Written by Pragya Sharma
Leh, once the capital of the kingdom of Ladakh and now a district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The beautiful Land of Lamas-‘Leh’ is dominated by the Tibetan art and culture, muddy houses, buzzing bazaars displaying the pashmina shawls and wooden artefacts. A town adorned with its rich culture- traditional house structures, hotels with flat roofs, narrow footpaths, wooden window frames, muddy dark walls silently whispers to you, welcome to Leh.
Apart from being a beautiful blend of Lakes, sightseeing treks and monasteries, Leh is even known for its historical monuments and Gurdwara. Though the historical locations attract the least no. of tourists every year still they are the icing on the beautiful platter of nature.
Built in 1553 the palace was once known to be the highest building in the world. It is a 15 min walk from the local market. It is nine storeys high and the upper floors once accommodate the royal family, while the lower floors held stables. The Palace museum has a huge collection of jewels, ornaments, royal dresses and crowns. It also showcases paintings which are more than 400 years old.
Situated above the Leh Palace, it is also known as the Riasi Fort. The fort is ruined but, one of the prominent historical monument. It is believed that the Dogra rulers of Jammu kept a large portion of their wealth in this fort. Named after the name of General Zorawar Singh( a brave warrior who defended Ladakh against the Chinese). In present times, the fort homes age old stamps, coins and treasures. It is surrounded by barren hills and unique landscape where one can see an old mosque and a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and Kali.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
Situated around 25 km from Leh city, the Gurudwara is said to be the holy place where Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru and founder of Sikh religion, is believed to have defeated a demon. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is also worshipped by the Buddhists. The Tibetan’s regard Guru Nanak as Guru Gompa Maharaj and as Nanak Lama. The astonishing fact about the rock is that it was long forgotten and discovered again during the construction of Leh-Nimu road in the late 1970s.
There are many other places like the Jama Masjid, located in the heart of the city market, the Chamba Temple, Cho Khang Gompa, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa etc. Even after being a small city, it offers a panorama of beauty, histories and holy peace. The city has a lot to explore and offer its tourists more than one can imagine it to.