Lotus Hotel Ladakh
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A blend of adventure and mysticism make for the unique allure of Ladakh, also known as India's Little Tibet, which is among the world's highest inhabited plateaus. Situated at more than 3,000 metres above sea level, it lies more than 1000 kilometres north of New Delhi in the Jammu and Kashmir state. Also popular as Moonland for its outlandish landscape of vast barren mountains, the bluest of skies and beautiful lakes that change colour during the day. Ladakh, the land of jagged peaks and barren landscape is at once alluring and awe-inspiring. Hidden behind this harsh and forbidding façade is an ancient civilization and a captivating people. With its unaltered character and overwhelming natural beauty Ladakh beckons the more intense and adventurous of travellers. The awesome wilderness and magic can only belong to this great land of towering mountains and Buddhist simplicity. With the great Indus flowing right through Ladakh, the province is divided into Leh - the capital, Nubra, Zanskar, lower Ladakh and Rupshu. The many distinctive features of Ladakh are its uplands, craggy, barren cliffs and plateaus.
LEH PALACE
Leh Palace known as the ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ is a former Royal Palace of the Leh Kingdom. Located in Leh city. It is one of the biggest tourist attraction of Leh city. The 17th century Palace, Leh Palace is also one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine storey. The palace provides spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain range as well as town and surroundings. The palace is now in a run-down condition being maintained and restored by the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ (ASI). This beautifully constructed palace was abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid 19th century and forced the royal family to move to Stok Palace. The now ruined palace is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Palace Museum holds a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. Chinese Thangka or sooth paintings, which are more than 450 years old, with intricate designs still retain the bright and pleasing colours derived from crushed and powdered gems and stones.
STOK PALACE
Built entirely by the Ladakhi craftsmen in 1820, the Stok Palace still continues to be a snug abode for the Namgyal Dynasty. The Namgyal Dynasty traces its origin to its founder –Lhachen Palgygon as early as 10th century. You are entering a historical property and the Palace stands 195 years old. The Stok Palace was opened to public in 1980 with blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and since it’s been over a decade and visitors continues to pour from all over the World. It encapsulates and reflects the lifestyle and history of Royalties set in the midst of the valley of Singey Sangpo which is known more popularly as Indus River. Preserved from urbanity, this pristine natural landscape allows you to relax in serene atmosphere, pregnant with the delicious aroma of the country side and amazing views all around and takes the visitors through the imagery experience, detailing the softness of Snow, the brilliance of sunlight, billowing clouds, wandering pathways, and picturesque local architecture. As with anything embracing the grandeur and beauty of nature, the landscapes achieve a sense of timelessness they envelop the echoes and silence of eons gone by. So come and enjoy the fine dining experience prepared from the family kitchen products coming from the local market and village. You can enjoy the pleasures of healthy and natural Ladakhi, Tibetan and Indian food.
HALL OF FAME
Hall of Fame is a museum constructed by the Indian Army in memory of the brave Indian soldiers who laid down their lives defending the motherland in the Indo-Pak wars. The Hall of Fame museum is located on the Leh-Kargil Road, about 4km from the city of Leh. It stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by our soldiers to ensure the safety and security of our country. The Hall of Fame museum, consisting of two storey, is divided into various sections which contain several displays. In the upper floor, there is a section named OP Vijay Gallery. Here, you can see the various kinds of weapons used in the Kargil war, along with the various arms and ammunition captured by the Indian Army during the war. On the same floor, in yet another section, various kinds of apparel and amenities used by the Indian Army in the Siachen region have also been displayed. Some of these show the pictures of army posts on the glacier, living accommodation of the troops and the training process of the troops on ice walls, besides others.
SHANTI STUPA
The Shanti Stupa is white-colored domed-shaped structure, located in Chandspa which looks extremely beautiful during night when it is illuminated. This peace pillar was built a ‘Peace Sect’ of Japanese Buddhist organization to celebrate the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and for the promotion of world peace. It was inaugurated by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in 1985. This pillar is known for its gilt panels depicting the life stories of Lord Buddha. The Shanti Stupa features the photograph of the current Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base. The Stupa is built as a two-level structure. The first level features the central relief of Dharmacakra with deer on each side. A central golden Buddha image sits on a platform depicting the "turning wheel of Dharma". The second level has reliefs depicting the "birth" of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha "defeating the devils" while meditating. Both levels feature a series of smaller meditating Buddha reliefs. The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.
JAMA MASJID
Located in the heart of Leh town is the Jama Masjid, which is one of the major historical mosques in Ladakh. This mosque is considered to be the biggest mosques in the Ladkah region and consists of a memorial which is known as Shahi Hamdan. This memorial is made in dedication to Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, a Muslim Sufi Saint. It was built in 1666-67 A.D. as a result of an agreement between Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor and the then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal. Since the time of its construction, the mosque has been dismantled and re-constructed using new techniques. The Jama Masjid is a historical mosque that is located in the midst of Leh and is the biggest mosque of Ladakh. This was constructed in 1666-67 A.D. as per an agreement between the ruler of Ladakh Deldan Namgyal and the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Eventually a settlement was reached, where in Mughals provided protection to Ladakhi kings in return for a fee, with the construction of Jama Masjid as its symbolic seal. A glorious symbol of religious forbearance and magnanimity, Jama Masjid in Leh, along with the other mosques in a landscape replete with monasteries and Buddhist faith followers, blends in seamlessly with the spiritual and religious force field of Leh. Located in the Main Bazaar of Leh, Jama Masjid today is open only to men. A beautiful, stately double domed structure, the original mosque was replaced with the present day, intricately carved structure few years back.
TSEMO FORT
Built in the 16th century is Tsemo (Victory) Fort, is just 15-minute climb-up opposite Chenrezi Lakhang with its ruins. This structure is actually visible from everywhere in Leh. This fort seems like a crown on the head of the Palace ridge. This small but ruined palace contains of a number of worship flags. Directly underneath it is Tsemo Gompa that is Tsemo Monastery that consists of two temple buildings built in the 15th century, an eight meter tall gold-faced statue of Maitreya Buddha. Ngamgyal Tsemo Gompa and the Fort seen from Shanti Stupa, Ngamgyal Tsemo Gompa and the Fort seen from Shanti Stupa. The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Tashi NamgyalA tourist at Namgyal Gompa, Leh A tourist at Namgyal Gompa, LehView of Leh's Old City from Tsemo Fort View of Leh's Old City from Tsemo FortA statue inside a gompa a Tsemo Fort A statue inside a gompa a Tsemo FortPrayer flags tied to the poles at Tsemo Fort Prayer flags tied to the poles at Tsemo FortI climbed the hill to Namgyal Tsemo Gompa in the scorching heat. The fort is perched on a hilltop overlooking Leh city. There were no shades between the fort and the foothills; it was just me, the sun and the heated narrow road. The Gompa and the Fort looked desolated without a soul in sight but I wasn’t surprised. Tourists in Leh came prepared for a long stay and they are not in a hurry. They would just wait for the right moment, which I’ve come to realize as I climbed up the hill- is the evening. The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal, an avid Buddhist follower. He chose to build the gompa just above his palace. Most gompas and temples are built on hilltops, where it could be seen from afar.