that highlights this place amongst the various places to visit near Ladakh within 200 km. Home to Lamayuru Monastery – one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh, it is believed that this hamlet was once a lake that dried up. One can admire the beauty of this popular spot at night under the full moon. According to the Tibetan lunar calendar, the town celebrates two annual festivals Yuru Kab Gyat and Hemis Tse Chu both the festivals celebrated in the second and fifth months of the Gregorian calendar on a large scale.
Trivia: A historical account states that a king of Ladakh declared the Lamayuru Monastery area as sanctuary where no one would be arrested. Thus, the Lamayuru is still said to be ‘Tharpa Ling’ which means the ‘place of freedom’.
Distance from Leh: 115 km
Things to do: Visit the monasteries, Photography, wander around the village
Nubra Valley – Orchard of Ladakh
Known as the Orchard of Ladakh, Nubra Valley was formerly called Ldumra, which meant the valley of flowers in the Ladakhi language. This tri-armed valley is among the must-visit places to visit near Ladakh within 200 km. and the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir. Known for its high-altitude sand dunes, centuries-old gompas, rivers Shyok and Nubra flowing around monasteries, double-humped Bactrian camels, and hot sulphur springs; Nubra valley presents a unique union of mountains, rivers, and deserts.
An inner line permit is required to explore this spot. Most tourists travel to Nubra Valley from Leh through Khardung La. One can adore the mesmerizing beauty of Nubra valley in the autumn season. Having a sneak-peek into Arabian Nights amidst the valley’s dunes is an experience to cherish.
Trivia: The history of Nubra Valley dates back to the 7th century AD when Mongols, Chinese, and Arabs invaded this valley.
Distance from Leh: 160 km
Things to Do: Trekking, Photography, Camel Ride
Kargil – An Erstwhile Trade Centre
Best known for the Kargil war when Indian military troops emerge victoriously, Kargil is the second largest town of Ladakh after Leh. Kargil held importance for being a trade center in the past and had links with traders of Central Asia, China, and different parts of India for carpets, wool, silk, precious stones, and tea. The town was known as a historical meeting point.
It is one of the most scenic places to visit near Ladakh within 300 km. The district is dotted by various Budha statues, monasteries, heritage sites, ancient rock carvings, mosques, and forts palaces. Most especially, visit the Kargil War Memorial made by the brave Indian Army in the town of Dras.
Kargil is also looked upon as a place with great potential for Adventure Tourism and winter sports such as skiing, mountaineering, river rafting, and trekking.
Trivia: Based on the Kargil war held in the year 1999, many movies and documentaries have been made about the war. The most famous of them was LOC Kargil directed by JP Dutta.
Distance from Leh: 217 km
Things to Do: Trekking, Mountaineering, Sightseeing, Photography
Tso Moriri Lake – A Blue Triangle amidst Mountains
Also known as Mountain Lake, Tso Moriri Lake is listed as a wetland reserve. The lake is set in the Rupshu valley in the Changthang area of Ladakh. Slightly higher than Pangong Tso, the lake is among the top places to visit near Ladakh within 300 km. The spot is noted as less crowded and allows a better view of the scenery around. One can admire the breathtaking beauty of this pristine lake on the barren land surrounded by snow-capped mountains. One can enjoy stargazing at night under the open sky. The peaceful surrounding and scenic beauty make Tso Moriri Lake a perfect spot for nature lovers. The bare-headed goose, the brown-headed gull, Brahmin duck, crested grebe, and Himalayan Hares can be seen while visiting the lake.
Trivia: The Tso Moriri Lake is among the highest altitude lakes in India which lies entirely in Indian territory.
Distance from Leh: 220 km
Things to Do: Trekking, Camping, Bird Watching, Photography
Zanskar Valley – The White-Copper Valley
Zanskar Valley is known for its towering snow-capped mountains and surrounding landscapes. Located in the Trans Himalayan Ranges, Zanskar has plenty of copper deposits. No wonder, it is popularly known as the ‘Land of White Copper’ as Zang means copper in the Tibetan language.
It is one of the best places to visit near Ladakh within 500 km. and amongst the most deserted places in the Himalayan range. The local people call Zanskar Valley as Zahar. The steep terrains covered with snow reflect the blissful skies. Zanskar Valley offers adventure activities such as white river rafting on the tributaries of the Zanskar River. This valley is an arid cold desert with deep gorges and glaciers. On reaching this site one can adore the beauty of pristine river waters and a favorable climate that makes the valley worth visiting. The Zanskar Valley remains closed during witness as it receives heavy snowfall.
Trivia: Adventurers flock to the valley in winters for one of most exciting treks – Chadar Trek, which is a straight walk over the frozen Zanskar River. Also, frozen waterfall adds to the thrill.
Distance from Leh: 462 km
Things to Do: River Rafting Trekking, Camping, Bird Watching, Photography
If you are planning a trip to Ladakh, the above-mentioned attractions command your visit. Enjoy a relaxing weekend or a long vacation and treat the traveler inside you!