Umaid Bhawan JODHPUR North India 6 Logo Northindia (1)
Back to Listing

Leh

Leh is the enchanting, laid-back, hassle-free capital of Ladakh. A tiny dot on the valley floor of the vast highland desert, framed by the stark Karakoram mountains and the snow-capped Himalayan range.

Leh is startlingly beautiful and inhabited predominantly by Buddhists, whose extraordinary way of life can be witnessed in the many gompas (Buddhist monasteries) in and around Leh. The Old Town is a fascinating place; intricate and meandering alleys and stairways delve between old crumbling mudbrick Ladakhi houses, stupas are scattered throughout, and the bustling bazaar is alive with restaurants and souvenir shops. Traditional Ladakhi homes feature thick sturdy walls, with flat roofs and ornate wooden window frames, and some of the older buildings have been beautifully restored, particularly the LAMO arts centre, housed in a pair of 17th century mansions whose original features have been painstakingly preserved.

Atop a steep rocky ridge is the imposing Tibetan-style Leh palace, an architectural icon which overlooks the town below. The sturdy fortress was built in the 17th century under the rule of King Singge Namgyal but has been unoccupied since 1846, when the Ladakhi royal family were stripped of their power and relocated to Stok. Today it houses exhibition spaces, but it is worth venturing to the 9th floor rooftop for the breathtaking views.

Just a short drive from Leh is the charming village of Stok at the foot of Stok Kangri, which at 6,120 metres is not Ladakh’s highest mountain, but one of its most beautiful. The village is home to Ladakh’s royal family and their stately three-storey Tibetan-style palace. It was built in 1820 by King Tsepal Namgyal fourteen years before they were exiled from their main palace in Leh. Today it remains their summer home, as well as an exhibition space to display family treasures.

Drive a little further beyond Stok into the Leh district, and you will reach Nimoo, a large village just 36 kilometres west of Leh in the Indus valley. Here, gushing streams and narrow footpaths intertwine, and meet at the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers, and it is a great place for hiking trails and rafting. The village is characterised by impressive mountain scenery and is considered exceptionally fertile in Ladakhi terms – a lush green suburban patchwork of barley fields and apricot, apple and walnut orchards abound.

The very best time to visit Leh is during the summer months, but we also recommend any time in the first two weeks of September when the spectacular annual Ladakh Festival takes place: a vibrant display of dancing, sports, ceremonies and cultural exhibitions. Leh sits at a height of 3,500 metres, so we always advise a few days’ acclimatisation before one immerses in the area's adventure activities.

NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 30 NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 30
Ladakh North India James Jayasundera FAM Trip 6 Ladakh North India James Jayasundera FAM Trip 6
Shakti Village Experience Ladakh North India 2 Shakti Village Experience Ladakh North India 2
NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 31 NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 31
NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 90 NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 90
NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 34 NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 34
Ladakh North India James Jayasundera FAM Trip 12 Ladakh North India James Jayasundera FAM Trip 12
NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 25 NORTH INDIA James Jayasundera Research Trip Kashmir Ladakh 25
Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer.
Proverb

Client Testimonials

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

From our Instagram

A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
.
Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
.
#AmpersandTravel 
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
As the Rugby World Cup kicks off in #Tokyo this weekend,  and #Japan will soon begin to bloom into its world renowned Autumn season, we want to be there more than ever! 🇯🇵🍂
.
Attracting three million tourists every year, the #tokyotower has quickly become Tokyo's international symbol since its opening in 1958. 🗼
. 
If you'd like to see this Eiffel Tower-inspired structure for yourself, speak to one of our specialists today!
.
📸@jungraphy_
. 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Today marks #InternationalTigerDay & we couldn’t be happier that #India’s wild tiger population now touches almost 3,000! 🐅🐅🐅
.
If you’d like to catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures during a tailor-made tour with us, then please get in touch!
.
📸 @wildmanrouse
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
.
Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
.
Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
#SriLanka has just been awarded the title of #WorldsBestIsland by @travelandleisure 🇱🇰
.
We couldn’t be happier that this spirited country is getting the recognition it deserves!
.
Travel with us to get under the skin of this spectacular country 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
.
A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
.
📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
. 
#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever' 🙏
.
Today, 2nd October 2019, marks 150 years of celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India as a national holiday, where ceremonies and tributes are conducted across the nation.
.
If you would like to celebrate this special time of year in India, do get in touch and let us help you plan a trip for 2020. 🇮🇳
.
📸 @whatbaublenext_sam
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A team of Ampersander's have officially landed in #Rajasthan. First stop, the Capital - #Jaipur 💗
.

Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
.

For more inspiration and to follow the teams journey through the Golden Triangle, keep an eye over on our Instagram stories and get in touch if you want to begin your trip!
. 📸 @chrsschlkx
.

#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
"They've spotted us!" 🦒 #OkavangoDelta in #Botswana
.

One of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world. Reigning over 15,000 Square kilometers of land - there's no wonder that its home to 200 different species of mammals!
.

If you'd like to be in with the chance of spotting one of these for yourselves, get in touch to start planning your safari adventure! 📸 @ravalli1 @mlabgol @mo_naser 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences

Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2019
Condé Nast Readers Choice Award 2019