Explore The Great Himalayan Desert Safari Adventure & Must-Visit Places In Leh

Explore The Great Himalayan Desert Safari Adventure & Must-Visit Places In Leh Ladakh India

No Himalayan desert safari is complete without exploring the renowned Hemis National Park. Established in 1981, it is India’s largest notified protected area, spanning a vast 4,400 sq km in the eastern Ladakh region. Hemis park offers an unparalleled experience of Ladakh’s famed “cold desert” landscapes. To complete this high-altitude travel experience, explore & stay in Leh. Perched at a dizzying altitude of 3,500m above sea level, Leh is the erstwhile capital of the state of Ladakh. This high-desert city lies in the heart of the great Himalayas, ringed by some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. The city itself is a fascinating maze of winding lanes, mud-brick houses, and ancient gompas (Buddhist monasteries). 

places to visit in leh ladakh

Although the chances to sight some animals including snow leopards are higher in winters, the best time to do the Hemis National Park safari is between the months of June and October. The weather is comfortable for sightseeing & safari, unlike the extremely cold months of winter. Considering the high altitude & the cold climate of Hemis, it is important to acclimatize before taking on the safari. We strongly recommend spending a few days in Leh before the safari.

What to Pack?

Packing the right gear is crucial for an enjoyable himalyan desert safari experience. Here are some essentials to include in your luggage:

  1. Warm layers like thermal underwear, sweaters, and an insulated jacket. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics that will keep you dry.
  2. Waterproof and insulated boots with good traction for hiking on snow and ice.
  3. A warm hat, scarf, and gloves to protect you from the cold mountain air.
  4. Sunglasses and sunscreen, as the sun’s rays can be intense at high altitudes.
  5. Binoculars.
  6. An insulated water bottle to stay hydrated with hot beverages.
  7. A small backpack to carry extra layers, snacks, and other essentials.
  8. If you’re carrying a camera, carry its spare batteries too (the cold can drain batteries quickly).
  9. Hand and foot warmers to keep your extremities toasty.
  10. Any necessary medications and a basic first-aid kit.

Remember, dress in warm, breathable layers that you can adjust as needed. The mountain weather can change quickly, so being prepared is key to staying comfortable during your safari adventure.

Best Commute Option to Get Around in Leh Ladakh, India

Hire a Taxi!

To get the best out of your stay duration in Leh, the best way to commute around is via a private taxi. We recommend hiring one through a good travel agency, or through your hotel. On an average it takes 20 mins to cover 10 kms of distance by road in the cities.

Food & Restaurants in Leh

Best Fine Dining Experiences in Leh Ladakh

  1. Syah Ladakh
  2. Gyap-Thago Heritage Home
  3. Zasgyath

Best International Cuisines in Leh

1.  Willow Kitchen And Bar (Italian & European)
2. Sol-101 (Lebanese)
3. House of Warriors (Chinese)

Best Coffee Shops in Leh

1. Corretto
2. Brazil Café
3. Lehvenda Cafe

Best Bakeries in Leh Ladakh

1. Pumpernickel German Bakery
2. Babylon German Bakery
3. Ladakh Royal Bakery

Local Food Experiences to try in Leh

1. Thukpa
2. Haak
3. Tigmo

Shopping in Leh

Best Street Markets in Leh

1. Tibetan Market
2. Leh Main Market
3. Moti Market

Spas & Wellness in Leh

1. Kunye Wellness Spa
2. Dolkhar Resort Spa
3. The Zen Resort Spa


From high-altitude national parks to serene monasteries, this region in the Indian Himalayas is known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Beyond its meditative appeal, Leh Ladakh serves as a gateway to high-altitude adventure. The surrounding Himalayan landscape offers trekking trails, mountain passes, and opportunities for thrilling activities like river rafting and biking. 

places to visit in leh

Best Places to Stay in Leh Ladakh

Luxury Picks

  1. The Grand Dragon
  2. Grand Himalaya
  3. The Zen Resort

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  1. Hotel Paradise
  2. Ladakh Residency
  3. The Abduz

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. The Maitreya
  2. Hotel Naro
  3. Zambala Inn
Himalyan Desert Safari

Must Visit Sights and Landmarks in Leh Ladakh

Explore the architectural beauty of Leh Palace and enjoy panoramic views of the city from Shanti Stupa. This white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Leh Ladakh was built by Japanese monks to promote world peace. Visit Thiksey Monastery, known for its striking resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. A unique optical illusion can be experienced at Magnetic Hill, where the layout of the area creates the illusion of cars defying gravity and moving uphill on their own. Take a short drive to Alchi, to explore the Alchi Monastery, renowned for its ancient murals and unique architecture. Drive to Rizong to explore the Rizong monastery. Visit Likir and Likir Monastery, which is an hour away from Leh. Spend some time exploring the local markets for local handicrafts, Pashmina shawls, and Buddhist relics. Take a scenic drive to the Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers, a breathtaking meeting point that showcases the contrast between the azure Indus and the muddy Zanskar. Make a visit to the Spituk Monastery, perched majestically on a hillock overlooking the Indus Valley. Explore the prayer halls, adorned with thangkas and ancient artifacts and the Chapel of Rinchen Zangpo, dedicated to the great translator and scholar. The clear, high-altitude skies of Leh make it an excellent spot for stargazing and astrophotography.


Reach the Hemis National Park for your Leh Ladakh safari and a chance to spot snow leopards, Himalayan marmots, and blue sheep. Spend a while in a nearby village for an authentic Himalayan experience. To get the most out of the large expanse of the park, people spend 3 to 4 days on safaris here. Visit the Hemis Monastery, one of Ladakh’s largest and wealthiest Buddhist monasteries, located within the national park boundaries. This 17th century monastery belongs to the Drukpa lineage and hosts the famous Hemis festival every 12th year, drawing thousands of devotees and tourists. 

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