Kargil - Léh

Kargil - Léh

Journey from Muslim to Buddhist Ladakh

I want there
Been there
Rating:Very good
Overcrowding: Above average
Difficulty: Very gentle
Time: 2 Days

The road from Kargil to Leh overcomes two high passes Namika la and Fotu la la in a typical ladack landscape of arid mountains and green oases. Halfway is also interesting Buddhist monastery Lamayuru with renowned colorful festivals. The road then leads through the valley of Indus, where it is worth to stop in Likir monastery. A short way from the village Nimu is interesting confluence of river Zanskar with Indus, each of which has a slightly different color of water. Generally, there is always something to look at on this journey through Ladakh.


Day 1

The way to Lamayuru

The first day of this passage is not only quite challenging, but also full of experiences. Make the first stop at the beautiful statue of Buddha carved into the rock in the town Mulbek. Then await you crossings of passes Namika la and Fotu la and later on the arrival to Lamayuru, where you not only accommodate, but you can also make a nice walk around the neighborhood.

Article: Drive across pass Namika la

From Muslim to Buddhist part of Ladakh

There are a few high road passes on the way from Kargil to Lamayuru, or rather Leh. The first is Namika la (3 825 m asl) located on completely deserted weathered ridge – it looks like a lunar landscape. Another interesting fact is that you will leave Muslim part of Ladakh during the ride and get into the Buddhist part full of chortens, prayer flags and white gompas. You will also get from the area with only a few tourists to more widely visited area. The quality of the way varies from relatively good-quality asphalt road up to places under construction, where you will drive very slowly.

Article: Drive across the pass Fotu la

The highest point on the road from Srinagar to Leh

Fotu la pass (4,094 m asl) is the highest point on the 420 km long road from Srinagar in Kashmir to the centre of Ladakh - Leh. In terms of altitude, for non-acclimatized person it is much pleasant way than the road leading to Leh from Manali over five thousand high passes. Description of crossing of this pass follows the journey from Kargil over the previous pass Namika la and continues to the beautiful gompa at Lamayuru. On the way you will be able to enjoy green oasis, almost lunar landscape and nice bends on the descent from the pass to the east.

Article: Trip to Lamayuru

Monastery in the moonscape

Very interesting stop while traveling around Ladakh is the monastery and the ancient town of Lamayuru. Whether you come here for a trip from Leh or you only transit here on the road linking Ladakh with Kashmir, make sure to make here at least a half-day stop. Especially in the early evening has the local "moonscape" great charm. In addition, the monastery is renowned for it’s for colorful festivals, so you can experience here a genuine local culture. Lamayuru is also a starting point for interesting treks both to Zanskar (Lamayuru - Padum trek) and to the valley of Suru (Lamayuru - Kanji la - Rangdum).  

Day 2

Over Likir to Leh

The other day await you mainly the ride through the valley of Indus. An interesting stop can be at a giant sitting Buddha at Likir or confluence of Indus with Zanskar.

Article: Drive Lamayuru - Léh

Long ride through the valley of Indus

The journey from Lamayuru to Leh leads most of the time in relatively wide valley of Indus, but you will enjoy here also the ride in a narrow gorge. The views are mostly into arid Ladack mountains north of Indus. Along the way, there are two interesting Buddhist monasteries in Likir and Basgo.

Article: Visit of Likir Gompa Monastery

The biggest Buddha in Ladakh

Very interesting monastery Likir is lying less than 50 kilometers from Leh in a side valley. It boasts the biggest sitting Buddha statue in Ladakh and very picturesque monastery situated on a small hill as the center of a nice oasis surrounded by high mountain desert. Because it is situated a few kilometers from the main road Shrinagar - Leh hwy, it is definitely not so frequently visited as other monasteries in the Indus valley.

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