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Leh, The Trade Route

The second largest district in the country is known as, Leh. It covers an area of 45,110 sq km. Leh district is situated roughly between 32 to 36 degree north Latitude and 75 to 80 degree East longitude and at an altitude of 11,562 ft in the state of Jammu & kashmir. The town is dominated by the ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace- the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamshala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan Uprising. Leh is well connected via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in southwest to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway.


Leh was an important trade route between the  Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China for centuries. The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas or cannabis resin. The histiry of region before the formation of kingdom towards the 10 centuary by the Tibetan prince, Skyid lde nyima gon

Several towns and castle  have been founded by Nyima gon and orders were given of the construction of the main sculptures at Shey. The Nawab of Kashmir which was province n the mughal empire arranged for the Mongol army to leave Ladakh. Nawab made the number of the demands and one of the least was to build the Sunni Muslim mosque at the upper end of the bazaar in Leh. The mixture of Islamic and Tibetian architecture is reflect from the mosque.

Several trade routes have converged to leh in all direction, the most direct route was the one the modern highway follows from the Punjab via Mandi, the Kullu valley, over the Rohtang Pass. 

The first Englishman to reach Leh was William Moorcroft in 1820.

Places to visit in Leh

  • Shanti Stupa
  • Chamba Palace
  • Leh Trekking Trails
  • Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
  • War Museum
  • Victory Tower
  • Indus-Zanskar River Sangam
  • Pangong Lake

How to Reach

By Air - Nearest airport is  Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

By Rail - Two railway routes are proposed to leh - Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh route and Sringar-Kargil-Leh route.

By Road - Two National Highways are connected to leh - National Highway 1D and Leh - Manali Highway.