Ladakh VS Kashmir- Which one to Choose?

Ladakh is an epitome of nature at its best. It has been fantasy of every travel enthusiast from around the world. Located between Karakoram Mountain Range and the great Himalayas, it is the highest plateau of Kashmir. Ladakh meaning ‘land of high passes' exhibits magnificent views of purple mountains, sparkling lakes ,clear blue skies and extraordinary monasteries. 

In comparison to Ladakh, we have Kashmir on the other side. Also referred as ‘Paradise on Earth’, beauty of Kashmir has often been praised by several emperors and poets. With beautiful gardens, vast stretched lakes, high mountains and pristine streams, Kashmir has picturesque landscapes to offer to its visitors.

So, making a selection between one of the two is always difficult when one plans to tour the northern most region of India. Lets check out some of the interesting tourists places and adventure locations of the two destinations which could probably help you in figuring where to visit first.

Points of Difference
Popular Names
Land of High Passes
Paradise on Earth & Indian Switzerland
Best Time to Travel
June to October
March to October
Ladakhi, Purik, Balti, English &Tibetan
Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi & English
Buddhism & Islam
Islam & Hinduism
Attractions Comprises of
Monasteries, Lakes, Valleys
Valleys, Gardens, Temples, Hill Stations, Lakes
Majorly inhabited by Tibetan descendants
Majorly inhabited by Indo- Aryan descendants
Clothing (Common wear)
Sku,Thukpa, Pava, Khambir, Vegetables accompanied by mutton & chicken dishes
Rice accompanied by vegetables, chicken & mutton dishes
Permit Requirement (For Indian Nationals)
Inner Line Permit Required
No Special Permit

Places to visit in Ladakh:

The Leh Palace- Friends, this is a must see attraction in Leh, the capital of Ladakh. At the first sight  , this dun-colored structure of 8-storey might not appear very impressive to some of you . But believe me it has a historic significance and has striking similarities with Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet). Constructed by the 17th century king, it still belongs to royal family of Ladakh.


Thikse Monastery- This is another famous monastery known for its huge 15m high statue of Maitreya (future Buddha) in its Maitreya Temple. 


Hemis- A small town in Ladakh, has the famous Hemis Monastery known for its majestic architecture and is a cultural heritage.


Druk White Lotus School- Located in Shey, this kids school has gained popularity after the famous bollywood blockbuster ‘3 Idiots’where few scenes of the movies were shot. You can see the wall where ‘Chatur’ gets shock therapy by the kids.

Pangong Tso- The beautiful blue lake Pangnong Tso is about 4-5 hours drive from Leh. This was a beautiful lake but became a hit on travelers’ radar after being featured in Aamir Khan starrer ‘3 Idiots’.


Tso Moriri- The breathtaking beauty of Tso Moriri has captured the imagination of tourists visiting it. Shimmering lake and beautifully paved roads a midst magical nature, is what makes Tso Moriri worth visiting. You will also be glad to check out the interesting fauna of the place.


Tso Kar- Well guys, this is another beautiful lake near Tso Moriri to visit which is great for birds watching. Other famous places to visit in Ladakh are Suru Valley, Zanskar and Drass. 


On one side where the tourist places of Ladakh mainly comprises of Monasteries and Lakes, we have some different list of attractions to be visited in Kashmir. Lets check out some of them.

Tourists Places on Kashmir:

Gulmarg-  A hill station attracting thousands of tourists each year. Gulmarg is known for its natural beauty. Any one of you interested in skiing and enjoying the world's highest gondola should never miss the visit to Gulmarg. Also check out the beautiful highland golf course and enjoy golf hikes. 

 EPSON scanner image

Sonmarg- Another breathtaking attraction of Kashmir is Sonmarg, located at an altitude of 2730m, it is famous for beautiful snow-covered mountains at the backdrop of blue skies.


Temples- One of the most visited temples is Amarnath Temple. It is thronged by thousands of pilgrims each year .The other temples to visit in Kashmir are Hari Parbat temple, Kheer Bhawani temple, Raghunath Temple and Shankaracharya temple  


Mubarak Mandi Palace- Architecturally fascinating, this palace includes three different styles of architecture- Rajasthani, Mughal and Gothic. Interesting  isn't it? There is Dogra Art Museum also.

Dal Lakes- One of the most famous lakes in Kashmir attracting large no of tourists. Enjoy a ‘shikhara’ ride and relax in the lap of mother nature. 

Kasmir Leisure

Gardens- There are number of beautiful landscaped gardens in Kashmir. You can visit Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Gardens, Nishant Gardens and Chashme Shahi. 



Trekking Areas

If you love embarking on adventure tours, trekking in these two locations can satisfy your urge for high mountains. Below are the famous treks of Ladakh and Kashmir you would love to enjoy. Your favorite trek can certainly help you in picking the favorite of the two destinations.

Treks in Ladakh

The Nubra valley Trek:

Dotted with ancient gompas and ruined palaces, pristine Nubra Valley is the treasure of Ladakh

Nubra_valley_hunder- WIKI

Markha Valley Trek:

Trekking to remote Markha Valley is a visual delight with variety of landscapes & beautiful passes.


Darcha-Lamayuru Trek:

Lush meadows, sparking streams, snow clad mountains speak of the beauty of desolate landscape on your trek to Darcha- Lamyuru.


The Frozen River Trek ( Chadar IceTrek):

Embark on one of the most thrilling treks in a lifetime across the frozen river of Zanskar in winter.


Stok Kangri Trek:

Stok Kangri Trek trail exhibits the unexplored & unimaginable beauty of Ladakh's mountains.



Treks In Kashmir

Amarnath Yatra:

One of the popular treks undertaken by thousands of Hindu Pilgrims each year to worship Lord Shiva's Ice Lingam.

AmarnathPilgrimTrek- Wiki

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek:

The trek to high altitude lush meadows, beautiful passes & 7 sparkling lakes will mesmerize you.

 KGLT (49)

Nichinai pass - Gangabal Lake Trek:

The trek introduces you to pristine beauty of Gangabal Lake and several picturesque landscape.


Thajiwas Glacier Trek:

From the lush greenery to Frozen lake, Thajiwas Glacier Trek is most adventurous trek from Sonmarg.

Sonamarg_Thajiwas_glacier- wiki

Sonmarg- Pahalgam Trek:

Sonmarg- Pahalgam Trek is best to enjoy multifarious beauty of Kashmir to the fullest.


Ferozepur Nala - Danwas - Tejjan - Samaidan Trek:

This beautiful trek exhibits the scenic beauty of Kashmir.

Gulmarg- Tosamaidan Trek:

Embark on Gulmarg- Tosamaidan Trek to get the glimpse of Kashmir's natural and wildlife beauty.

tosa-maidan- J&KOFFICIALsite

Gulmarg- Alpather Lake Trek:

Enjoy pony ride on your short trek to beautiful Alpather Lake from Gulmarg.



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