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Exploring Leh

Jama Masjid
The historical mosque is situated in the heart of Leh town and various Leh hotels are there surrounding this mosque. It was built in 1666-67 A.D. consequent to an agreement between the Mugal Emperor Aurangzeb and the then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan namgyal. Since then it has been repaired and extended several times. The Mugals has facilitated withdrawal of Mongol army from Ladakh. Although Muslims had arrived in Ladakh as early as in 15th century, he Muslim shrines were constructed later than that. A couple of years ago, the jama Masjid was dismantled and a new mosque was constructed in its place, using modern mansonry skills.

In Shey village, 15 km upstream from Leh, there is a small mosque of great historicalvalue. The mosque was built by one of the greatest preachers of Islam in Kashmir, Mir Syad Ali Hamdani, popularly known as Shah-e-Hamdan. He had arrived in Ladakh about seven centuries ago.

Drogpa areas have been outlined in the Tour Circuits. Out of five Drogpa villages in India, two are open for foreign tourists. The greatest attraction in these areas are the villages of Dha and Biama, 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. Festivals of those villages are called harvest festivals. These are considered rare and eventful the year of Drogpa in which all the people of these villages come out of 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. At this stage, tourism being like new-born baby, infrastructures are not adequate in this area. However 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. Approximately distance between Leh and Drogpas villages are between the range of 150 to 170 kms from Leh.

The Castle of Sani
Not only in Sani a particularly sacred place due to its having been visited and blessed by Padmasambhava of Oddhiyana but it is also prophesied to be equal and importance to the cemetery of Dechendal in India. There can be seen a cemetery ground with cemetery trees and cemetery springs and also a footprint of Guru Nima Odzer. In the centre of the rockface on the opposite side of the River there can be seen a meditation cave and a footprint. It is said that the Guru stayed there practicing meditation for many years. In Sani is also the great Stupa of Kanishka founded in 124 AD. By king Kanishka and the sacred of Naropa which can be seen on the day of the pilgrimage to Sani which occurs in the 6th Tibetan month. Within the castle there can be seen the various and most beautiful wall paintings which were executed by Zadpa Dorje.

Nubra Valley
This valley is popularly known as Ldomra or the valley of 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- Ldomra. Shayok river Siachan River forms largely drain Nubra its single largest tributary. 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 village, amidst plenty of water and high vegetation. Major village via Kardong, Khalsar, Tirit, Sumoor, Tegar Pinchemik, Titisha 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 negotiated Saser and Karakoram pass towards Central Asia. The famous hot spring of Panamik also served them as a source for bath, drinking water and medicine 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.

Castle of Tingmosgang
Tingmosgang lies at a distance of about 92 Kms west of the Leh. This castle was built at the time when Gragpa Bum, Younger brother of Takspa Bum-Lde, the 17rth king of the Ladakhi dynasty, was ruling over Sham in accordance with religious tenets. About 50 years have elapsed since its construction. Contemporary to this was the Red Chapel "Tsuglagkhang Marpo " containing an image of the Buddha Maitreya to the height of 3 storeys. In particular it was at those times that the self-originated image of Avalokitesvara from Kamrup was brought & installed inside the castle of Tingmosgang. The image is considered to be a most excellent object of pilgrimage which leads to the accumulation of great merit and to which prostration and oblations have been offered by the successive Dharmaraja of Ladakh and by the whole populations of Ladakh.