Tourism has won a wide recognition as an important industry in the district in view of its potential for creation of employment opportunities and generation of income on a large scale. This industry has a direct bearing on the socio-economic scene of the district. Tourism industry provides employment to a large number of people engaged in the related sectors like transport, Hotels and catering service, cottage industry etc. Tourism promotes economic activities in the remote areas.
Since its opening for the tourist (1974), Leh has registered an increasing number of tourists attracted towards it, because of its landscape, culture, tradition environment etc. and still has much potential for adventure tourism.
Leh figures on the international tourist map and attracts a large inflow of tourists both from home and abroad. The economy of the region is therefore, based on tourism. That is why Leh is abounds in Hotels, guest houses and taxis. There are 250 hotels, guest house of different classes in Leh.
Hemis, Alchi, Lamayuru, Shey and Thiksay are some of the most popular monasteries of Ladakh which attract both domestic as well as foreign tourist.Pangong lake(Half in China) and world highest motorable road Khardongla (18350 fts) is main attraction for domestic tourist, and monasteries and mountains are for foreign tourist.
Government of India, Ministry of home Affairs has recently declared some more a areas of Ladakh opened for International Tourism. These areas are among the outstanding feature of Himalayan Panorama. It could be yet another destination for the global tourists. These areas are relatively more distinct for cultural and adventure tourism. While declaring the new areas of Khaltse, Nubra & Nyoma Sub-Division, Govt. of India however restricted the movement of traffic flow on 7 different tour circuits to these divisions. Minimum period required for visiting these areas should not exceed 7 days. To understand, these circuits are set here in sequence and those are outlined and separately explained here.
- Khaltse Sub-Division (Drokhpa Area)
- Nyoma Sub-Division (Changthang)
- Nubra Sub-Division
Khaltse Sub-Division (Drokhpa Area)
- Khaltsi-Dumkhar-Skurbuchan-Hanudo-Bima-Dha-Garkon-Batalik-Silmo-Kargil and vice versa.
- Khalsi-Dumkhar-Dah-Sanjak-Chiktan-Khangral-Kargil and vice versa.
Drogpa areas have been outlined in the Tour Circuits. All the 5 Drogpa villages in India are open for foreign tourists. The greatest attraction in these areas are the villages of Dha Biama, Darchigs, Garkon, Batalik which are entirely populated by last remaining remnants of the Dards in the District. Dards are considered as last race of Aryans confined to Indus Valley. These villages have considerable anthropological and ethnographic importance. Chhopo sRubla, the harvest festivals is the most popular festival in this area. These are considered rare and eventful the year of Drogpa in which all the people of these villages come out in their colourful traditional dress and festival moods to celebrate the festivals. Preceding to the Drogpas villages the village which fall enroute are the villages of Domkhar Skurbuchan, Achinathang which are also important and which tourists can also easily visit. There is a very good road leading right upto Drogpa villages and tourist can stay over nights in some private guest houses and or at some identified camping site at Khaltsi, Dhomkhar, Skurbuchan, Achinathang, Hanu Do, Biama and Dha village.
Changthang (Nyoma Division)
- Leh-Upshi-Depring-Puga-Tsomoriri Lake-Korzok
- Leh-Upshi-Mahey bridge-Puga-Tsomoriri Lake-Korzok.
- Leh-Upshi-Mahey-Nyoma-Loma bend.
It will be obligatory on the part of Tourists, tour operators and other agencies related with the organised tour that the tourists travel on the identified tour circuits only. They should strictly follow the dos and don’ts as laid down by the Government. The upland plateaus of Changthang in Nyoma Sub-Division are possibly the most attractive areas in the District as far as scenic beauty, brackish lakes and Wild Life are concerned. The vast pastures with their gently flowing streams and the lakes amidst the spectacularly coloured mountains are quite unlike anything a tourist see anywhere in India.
This lake is situated at an altitude of 14,100 ft. in the Eastern sector of Ladakh, at a distance of 150 km from Leh across Changla pass (17,000ft.). This lake is one of the largest and most beautiful natural brackish lake in the country.
This lake is situated at a elevation of 15,000 ft. above the sea level, at a distance of 240 km from Leh in the South-eastern sector of Ladakh. It is like a pearl shaped and contains large mineral deposits. Korzok village is situated on the South-west bank of this lake. Korzok Gonpa and its inhabitants nomads by tradition are most outstanding features of this area.
Major attraction of Nubra is the highest motorable road Khardongla pass (18,380ft.) majestic peaks and glaciers enchanting valleys and villages. Diskit and Samstanling Gonpa, Panamik hot spring, double humped camel safari, river rafting, trekking and Sunbathe in the sand dunes at Hunder are also a great source of attraction for the touristsThis valley is popularly known as Ldumra or the valley of orchard/flowers. It is situated in the North of Ladakh, between Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of Himalayas. Nubra lies at average altitude about 10,000 feet above sea level. The climate, of the areas being soft, soil is much fertile and the vegetation of the area is comparatively thicker than those of the other areas of Ladakh. Shrubs, bushes and trees grow in abundance wherever there is any source of water. Due to this reason Nubra has acquired its right name- Ldumra. Shayok and Siachan rivers forms fairly large drain in Nubra. Nubra is a broad valley with lofty mountains on its all sides. Valley assumes greater attractions at the site where both the rivers meet. The formation of Central part of Nubra also takes place there. Diskit is the Sub-Division HQ. of Nubra. Diskit Gonpa is also situated at a height of about 200 mtrs. Above the village, on the spur of rocky mountain and at the most commanding point having clear view of the entire central part of Nubra. Samstanling Gonpa is situated on the North, facing Diskit Gonpa. This Gonpa is equally important and recreationally it assumes greater importance for being situated at a commanding scenic view point at the foot hills of Karakoram ranges up above Tegar and Sumoor villages, amidst plenty of water and high vegetation. Major village via Kardong, Khalsar, Tirit, Sumoor, Tegar Pinchemik, Tirisha and Panamik all fall along the traditional silk route. The caravans travelling Central Asia and Kashmir through Nubra valley used to stay at those villages. Panamik was the most important place for haltage of Caravan. It served as last major village where the Caravans landed the facility of feed back, before they negotiate Saseer and Karakoram passes towards Central Asia. The famous hot spring of Panamik also served them as a source for bath, drinking water and therapeutic purpose. Panamik has still got charms and potentiality to serve as a host to travellers. All areas around it including Iantsa Gonpa and Murgi waterfall across it combined with scenic view strengthens its beauty and hospitality