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Exploring the Mesmerizing Beauty of Leh
Learning about Leh
Leh, the second largest district in India, after Kutch in Gujrat, is a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Located at a height of nearly 11,562 ft, Leh was at one time the capital of the Kingdom of Ladakh. The city is renowned for its natural beauty and in the past decade has become a major tourist destination for people from across the globe. The city houses numerous Buddhist monuments and mosques dating back to the ancient times. Its wonderful location on the shores of Indus River, adds to the charismatic beauty of this city, which is nestled between the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges.

Prominent Tourist Attractions in Leh
Jama Masjid: Located in the centre of Leh is considered as the historic mosque of Jama Masjid, which is also one of the largest mosques in the region.  Located within the mosque is the Shahi Hamdan, a memorial of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, who was a renowned Muslim Sufi Saint. The construction of Jama Masjid was a part of the agreement made between Deldan Namgyal, the King of Ladakh and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, which was done in 1666-67.

Leh Palace: This palace shares not only its design but also its approximate time of construction with the Palace of Potala, which is loacted in Lhasa, in Tibet. Built in the 17th century by King during that period Sengge Namgyal, the palace was completely abandoned by the mid of the 19th century, when Ladakh was taken over by the Dogra army. During the present times the nine storied palace of Leh is totally ruined and is now being restored under the initiative of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Sun Temple: This extremely well-known temple of Ladakh is dedicated to Bhaskar, the Sun God. Dating back to the medieval times, the temple was constructed under the aegis of King Lalitaditya, as a mark of respect for the Sun God. The temple features a colonnaded courtyard and in addition to the main shrine, people visiting the temple can also view the 84 columns used during the construction of the temple. Rigid and square slabs of limestone were also used for the construction of the temple, which is a great example of the medieval style architecture.

Thiksey Monastery: This famous monastery, located just outside Leh, is a segment of the Gelugpa order in Buddhism. The monastery features Thangkas, stupas, swords, wall paintings and statues along with a pillar, which has the teachings and principles of Buddha carved on it. The 12-storey high monastery celebrated the Thiksey festival in a grand manner, which attracts thousands of visitors from all parts of the globe.
Spituk Monastery: This monastery is also famous by the name of Spituk Gompa, and is located at a distance of nearly 8 kms from Leh.  The monastery was set up by Od-de, he was the brother of Lha Lama Changchub OD who was elder to him, during the period of 11th century. Later, during the 15th century the monastery was annexed by the Yellow Hat sect, which was basically an institution of the Red Hat sect, famous for having a unique set of collected works of icons, arms, Thangkas and masks. The monastery houses nearly 100 monks, who organize the famous Gustor festival annually, during which a huge idol of Goddess Kali is uncovered.

Vajra Bhairav Shrine: This Buddhist shrine is dedicated primarily to a tantric guardian deity, belonging to the Gelug-pa order, and believed to possess supernatural powers. The deity is revealed only once every year to the public, while it spends the remaining time in a chamber situated within the shrine. The Shrine also features paintings dating back to nearly 600 years. Located at a distance of nearly 10 kms from Leh, this Shrine is one of the oldest structures in the region. 

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