Day 2: Sightseeing around Leh (90 Kms round trip)
Morning after breakfast visit Hall of Fame, Spituk Monastery and Kali Mata Temple, Magnetic Hill, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib and Confluence of Zanskar - Indus rivers. Return to Leh for lunch (on own). In the evening visit Leh Palace, Donkey Sanctuary and Shanti Stupa for beautiful sunset view. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Leh.
LADAKH HALL OF FAME: The Hall of Fame is a glorious museum constructed by the Indian Army. It is worth a visit for every citizen. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defense personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during the Kargil and other key strategic battles fought in Ladakh. And belongings of the enemy soldiers found at war site. All the martyr and the gallantry awards. Here’s something that you will be proud of our defense personnel who sacrificed themselves so that we could live in peace.
SPITUK GOMPA: 8 Kms from Leh, it stands prominently on the top of hillock commanding a panoramic view of the Indus Valley for miles. Many icons of Buddha and fine Thankas are to be found in this 15th century Gompa. The Gompa also houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and an awe-inspiring image of Mahakaal. The face of the Kali image is kept covered and is revealed only at the annual function at January every year.
MAGNETIC HILL : Defying the Law of gravity. This place is close to the Gurdwara Shri Patthar Sahib. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up-hill that’s the Believe it or not of Ladakh!
GURDWARA SHRI PATTHAR SAHIB:
Situated 25 miles from Leh, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib stands at the place where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion and the first guru, is believed to have vanquished a demon. According to legend, during his sojourn in Ladakh, Guru Nanak was attacked by a demon. The demon threw a large boulder on the guru as he sat at the base of a hill meditating. However, the rock became soft like molten wax and failed to cause any harm to the Sikh guru. The demon was in for a surprise when he found the Sikh guru unscathed. Bristling with fury, the demon tried to crush Guru Nanak by kicking the boulder with all his might. To his surprise, the demon’s foot caused a deep impression in the boulder which had turned soft. Realizing that the man in front of him was no mortal soul, the demon underwent a transformation and stopped harassing the people. The boulder with the imprints of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the foot of daemon still rests there. The gurudwara is maintained today by the Indian Army. It is a tradition for vehicles to stop and pay obeisance at the temple.
CONFLENCE OF THE ZANSKAR & INDUS : On way to Sham Valley before Nimu village one can have this magnificent view of two rivers in wed-lock! In seasons they have different colors and flow and wildness.
DONKEY SANCTUARY : The sanctuary is situated just off the road leading to Khardungla Pass. The public is encouraged to visit the sanctuary and friendly signs will direct you to the sanctuary from the center of Leh. Once at the sanctuary, the artistic surprise awaiting you is well worth the effort. It is open to the public throughout the day and donations and juicy carrots are most welcome and used exclusively for improving the lives and welfare of these wonderful animals.
LEH PALACE : The Palace overlooks Leh town and is modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, but was later abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century. The royal family moved to Stok Palace. Leh Palace is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, the stables and store rooms were in the lower floors. The palace, a ruin, is currently being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas. The richest collection of jewellery, ornaments, Thangkas, ceremonial dresses, crowns, and centuries-old pieces of jewellery are kept here for public display. There are Chinese Thangka or sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old but still look new.
SHANTI STUPA (Japanese Peace Pagoda) : Shanti Stupa/Japanese peace pagoda is build by a Japanese religious organization headed by Head monk Nakamura with the help from the organization and local people. It is situated at a hill top in Cahngspa village providing a bird eye view of the Leh town and the surrounding mountain peaks. Architecturally it has the Japanese touch with small clean rooms on the side for meditators and the main Japanese shrine at the entrance.