Offbeat Villages You Must Include In Your Ladakh Tour

Go beyond the usual destinations on your Ladakh tour and spend some time basking in beauty across these lesser-known villages, situated in convenient proximity to Leh
Rangdum Village
Rangdum Village Shutterstock.com

If you love travelling, Ladakh should indisputably make it to your bucket list of places to visit. And even if you have visited the region earlier, it's not yet time to check it off, for besides Nubra and Leh, there's so much more to explore in the lesser-known villages. With the tourist season beginning to open up, we have curated a list of offbeat villages in Ladakh you must head to make the most of your Ladakh tour.

Lamayuru's crater-like landscape
Lamayuru's crater-like landscapeShutterstock.com

Lamayuru Village

Located 127 km from Leh, this serene and quaint village marks a complete shift from the more touristy parts of Ladakh, compelling you to stop by on your Ladakh tour. With one of the region's oldest monasteries and many legends surrounding the village, Lamayuru doesn't just take you back in time, but its crater-like landscape also has you convinced you've found yourself on the moon, earning it the name "moonland." 

Among the few places you must see, the 11th-century monastery established by scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa definitely ranks the highest. It is also linked to a legend surrounding the village—locals believe it was once a lake that dried up, and the water receded due to Naropa's prayers. Besides visiting the monastery, you can spend your days walking around the village, interacting with the locals and hiking across the crater-like formations

Inside Stok Palace
Inside Stok PalaceShutterstock.com

Stok Village 

Located at an easy distance of approximately 17 km, the village is an ideal day trip from Leh, leaving you with no excuses not to include this in your Ladakh tour. Besides its natural beauty, it appeals greatly to seasoned trekkers for the Stok Kangri trail. But if you want to not exert yourself much and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, the village is suited for that as well. The main attraction here is the Stok Palace, built in the 1820s. It not only houses a museum but also a cafe and a souvenir shop. Next is the Stok Monastery, perched on a hill and boasting intricate carvings, colourful murals, and high-ceiling prayer halls. The giant and shining Maitree Buddha statue overlooking the village is also a must-visit. It is one of the best spots for a panoramic view of the village encircled by hills. Apart from visiting these key attractions, the best way to enjoy Stok is to take leisurely strolls and interact with the locals. 

Rangdum Village

Located between the Kargil and Padum route lies this quiet and unexplored village in Suru Valley. Although it is located at a significant distance of approximately 337 km from Leh, the journey to Rangdum is worth it. With only about 25 houses making the village, it is perfect for a quiet getaway. The 16th-century Rangdum Monastery, with its beautiful frescoes and the imposing statues of Buddha, is unmissable. While there are no hotel-like amenities in Stok, when it comes to warmth and hospitality, it is abundantly available across the few homestays run by the locals. 

The Phyang monastery
The Phyang monasteryShutterstock.com

Phyang Village

Located at a comfortable distance of 23 km from Leh, Phyang proves to be an excellent escape if you are searching for one. The Phyang Gompa is undoubtedly the valley's treasured attraction. With the oldest part known to be built in the 16th century, the structure continues to stand strong after surviving an earthquake. The valley is also a great starting point for three exhilarating treks—the Nubra Valley trek via Lasermo-la, the Sham trek or the Highlander Bokbok-la trek. Like the other villages, there are several homestays where you can spend time overnight and be treated to cosy home-cooked meals on your Ladakh tour. 

Getting There

To reach Ladakh, Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the primary gateway, with flights from major Indian cities. Alternatively, during the summer, when mountain passes are accessible, you can embark on a road trip from either Srinagar, passing through the Kashmir Valley, or Manali, traversing picturesque landscapes while crossing high-altitude passes. Remember to secure permits if needed, acclimatize gradually to the high altitude, and consider travel insurance for medical emergencies.

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