Best Time to Visit : June to September
Entry to the Observatory : Not allowed to the general public
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Hanle, also referred to as Anle or Anley, is a historic and picturesque village situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh. It lies in the Hanle River valley in the ancient Ladakh-Tibet trade route and attracts large crowds who come here for its magnificent views and its religious and astronomical significance. The main attractions here, besides the tranquillity, include a majestic gompa, an observatory as well as challenging roads or passes.
Hanle is a fairly arid region that is actually not suitable for habitation but it is known for its views of smaller mountains and the vast expanse of open land. The region is perfect for walking, stargazing and taking photographs. The 17th century Hanle Monastery of the Drukpa Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism, known for its Indo-Chinese style of architecture is located in this valley and can be visited by tourists. Furthermore, Hanle is also known for housing the Indian Astronomical Observatory which happens to be one of the highest sites of astronomical observation in the entire world.
Hanle village is also connected to Rhoti La, a steep pass that makes for an arduous climb but is renowned for its stunning views of the region. This is as far as one can go since the ILP zone ends here. Umling La, currently the world’s highest motorable road, is also accessible from Hanle; it is a treat for bikers. Moreover, Owing to the fact that the area is quite close to the Tibetan border, it is necessary to acquire permission before visiting.
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