Top things to do in Around Leh

Top Choice Buddhist Monastery in Thiksey

Thiksey Gompa

Glorious Thiksey Gompa is one of Ladakh’s biggest and most recognisable monasteries, photogenically cascading down a raised rocky promontory. At its heart, the main dukhang (prayer hall) oozes atmosphere, and a Mait…
Top Choice Multicuisine in Thiksey

Café Cloud

Hidden behind adobe walls, 1km from Thiksey, this upmarket garden restaurant is essentially the only choice for quality European food east of Leh. Dishes include pan-seared basa fish, Thai curry, an Indian combo of …
Buddhist Monastery in Chemrey & Takthog

Chemrey Monastery

Spectacularly viewed across barley fields and buckthorn bushes, Chemrey village is dominated by the beautifully proportioned Thekchhok Gompa covering a steep hillock with a maze of pathways and Tibetan buildings. It…
Buddhist Temple in Hemis

Gotsang Hermitage

Predating Hemis Monastery by several centuries, Gotsang is a hillside hermitage with two attractive main temple buildings. The main shrine is the mountain cave in which Tantric master Gyalwang Gotsang (1189–1258) me…
Palace in Stok

Stok Palace

This stately three-storey edifice was built in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal – a good investment, it turned out, since 14 years later his larger main palace at Leh was sacked by the invading Dogra army. Well preserved…
Buddhist Monastery in Hemis

Hemis Gompa

This expansive, 17th-century monastery is the spiritual centre of Ladakh’s Drukpa Buddhists; it was the fifth Gyaling Drukpa who founded Hemis after travelling here from Tibet. There are two prayer halls; the main o…
Buddhist Monastery in Matho

Matho Gompa

Perched on a impressive ridge above the village, this little-visited gompa commands stupendous valley views. Ladakh's only major Sakya Buddhist monastery, it has grown around a 15th-century core and now has over 80 …
Ladakhi in Stok


With a day's notice, excellent traditional meals are served in the relatively new but still very traditional kitchen of this homestay house. A full spread typically includes local specialities, including skyu or chu…
Buddhist Temple in Shey

Royal Palace Temple

The greatest attraction in Shey's palace complex is the royal temple, with its splendid 17th-century Buddha statue. The highly revered 7.5m-tall gilded copper Buddha was originally installed in 1645.
Monastery in Matho

Stakna Gompa

Small but visually impressive, the 1618 Stakna (Tiger's Nose) Gompa crowns a rocky outcrop that rises abruptly from the Indus Valley floor. The heart of the complex is a charming prayer hall featuring several ancien…