Are you someone who finds solace in exploring remains of the past? Do you think you're more than done with the ruins of Hampi? Well, this might come as a surprise but it is nowhere but Ladakh that you should be heading to next! The land of white deserts, deathly passes and remote villages is full of several hidden treasures. One such is treasure is an ancient Buddhist university now in ruins, Nyarma. An eerie world in itself, Nyarma is a land of endless possibilities which makes it one of the most unique places to visit in Ladakh. Located at a distance of just 25km from the popular tourist town of Leh, Nyarma is such an overlooked aspect of Leh that it doesn't even find a place in Google Maps! Take the the road less travelled on your next Ladakh trip and unearth the world that is Nyarma.
Why travel to Nyarma
1. Go back in time at Nyarma ruins site
One of Ladakh's biggest hidden gems, Nyarma ruins site is a must visit place for explorers, history enthusiasts and travellers who love going off the beaten path. The 1000 year old monastery complex is said to have been built by Rinchen Zangpo, one of the greatest translators of the New Translation period in Tibet. Though the complex is said to have housed more than a dozen stupas, it is the ancient Buddhist University of Nyarma that is considered to have been at the centre of it all. Over the years, multiple invasions and nature's wrath led to Nyarma reaching its present state—a deserted site that hides in plain sight and definitely deserves all your attention!
2. Learn about Buddhism at Thikse Monastery
Continue your quest of learning the Buddhist way of life by visiting Thikse Monsatery. Located at a distance of less than 10km from Nyarma, Thiksey Monastery is one of Ladakh's top tourist places. Thiksey also happens to be the biggest monastery in North Ladakh, housing breathtaking stupas, statues and wall paintings. Make sure you visit the Maitreya Temple, a giant place of worship that was built to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Thiksey in 1970.
3. Explore Leh's unique museums
If you're someone who's all for broadening your horizons while on a vacation, the Ladakh region houses some of the most unique you will come across in India. Ladakh Rocks And Minerals Preservation Study and Museum makes for a great place to learn about Leh's unique topography and all the different kinds of rocks and semi-precious stones found in the region. On the other hand, one can learn about life in a typical Ladakhi town by visiting the Central Asian Museum. The four storied building houses antique utensils, exquisite rugs and several artefacts making it a truly unique tourist places in Ladakh.
4. Pet donkeys at Leh's Donkey Sanctuary
Built with the aim of providing help to one of the most exploited animals, Leh's Donkey Sanctuary is an absolute must visit place in Ladakh. The animal shelter is home to several old, abandoned donkeys providing them much needed shelter from the extreme conditions. Make sure you pick up some carrots to feed the innocent creatures when visiting this quirky sanctuary.
Cuisine on offer
Owing to the fact that Nyarma is an abandoned site completely in ruins, there is absolutely nothing around for foodies. However, Leh makes for one the best places to visit in Ladakh if you want to treat yourself to an authentic gastronomical adventure. Here are some of the best places to eat in Leh that you must visit the next time you're in the region: