Leh, Ladakh - Stein Travel
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An extremely popular tourist destination, Leh was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Ladakh - and remains, to this day, as the perfect base from which to explore the region. In many ways a prototypical tourist town - chock-full of backpacker accommodation, roof-top restaurants, internet cafes and curio stalls - Leh's remarkable setting, in the heart of the Indus Valley, safeguards its thoroughly unique character. At almost 11,500 feet (3,500m) above sea-level, visitors might be forgiven for thinking that the cobalt hue of the sky above Leh is actually an effect of altitude sickness; while in the town itself, modern buildings give way dramatically to traditional mud-brick and timber structures. A must-see tourist attraction in Leh is the ruined Royal Palace: constructed in the 17th century at the foot of the Himalayas, the views it commands of the Indus Valley and its surrounding peaks are simply out-of-this-world.

Information & Facts


Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official languages


The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs are not generally available.

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