Travellers are immediately seduced by the restful atmosphere of Leh, its Buddhist monasteries, its religious fervour, the kindness of its inhabitants and their hospitality.
The ancient capital of the kings of Ladakh appears like an oasis in the desert. Below the city, the Indus River irrigates the rocky land that has finally become nourishing. Tourist in the summer, it becomes again the kingdom of its people in the winter. Out of season, the city has 31,000 inhabitants and 90,000 during the few summer months. The city has always been at the crossroads of strategic routes: for caravans travelling on the Silk Road, for yaks on their way to Yarkand and today for the Indian army, omnipresent on the Chinese border. But Leh is above all the rallying point for Himalayan enthusiasts. The peaks that surround it exceed 6,000 metres. In the summer, the city turns into a great melting pot where trekkers, western backpackers and Indian tourists, Indian and Nepalese workers, Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks pass through.
The best time to visit Leh and its surroundings is in June or September. The city is relatively quiet and the weather is good.
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