We reached Leh on 11th Sep 2016 around 6:00 PM and booked 2 rooms at Irfan Guest House on Fort Road. All of us were very tired due to 12 hours long journey from Jispa and asked our Leh driver to pick up next day around 11:00 AM for the local sightseeing (we had a booking of Innova car in advance for next 9 days journey).
Next day on 12th Sep 2016 around 11:00 AM, we had breakfast and were ready to explore beautiful Leh city. We started with stunning Shanti Stupa; It is a Buddhist white-domed Chorten on a hilltop in Leh city. This stupa is a part of world Peace Pagoda mission and built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist monk, Gyomyo Nakamura. The Shanti Stupa is really a beautiful place to see the mesmerising view of Leh city. It is a popular tourist attraction not due to its religious significance but its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
After spending around one hour, we went to explore Leh Palace. Leh Palace is a former royal palace which built in the 17th century. It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. This palace is situated on the Tsemo Hill and the roof provides the panoramic view of Stok Kangri in the Zanskar mountain range. The Palace Museum having a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. It is a good place for architecture lovers and equally provides a unique location for the photography.
You can also see beautiful Namgyal Tsemo Gompa from the Leh palace. The driver told us that we will visit this monastery next day because it is en route to Nubra Valley.
Our next destination was Hall of fame, it is a unique and must visit place in Leh. You required at least 2-3 hours to explore this army museum. This museum is constructed and maintained by the Indian army in the memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak wars. There is a rich collection of army weapons, documents and paintings related to war.
After visiting museum, we had some snacks at cafe placed in the museum premises. After refreshment, we spent some time near the memorial area.
We asked the driver to drop us at Leh market to explore the market area for some shopping and food. Leh main market area (where Jama Mosque is located) was renovated and well maintained. There was proper management for tourist to sit relax and enjoy the beautiful evening. There was a Tibetan market where you can buy winter wears and hand made items.
There was also a Monastery in the market called Soma Gompa where you can go and feel peace. Soma Gompa is one of the newer monasteries in town. The prayer hall here lacks the rich decorations seen in older monasteries in rest of Ladakh.
Leh city is very beautiful and well maintained. There were all modern facilities were available along with natural beauty. After dinner, we return to the hotel room and had good sleep. Next day has to visit Nubra Valley.