Altitude:  3,524 metres (11,562 ft)
Location:   Leh,Jammu & Kashmir Valley
Population:   30,870 (2011))
Language:  Dogri, Sheena, Urdu, Hindi, English.
Temperature:  Max 17°C to Min -6.7°C.
Best Time to Visit:  March to November.
How to Spend Time:  Bike Riding, Trekking, Sightseeing, Photography.
Attractions:  Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa, Jama Masjid, Choglamsar, Tiger Hill, Leh Palace, Stok Palace, Tsemo Fort etc.

Flying into Leh, the cold desert land, over the magnificent Himalayas is a beautiful and scary experience at once. Leh Palace illuminated by huge halogen lamps looks like a bewitching castle on a hilltop set ablaze in the dark nights of the Leh. Drive in the city is as exciting as the wonders it has in its lap with the long isolated winding road that opens up into a sheer expanse of arid flatness in burnt sienna. There is blinding sun at the top and perhaps at the first impression, a visitor is not likely to appreciate the blessings of the land fully. A historic town that served as the royal capital of the Old Kingdom, Leh boasts of a nine-storey palace built by King Singge Namgyol in 17 century. It is a miniature replica of Patala Palace in Lhasa. The ruins of Leh palace overlooks the entire city of Leh and the Indus valley and signifies Ladakhs rich heritage. Above the palace is the Namgyol Tsemo (Red temple). The ruins of Tsemo Gompa (victory palace) a part of the earliest royal residence built by King. Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century. The associated temples are kept locked except during the morning and evening hours, when monks from Sankar Gompa climb the hill to light the butter-lamps placed in front of the images. The Fort Road follows to Skara, another pretty and prosperous suburb of Leh town, and one can admire the earthen ramparts of Zorawar Singh’s fort, now housing army barracks. Bon and Buddhism rule the lifestyle and culture of the people here. The Chortens (Stupas) and enchanting Gompas (Monasteries) adorn the city with their presence. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and there is an ominous beauty in the stark surroundings of Ladakh. The Hinayana Buddhist way of life lends a benevolent spirit to the very air of the region.

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