Next morning we woke up a bit later as were travelling a lot in last 3 days. We were feeling fresh after enough sleep and I recalled I had to finish most important task of the day which is getting permits. You do not need permits for visiting places in Leh but for visiting areas near border like “Nubra Valley” and “Pangong Lake”. So, don’t forget to carry a government issues ID card when visiting Ladakh. These permits are issued by district office but you don’t need to go there in person and your hotel or a nearby travel agent can arrange it for you. I checked at reception and yes they were going to get us permits. I handed over my id proof to them and was relaxed as permits will be taken care by them. In the excitement of exploring the city I rushed to bath and forgot about not exerting myself on day 1 in Leh. As an outcome I was exhausted after I came out and had to take rest for 5-10 minutes before I could breathe properly again.
Abhishek and me headed to Leh market as we also had to take out some cash from ATM. In this way we were exploring Leh streets as well. After ATM withdrawal we spotted Leh palace from a distance and decided to explore it. Weather had changed and it was very hot in afternoon. We climbed around 100 stairs before we could reach top. The palace was more of a museum catering to people interested in ancient history. But it also offered a wonderful view of city from Top. I met a couple from Israel and they said they felt like King when standing on balcony of one of the room :). After spending around 1 hour there we decided to return to hotel and have lunch. We rested for some time after lunch and then in evening decided to go towards Hall of Fame.
View from Leh Palace
We returned back to hotel and then had lunch. Our next destination was “Hall of Fame” which is a museum displaying history of all wars fought by India. I had decided to come out in half an hour but we ended up spending more than 2 hour and those were not enough. The stories of different wars were very good read and all kinds of guns were kept there for display. Also from first floor we could see Indian flag hosted few meters away and it was looking wonderful in evening with different colors of mountain in background. It was closing time so we had to leave the place and headed toward Shanti Stupa.
Entry Point of Hall of Fame
Heroes from Indian Army
Guns at display
Indian Flag at a distance
Shanti Stupa is monastery at top of hill and by the time we reached it was almost dark. After clicking some photographs while returning we decided to take tea in cafeteria there. We met three senior citizens from Delhi and I was impressed by their enthusiasm at that age. They recommended a special tea Ginger-Lemon-Honey tea to refresh ourselves. Though I don’t like non-milk tea , surprising the tea tasted too good. It was really refreshing and gave us energy to descend more than 200 steps down to reach hotel again.
Our day tour of Leh had come to an end. Sites in Leh offered a great variety be it palace, museum, market, views of hills or monastery. We were tired and after having dinner went to sleep as next day we had to get up early to start towards Nubra Valley.