Top things to do in Kashmir & Ladakh

Top Choice Palace in Leh

Leh Palace

Bearing a passing similarity to the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet), this nine-storey dun-coloured edifice is Leh's dominant structure and architectural icon. It took shape under 17th-century king Singge Namgyal but …
Top Choice Lake in Srinagar

Dal Lake

Over 15km around, Dal Lake is Srinagar's jewel, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. Flotillas of gaily painted shikaras (go…
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 Ladakhi in Alchi

Alchi Kitchen

Alchi Kitchen offers a rare chance to taste traditional Ladakhi foods made with a modern twist. The striking, mod-trad open kitchen runs out flavoursome skyu (vegetable stew containing something like a barley versio…
Top Choice Cafe in Leh

Lala’s Art Cafe

Entered beside a 2000-year-old Dhyani Buddha stela, this tiny, traditional temple-like house was saved from demolition and immaculately restored in 2006. Stone steps lead to an atmospheric cafe with floor seating an…
Top Choice Multicuisine in Leh

Bon Appetit

Hidden down unlikely footpaths south of Changspa Rd, classy Bon Appetit has far more finesse than most in Leh, so consider booking. Much on the eclectic menu has an Italian feel, but you'll also find good salads and…
Top Choice Kashmiri in Srinagar

Ahdoos Restaurant

This historic restaurant (a century old in 2018) is the classiest place in town to try meaty wazwan (traditional Kashmiri multicourse meal) dishes such as methi maaz (mutton with fenugreek) and rista (minced lamb me…
Top Choice Cafe in Leh

Ja Khang

Excellent coffee from a Faema machine served in an uncluttered pine interior that has a traditional Ladakhi-style seating area, simultaneously balancing the modern and traditional. Tibetan folk music creates a mello…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Alchi

Choskhor Temple Complex

The original murals and statues within these four outwardly modest 11th-century temples are considered the crowning glory of Ladakh’s Indo-Tibetan art. The complex was founded by ‘Great Translator’ Lotsava Ringchen …
Top Choice Village in Kargil

Hundarman Broq

Set in a sharp mountain gully 11km northeast of Kargil, the tumbledown ghost village of Hundarman is a remarkable sight. Rocky crags tower above, a steeply raked arc of stone-walled terraces sits below and virtually…