Tsemo Fort

Castle in Leh

Visible from virtually everywhere in Leh, 16th-century Tsemo (Victory) Fort is a defining landmark that crowns the top of Palace Ridge, though there's little to see inside apart from a tiny Buddhist shrine. Directly beneath, Tsemo Gompa consists of two little 15th-century temple buildings. One enshrines an 8m-tall gold-faced Maitreya. The other is an atmospheric gonkhang, home of protector deities.

On foot, getting here takes around 15 minutes on a steep path from Leh Palace or by a longer route of concreted zigzag steps from a series of photogenic stupas at Chubi. Road access is by a 3km loop from the polo ground, then a 600m dead end spur off the Nubra Rd.