Sunday, December 30, 2018

Leh Diaries - Day 1 - Shanti Stupa

In this blog, I am going to cover what can be done in Leh on Day 1. In Leh, you are at a height of ~3,500 meters (11,480 ft) with significantly low oxygen per breath. At this height, altitude sickness can hit you irrespective of you age, sex or physical condition. Hence, it is recommended that you acclimatize your self on the day you reach Leh. Irrespective of what time you reach Leh, it is highly  recommended that you rest at your hotel for most part of the first day.

In case you are taking the road to Leh, your body gets acclimatized naturally. Still taking rest is recommended and it only helps in preparing for what Leh has to offer.

In our case, we landed early morning in Leh and checked in our hotel by 7am. Post a long rest, it was time to head out in the second half of the day. On the list were the Shanti Stupa and Leh City Market.
Main Budha and The Stupa

Around 4 pm, we left for the first location - Shanti Stupa. Built as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission by a Gyomyo Nakamura (Japanese Budhist Bhikshu) in 1991, the white-domed structure is located a few kilometers from the main city of Leh.
On the way UP
Shanti Stupa Entrance
Inside the Shanti Stupa
Behind the Stupa - Looking into the Sun set 
Its a tourist attraction not only for religious significance but also for the panoramic views of the city.
A view of the Leh city
With the snow capped Himalayas in the backdrop
The Pagoda
Witnessing the sunset while at the Shanti Stupa was a soothing experience.
The setting Sun starburst
Post this, we alighted the minibus near the main city market and simply roamed around. It is like a wide alley with shops on either side. The theme of the market is bright, vibrant and colorful. We spent more than an hour in the market eating and window shopping and appreciating the life of a locale.
Leh - Main Bazar (Market)
A must try shop to please your taste buds - Punjab Sweet Shop.
Must try - samosa with chole, bread pakoda, Tea, Jalebi

The sky was bright for some time after the sunset, but once it was dark out multilayered clothing gave away and we headed back to the hotel calling it a day.

Day 2 coming soon...

How to reach: From Leh, you could take a shared cab or a Tempo traveler or you could also rent a motorbike and reach Shanti Stupa.

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