Sightseeing of the historic monuments and major Buddhist gompas (monasteries) are the main attractions of Ladakh.
The Indus Valley, particularly from Upshi down to Khalatse, which is the region's historic heartland, is dotted with all the major sites connected with the former kingdom's dynastic history, starting with Leh, the capital, since the building of its nine-storey Leh palace in the early 17th century.
A few kilometres up the Indus is Shey Palace, the most ancient capital, with its palace and temples. Down river, Basgo, right on the road, and Tingmosgang, a short distance up a side-valley, both served as royal capitals when the Old Kingdom was temporarily divided into two parts in the 15th century. Both these places have the remains of forts and temples dating from the period of their brief glory. Just across the river from Leh lies Stok, the village with which the deposed royal family was compensated for the loss of the throne. Stok Palace, where the royal family now lives, houses a museum of artefacts associated with the dynasty.