Not just Indians, but now even foreign travellers can explore and stay overnight at Ladakh's Hanle village. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a request from the Ladakh tourism department to allow international tourists to stay overnight in the villages of Hanle, Marsimik, and Sko Valley. These places were previously open only to Indian visitors.
Until September 15, only Indian tourists could visit Hanle, but now, foreign tourists can explore this beautiful village, which is also home to the Hanle observatory. This change is part of a broader effort to promote "Dark Sky" tourism, where visitors can enjoy clear views of the night sky.
Hanle, a charming village in Ladakh, sits beside the tranquil Hanle River. It's located about 14,108 feet above sea level, making it one of the best places in the world for stargazing.
This village is among the highest in Ladakh, and the nights here can get quite chilly, with temperatures often dropping below freezing throughout the year.
Ladakh is famous for its dry desert, hills, and stunning monasteries! And just like that, one of Hanle's notable attractions is the 17th-century Hanle Monastery, a peaceful and historic spot.
But what really sets Hanle apart is its recognition as a Dark Sky Reserve. Hanle also houses an Indian Astronomical Observatory, which is the world’s highest observatory at a staggering height of 4500 m and has an installed telescope of about 2.01 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter.
This means it's an exceptional location for looking up at the stars, thanks to its remote setting and minimal light pollution. So, if you're a stargazing enthusiast, Hanle should definitely be on your travel list.
How to reach Hanle?
Earlier, the village was not accessible to tourists from other countries, but now it's open to people from around the world.
Their are many ways to reach Hanle, but the best way is via Leh. The first and quicker route is via Chumathang. The second route runs through Changthang Valley.