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Lesser Known Places to Explore in Ladakh

Ladakh is a vast and rugged region with many unexplored and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Here are some unexplored places to see in Ladakh:


Ladakh is a stunning region of northern India that boasts breathtaking landscapes, ancient monasteries, and vibrant culture. While popular tourist spots like Leh, Pangong Tso, and Nubra Valley are well-known, there are also many hidden gems to explore in this rugged terrain. Here are some of the lesser-known places to visit in Ladakh:

"Less explored places like Zanskar Valley, Chumathang, Kargil, Dah Hanu and Turtuk are must to visit"

Zanskar Valley: The Zanskar Valley is a remote and isolated valley located in the eastern part of Ladakh, India. It is known for its stunning landscapes, including towering mountains, deep gorges, and turquoise rivers. Here are some of the top places to see in the Zanskar Valley:


Pic: Drang Drung Glacier

  1. Zongkhul Monastery: Zongkhul Monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in a cave in the Zanskar Valley. The monastery is built into a cliff face and is home to a community of monks who follow the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

  2. Drang Drung Glacier: The Drang Drung Glacier is a massive glacier located in the Suru Valley, which is a part of the Zanskar Valley. It is one of the largest glaciers in Ladakh and is a popular spot for trekking and hiking.

  3. Karsha Monastery: Karsha Monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in the Padum area of Zanskar Valley. The monastery is famous for its beautiful architecture, traditional Buddhist artwork, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

  4. Padum: Padum is the largest town in the Zanskar Valley and is the administrative center of the region. It is a vibrant town that offers a glimpse into traditional Ladakhi life and culture.

  5. Phugtal Monastery: Phugtal Monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in a remote area of the Zanskar Valley. The monastery is built into a cliff face and is home to a community of monks who follow the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

  6. Stongdey Monastery: Stongdey Monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in the Padum area of the Zanskar Valley. The monastery is famous for its beautiful architecture, traditional Buddhist artwork, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Chumathang Hot Springs: Chumathang Hot Springs is a natural hot spring located along the Indus River, about 130 km east of Leh. The water here is believed to have medicinal properties and is a popular spot for locals to come and relax. The Chumathang Hot Springs is surrounded by stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys. The water from the hot springs is rich in minerals and is said to be beneficial for a variety of health conditions, including skin problems, arthritis, and respiratory disorders.

Apart from bathing in the hot springs, visitors can also explore the nearby Chumathang village and visit the Chumathang Monastery, which is located nearby. The monastery is an ancient Buddhist monastery that dates back to the 17th century and is home to a community of monks who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Chumathang Hot Springs is a great place to relax and rejuvenate in the midst of beautiful natural surroundings. It is also a popular stopover for travellers who are on their way to other destinations in Ladakh, such as Pangong Tso Lake or Leh.


Lamayuru: Lamayuru is a small village located in the Ladakh region of India. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 3,510 meters above sea level. It is famous for its ancient Lamayuru Monastery, which is believed to be one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh. The village is also known for its unique lunar landscape, resulting from

erosion over thousands of years.

Pic: Lamayuru monastery


The Lamayuru Monastery, also known as Yungdrung Tharpaling Monastery, is a major attraction in the village. It was founded in the 11th century and is home to a community of monks who follow the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The monastery is famous for its beautiful architecture, intricate murals, and collection of ancient manuscripts and artefacts.

Apart from the monastery, Lamayuru is also known for its stunning landscapes. The lunar landscape, also known as the Moonland, is a unique geological formation that resembles the surface of the moon. It is believed to have been formed over thousands of years of erosion and weathering. The landscape is best viewed during sunrise or sunset when the light casts beautiful shadows and highlights the unique features of the terrain.

Lamayuru is a popular destination for trekkers and hikers, with several trekking routes starting from the village. The most popular trek is the Lamayuru to Chilling trek, which takes around three to four days and passes through beautiful landscapes of mountains, valleys, and rivers.

Overall, Lamayuru is a beautiful and peaceful destination that offers a glimpse into Ladakh's rich culture and history. With its stunning landscapes, an ancient monastery, and vibrant community, it is a destination that is definitely worth exploring.


Tso Moriri Lake: Tsomoriri Lake is a high-altitude lake located in the Changthang region of Ladakh, India. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 4,522 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake is fed by several small streams and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, making it a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the beauty of the Ladakhi landscape.


Pic: Tsomoriri Lake


Tsomoriri Lake is a saltwater lake and is home to a variety of aquatic life, including several species of fish and birds. It is also an important breeding ground for the endangered Black-necked Crane and is a protected area under the Wildlife Protection Act of India.

Apart from its natural beauty and ecological significance, Tsomoriri Lake is also famous for its spiritual and cultural significance. The lake is believed to be sacred by the local people, who visit the lake to offer prayers and perform religious rituals.

Visitors to Tsomoriri Lake can explore the surrounding areas on foot. Several trekking routes start from the lake, including the Korzok to Kyagar trek, which takes around five days and passes through several small villages and monasteries.


Turtuk: Turtuk is a small village in the Nubra Valley that was only opened to tourists in 2010. It offers a glimpse into a culture that is very different from the rest of Ladakh, as the people here are predominantly Muslim and speak Balti, a language that is more commonly found in Pakistan. The village is known for its apricots and is surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains.

Pic: Turtuk


Turtuk was once a part of Baltistan, which is now a part of Pakistan. It was only opened to tourists in 2010, after years of being closed to outsiders. This has helped to preserve the village's unique culture and traditions, making it a great destination for travelers who want to experience the authentic Ladakhi way of life.

One of the main attractions of Turtuk is its scenic beauty. The village is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is located on the banks of the Shyok River, which adds to its natural charm. The village is also known for its apricot orchards, which bloom in the spring and add a splash of color to the landscape.

Another attraction of Turtuk is its unique cultural heritage. The village is home to the Balti people, who have their own distinct language, culture, and traditions. Visitors to Turtuk can learn about the local way of life by visiting the village's many small shops and stalls, where they can sample local food, clothing, and handicrafts. Turtuk is also known for its ancient mosque, which dates back to the 16th century. The mosque is a fine example of the region's Islamic architecture and is a popular destination for tourists who want to learn more about the village's religious heritage.


Dah Hanu Valley: Dah Hanu is a remote region in the western part of Ladakh that is home to the Dard people, who are believed to be the descendants of the original inhabitants of Ladakh. The area is known for its unique culture, traditional architecture, and stunning natural beauty. It is a picturesque valley located in the Ladakh region of India, about 160 kilometers from the capital city of Leh. It is situated along the banks of the Indus River, at an altitude of approximately 2,550 meters above sea level, and is known for its stunning natural beauty and unique cultural heritage.

Pic: Dard Festival at Dah village of Hanu


Hanu Valley is home to the Drokpa community, which is believed to be descended from the ancient Aryans. The Drokpas are known for their unique physical features, such as their light skin, blond hair, and blue eyes, which are believed to be a result of their Indo-European ancestry. The Drokpas also have their own distinct language, culture, and traditions, which are different from those of other Ladakhi communities.

Visitors to Hanu Valley can learn about the Drokpa way of life by visiting the village's many small shops and stalls, where they can sample local food, clothing, and handicrafts. The village is also home to several ancient temples and shrines, which are an important part of the local culture.

Apart from its cultural significance, Hanu Valley is also known for its stunning natural beauty. The valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the Indus River adds to its natural charm. Visitors can explore the valley on foot or by jeep, and can enjoy activities such as trekking, camping, and birdwatching.

Overall, Hanu Valley is a charming and authentic destination that offers a glimpse into the unique culture, history, and natural beauty of Ladakh. It is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the true essence of Ladakh.



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