Hall of Fame in Leh, also known as Leh War Memorial, is a museum and a war memorial built and maintained by the Indian Army to commemorate the lives of brave Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the wars with China and Pakistan in this region. It is located near the Leh airport and is hardly a 10-minute drive away from the main Leh market.
In my opinion, it is a place that every tourist must visit to pay their respect. It is a beautiful war memorial that also provides great insight into how the wars in this region were fought, the challenges our soldiers faced, knowledge about the terrain, and much more.
I recently was on a road trip to Ladakh and on the 36th day of our trip, we decided to go to Leh Hall of Fame. The post below is a brief narration of our visit and also provides several necessary details on planning a trip. To read the previous parts of the travelogue, please follow the links below.
Journey So Far:
- Turtuk Village – Day 30
- Siachen Base Camp – Days 31 & 32
- Yarab Tso Lake – Day 33
- Panamik Hot Water Spring – Day 33
- Murgi Waterfall & Ensa Gompa – Day 33
- Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road – Day 34
- Pangong Lake to Leh via Changla Pass – Day 35
This was actually our 4th attempt to visit the war memorial on this trip. All our previous attempts resulted in a failure and we had to return from the gates of the war memorial. Why? Read on to find out more. You can also take a look at the video below that I shot during our visit.
Day 35 – Leh Hall of Fame
This day started much later than we planned because of the road conditions that we encountered at Chang La Pass the day before. It was so badly broken that by the time we made it back to Leh from Pangong Lake, we were all completely exhausted.
We went to sleep and no matter how hard we tried, none of us could wake early in the day. Finally, after a sleep of almost 12 hours, we got out of our bed at 11 am. Even after that, we spent the next couple of hours lazing around in the hotel. It was only at around 2 pm when we were ready to start our sightseeing tour of the day.
There were three places on the itinerary for this day. The first one was Hall of Fame. The second one was the Zorawar Fort and the third one was a sunset point that a local recommended.
During the summer season, the sunset in Leh doesn’t happen until 7 pm. So even though the time was already 2 pm when we started from our hotel, we still had a good 5 hours and plenty of daylight left to complete our sightseeing.
It was the 4th time that we were attempting to visit the Hall of Fame on this trip. We had already been in Leh for 3 weeks now and tried to go to the war memorial 3 times before but could not get an entry because of the timings.
Hall of Fame Leh Timings
Leh Hall of Fame remains open from 9 am to 6 pm every day, including Sundays and other holidays. There is a 2 hours lunch break from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm during which, tourists are not allowed entry inside.
Because of the lunch break, they even stop selling tickets about an hour before the break. So for example, if you reach there at 12 noon, there is a high chance that you will find the ticket window closed because, in another 30 minutes, it will be the lunch break.
This is what happened to us 3 times before. We always ended up reaching there between 12 noon to 2.30 pm and found either the entry gate or the ticket window closed. The first 2 times, we just returned without inquiring. But when it happened the third time, we asked around and the mystery of the closed ticket window was revealed.
So on this day, we planned in a way that we would get there by 2.30 pm when the lunch break was over. Our hotel was located on the fort road, merely a 10-minute drive away. So we started from our hotel at around 2.15 pm and reached the parking spot of the war memorial by 2.30 pm.
Also Read: Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri Route Guide
Hall of Fame Leh Entry Fee
The entry fee for the Leh Hall of Fame is Rs. 225 per person for Indian citizens and Rs. 400 per person for foreign nationals. Entry for children up to 14 years of age is free. Please note that you will also need to pay Rs. 20 for bringing your still camera or mobile phone inside and Rs. 100 for a video camera.
Another thing to note here is that this entry fee is for both the Hall of Fame and Zorawar Fort. There is no ticket window at Zorawar Fort and you will first have to go to the Hall of Fame to buy the ticket. Zorawar Fort is located about 4 kilometers from the Hall of Fame.
So we reached the booking window and bought our tickets. I was carrying a Nikon Z6 ii. It is both a still and video camera but I was only asked to pay Rs. 20 for it. As a matter of fact, you can take videos even with your cellphones but they are also not categorized as video cameras. Nonetheless, we bought our tickets and stepped in.
Also Read: Which is the Best Bike for Ladakh
About Leh Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame consists of two stories and is divided into various sections. Inside, there are several displays and exhibits related to the bravery of Indian soldiers and their courageous accomplishments.
Inside the Museum
The Sino-Indian War Gallery provides information on the war between India and China. The Kargil War gallery details how the war between India and Pakistan in the Kargil region was fought. You can also watch a documentary called Operation Vijay in the museum related to the Kargil war.
The Gallery of Arms and Ammunition has weapons on display that were used in the Kargil war including handguns, rifles, snipers, armor, etc. You will also see arms and ammunition captured by the Indian Army during the war.
Another section of the war memorial exhibits the kind of clothes and other amenities used by the Indian soldiers posted in the Siachen Glacier and other high-altitude posts. Some images and models display how the troops are trained to climb ice walls and fight in areas of lowest oxygen availability.
The museum also houses a souvenir shop inside where you can buy several items including t-shirts, caps, and coffee mugs as memoirs.
The Ladakh Section is primarily about the history, culture, and other associated facts with Ladakh. It provides information on the traditions of Ladakh’s local people and their lifestyle. Information on the history, flora, and fauna of the region and the Namgyal Dynasty of Ladakh can also be found here.
A section of the museum is dedicated to the soldiers who were awarded Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, and Param Veer Chakra detailing their bravery and supreme sacrifice.
Outside the Museum
Right outside the museum, you will find several jeeps and artillery guns used by the Army on display.
There is also a small cafeteria where you can get something to eat and drink. It is run by the Indian Army and the prices are very nominal. The overall vibe of the place is very good and I loved spending time here.
Behind the museum is a place called Shaurya Sthal that has stone markers with the names of the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for their country. Respect !!!
Sound and Light Show
The ticket you will buy will also include the charges for the light and sound show. But please note that this show does not happen at the Hall of Fame. It is conducted every evening at the Zorawar Fort. It starts at 7 pm and lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes.
How To Reach the Leh Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame is located on the Leh-Srinagar highway. It is at a distance of about 5 kilometers from the main market and right next to the airport. If you were traveling by your own car or taxi, it will not take you more than 15 minutes to get there from your hotel.
The second best option would be to rent a private taxi for a day of sightseeing tour including the Hall of Fame. Finding a bus or a shared cab will be a little challenging though as their frequency is very low.
Mobile Network & Data Connectivity
The first thing that you should know is that only postpaid phones work in Ladakh. If you had a prepaid phone, it would be only as good as a paperweight the moment you reach Leh. For postpaid users though, irrespective of which network you were on, you will remain connected. You will have a good reception with good data speed in the Hall of Fame and pretty much everywhere in Leh town.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Hall of Fame would be around 4 to 5 pm. I am saying that because by then, the weather will be a little better and the sun will not be so harsh. You can spend some time in the war memorial and from there, go to Zorawar Fort. That way, you can first spend an hour sightseeing and also see the light and sound show at 7 pm.
The ticket that we bought at the Hall of Fame also included the charges for a visit to Zorawar Fort, located about 4 kilometers away. That was the next place on our itinerary for the day.
- Journey Ahead: Zorawar Fort – In the Memory of General Zorawar Singh
We spent some time in the war memorial and then had something to drink at the Army cafeteria outside. From there, we moved on to see the Zorawar fort. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.
I hope the travelogue, pictures, and information above on the Leh Hall of Fame were of help. If you have any questions, you can contact me on Instagram and I will be happy to answer. You can also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking a question there.