All Gud Things in life which give you happiness and reasons to explore more

All Gud Things in life which give you happiness and reasons to explore more

Attractions on the Srinagar Leh Highway

Attractions on the Srinagar Leh Highway

The cool breeze started caressing our face when we opened the car window, our eyes popped up seeing the enchanting 180 to 360-degree views of the landscapes around. There was a strong urge to stop every now and then at each spot indefinitely. Such is the real beauty and benefits of road trips.  Road trips have always fascinated us.  And being road trip lovers, we did an epic 13 day, 3500 km road trip from Delhi to Leh Ladakh. The massive changing landscapes, crowning shaded mountains, and the virgin beauty of Ladakh left us completely stunned. It was a lifetime experience for us to drive on the Srinagar Leh Highway and its beauty is just beyond words.

Srinagar Leh Highway

If we tell you to stop at each these places or villages in between, to check the attractions out, we will be absolutely wrong.  In fact, the whole journey is a big attraction in itself. There are high altitude passes and glaciers, natural and manmade wonders, centuries-old monasteries. And if you are a photo-bug like us, you will have a strong urge to stop and click pictures at every curve, while traversing on the Srinagar Leh highway. But stopping at each point is just next to impossible. So, here is a brief overlay of what one must visit.

We broke our journey from Sonmarg to Leh in two days, to sense and feel the actual beauty of Ladakh. The first day we traveled from Sonamarg to Kargil and second day Kargil to Leh.

Read Here: The Leh Ladakh Itinerary from Delhi

Attractions on Srinagar Leh Highway (Day 1 from Sonamarg – Kargil)

  1. Thajiwas Glacier

The Thajiwas glacier lies just 7 km away from Sonamarg. The trail offers the splendid views of green and frozen lakes around it. One can climb it by ponies and also try a sledge ride in mid-summer there.

Thajiwas Glacier: Srinagar Leh Highway

  1. Zoji La

The first high altitude pass, Zoji La lies 9 km from Sonamarg and is at an altitude of 11,575 feet. The pass remains covered with snow throughout the year and even in the months of May-August, you can see 8 – 10 feet of snow wall around it. Just a kilometer ahead, there is a snow point where snow never melts and one can enjoy snow games there.

Snow Wall at ZojiLa- Ladakh,the land of high passes, on Srinagar Leh Highway

Also Read: Ladakh – The Land of High Passes

  1. Drass War Memorial at Drass

Drass lies 39 km from Zoji La and is famous for the Drass War memorial which is built as a tribute to the martyrs of Kargil war. One gets teary eyed seeing how our brave Indian soldiers fought and laid their lives to sway back our Indian Flag there. Remember to spot the Elephant ridge, Tiger Hill, and Tololing Hill in the backdrop of Drass War Memorial. Also, see Amar Jawan Jyoti and 100’s of memorial stones at Veer Bhumi.

Vijaypath at Drass War Memorial /Kargil War Memorial: Srinagar Leh Highway

Also Read: A walk with Indian Solider at Kargil War Memorial

  1. Kargil

The city Kargil lies 65 km away from Drass and is famous for rich apricot plantations. There are war memorial and the Kargil heritage hut here too. Do visit these to see the traditional and cultural attires and crockery of the various tribes of Ladakh valley.

 Read the complete story here: A walk with Indian Solider at Kargil War Memorial

We stayed at Hotel Zojila Residency in Kargil. We must say, the ultimate place to relax and unwind; with the Suru River flowing around it.

View of Kargil & River Suru from Hotel Zojila Residency - Srinagar Leh Highway
View of Kargil & River Suru from Hotel Zojila Residency

Attractions on Srinagar Leh Highway (Day 2 from Kargil- Leh)

  1. Mulbekh Monastery/ Maitreya Buddha at Mulbekh

The Mulbekh monastery lays 45 km from Kargil on the Srinagar Leh highway. It is famous for the 7th-century old carved statue of Lord Buddha. This Maitreya Buddha sculpture is 9 meters tall and is believed to be the former Buddha.

Mulbekh Monastery - Future Buddha: Srinagar Leh Highway
Mulbekh Monastery – Future Buddha
  1. Namika La

Just 16 km ahead to Mulbekh, lays the second highest pass, Namika La.  It is at an altitude of 12139 feet and is known as the “Pillar of the sky pass”.  There is a pillar-like object rising towards the sky at the pass.

View from Pass Namika La: Srinagar Leh Highway

  1. Fotu La

Fotu La, one of the most picturesque pass, lies at an altitude of 13,478 feet and is 36 km from Namika La. This pass too has relay station of Bharat Prasar. To read more check Ladakh – the Land of High Passes.

Fotu La top: Srinagar Leh Highway

  1. Lamayuru

After descending14 km from Fotu La and we reached the most scenic surreal village, Lamayuru. The village is known for its absurd landscapes i.e. moon land and centuries-old Lamayuru Monastery.

Lamayuru Moon lands

These bizarre Landscapes resemble the lunar landscape of moon; hence named as Lamayuru moon lands. Locals too say they shine extraordinarily during the full moon nights. For best views of moon lands, one can climb the meditation hill.

Lamayuru Moon Land on Srinagar Leh Highway

Lamayuru Monastery

The whitewashed monastery on the hilltop amidst these lunar landscapes is one of the largest and oldest Gompas of the region. The foundation stone of the Gompa was laid back in 10th century by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa, after drying up the lake in the valley. The Monastery is still a house to almost 150 monks and is famous for the dance masked festival.

  1. Magnetic Hill / Gravity Hill

Gravity Hill or Magnetic Hill in Ladakh is a perfect example of Optical Illusion. 30 km from Leh there is a stretch of the Srinagar Leh highway itself, where the surrounding slopes and valley layout gives an impression that the downhill road is actually an uphill road.

Magnetic Hill on Srinagar Leh Highway

Most of the people are aware of the fact, but still, hey fascinate to turn off their car engines and leave them in neutral, to see their cars moving. Even we stopped our car here to experience it, no less than others.

  1. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib

The Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is a beautiful shrine 25 km before Leh. The shrine has a huge boulder with imprints of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and demon foot.

Boulder with Guru Nanak figure at Gurudwara Pathar Sahib on Srinagar Leh Highway

There is an interesting story behind this shrine. During Guru Nanak Dev Voyage to Ladakh, he was meditating here and seeing him lost, the demon thought of attacking him.  Demon rolled down the rock from the hilltop to kill the divine soul but as soon as the rock approached him, it got converted to soft molten wax. Seeing this, demon got more ferocious and he pushed the rock further with his feet with full strength. Instead of Guru getting injured, demons foot got injured himself. Soon, after this demon realized that he is a mortal soul and he stopped disturbing him.

Same Boulder with Demon foot on other side at Gurudwara Pathar Sahib on Srinagar Leh highway

Tibetan Buddhists idolizes Guru Nanak Dev Ji as a Guru Gompa Maharaja and as Nanak Lama.

  1. Indus Zanskar River Confluence, at Village Nimmu

The confluence of river Indus and Zanskar on the Srinagar Leh highway is another mesmerizing sight in itself. It lies 6 km from the village Nimmu and is a photographer’s delight.

Indus Zanskar Confluence on Srinagar Leh Highway
Indus Zanskar Confluence

Apart from this, we mentioned earlier too, that the whole journey on Srinagar Leh highway is an attraction in itself. So, stop wherever you can, enjoy and get soaked in the beauty of the Ladakh.

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Attractions on the Srinagar Leh Highway, India

You can also read about the road trip to Spiti Valley here.



14 thoughts on “Attractions on the Srinagar Leh Highway”

  • Even the Kashmir tourism corp couldn’t have put together a better group of photos of this heaven in India. you guys rock as usual. Always a pleasure to read your posts!

  • I love the thought of Gravity Hill. More over, I love the promise of the mountains of India. It seems like a promised land of adventure, blue skies and expansive vistas. Intermixed in all of this, there are ancient statues of Buddha How cool is that?

  • The Srinagar Leh Highway is so scenic! And a lot of very interesting pit stops, too! And I love how there is that Magnetic Hill. It’s understandable how people would get a kick out of the optical illusion. I’m sure kids love it, too! 🙂

  • I keep forgetting how big India is! Someday I’ll have to follow in your footsteps down the Srinagar Leh Highway. It really looks beautiful. Some of the mountains even remind me of Scotland.

  • I keep forgetting how big India is! Someday I’ll have to follow in your footsteps down the Srinagar Leh Highway. It really looks beautiful. Some of the mountains even remind me of Scotland.

  • Ah the joys of a road trip. A very interesting account of the places to see on the Srinagar Leh highway, I have never done the same via road but it seems I missed a lot by taking a flight. Well those attractions are sure worthy of making plans of a road trip to Leh asap.

  • The scenery is all stunning! That is the best thing about road trips in your own car – you have the freedom to stop wherever you want along the way! As you say though, there is a danger of stopping everywhere, and never arriving at your final destination! I love seeing where rivers meet, the difference in the colour of the water there is quite striking!

  • Wow…looks like an amazing trip! I’ll be honest that I know very little about the climate/terrain of India, and a lot of the pictures surprised me. I didn’t think you would see landscapes like this in India, much less a glacier!

  • I love the names of the places magnetic hill, gravity hill, moon hill! It looks like a beautiful trip , the mountains are amazing! The part about leaving your car in neutral to see if it moves on magnetic/gravity hill made me laugh! Did your car move?

  • I don’t know when destiny will take me there! The monasteries, temples and optical illusion all sound so interesting. I want click pictures of all of them.

  • The way the landscapes change are cool. They each have their own unique beauty. That one does look like it could be another planet or I guess the moon.

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