The Hall of fame Leh is a museum built to commemorate gallant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend their motherland in the Indo-Pak wars. It was created to serve as a repository of information about the history of the Kargil war, a living memorial to veterans, and an educational resource for those wishing to learn more about the Indian military. It is located in the city of Leh, near Leh Airport, roughly four kilometers from the city. Hall of fame acts as a reminder of the great price paid to bring about the country’s safety and security. The museum receives visitors from all over the world and India. 

Visiting the Hall of fame Leh with good planning is fun and highly enjoyable, which only comes about when you have complete information on the subject. So, this article will provide you with all the required information about Hall of fame Leh.

You are already challenged even before you enter the museum, so brace yourself for the great day ahead! The Leh Hall of Fame has various sections, which are adequately placed in two stories making the whole museum.

“The Hall of Fame museum is designed to inform and remind visitors about the Indian Army’s presence and mission in the region and situates (celebrates, even) their role as the brave ‘protectors’ of Ladakh”

Norzin 2016 (p83)

The Attractions Inside the Leh Hall Fame

The Leh Hall of Fame consists of three wings: The War Museum, The War Cemetery – Shaurya Sthal, and the War Memorial.   The war museum has two stories, each divided into several sections, featuring an impressive collection of weapons used in recent wars. The upper section is called OP Vijay gallery, which has various displays like weapons, arms, ammunition, and artillery used during the Kargil war. Apparels and amenities worn by the army are also on display here.

 The exhibits in the Hall of fame Leh focuses on the multifaceted experiences of soldiers in the Kargil war. Many displays feature memorabilia reflecting significant moments in the lives of those who served in various conflicts. Another section of the museum displays a collection of medals awarded to soldiers from the Indo-Pak war. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience a variety of interactive aspects of the Kargil War. Many wall maps give visitors easy access to vital information relating to specific locations in the Kargil War.

On the top floor of the OP Vijay section Gallery, you can see a display of weapons and ammunition used in the Kargil War between India and Pakistan that started and finished in 1999, alongside those seized from the Pakistani forces. Another section on the same floor showcases equipment such as tents, snowmobiles, ice hammers, a portable altitude chamber, and apparel used by the Indian troops in the Siachen conflict between India and Pakistan that went on from 1984 until 2003, over the disputed Siachen Glacier in Kashmir. The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world, at a height of over 6,000 meters (20,000 ft), with temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius / -58 Fahrenheit. Here you will be able to see a display of pictures showing how the soldiers dressed, trained, and did to stay healthy. After getting an idea of how they lived and in what conditions they fought, you cannot but wonder what it takes for a human being to endure that. As you marvel at the fortitude, you might catch a glance of a sign above the door of one of the sections, saying: “How can a man die better than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his fathers and temples of his gods?”.

The museum has a projection room for watching documentaries. Ground floor houses displays of the culture, industry, and other fun facts related to Ladakh. There is a souvenir shop to buy memorable items like caps, mugs, clothes, etc. Also, you can have photo sessions at the photoshops for a fee. 

The Hall of fame Leh is a wonderful way for Indians to explore the history of the Indo-Pak war. The museum also gives information about the numerous awards and honors that are given through it, as well as the background of some of the men who have made the largest sacrifices in our nation’s history.

There is also a section dedicated to the war between China and India, the Sino-Indian war, over, among other issues, the Himalayan border. The conflict started in 1962 with an unexpected Chinese invasion, following years of violent border skirmishes after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama, and finished the same year.

Armed Forces come to rescue after severe flooding affects thousands  

Leh Hall of Fame also includes a section dedicated to the assistance in the 2010 Ladakh floods of August 2010 when 71 towns and villages were damaged, including Leh. More than people 250 died the some of whom were tourists, and even more in the aftermath when cloudburst and heavy overnight rains triggered flash floods and mudflows. You learn about the Indian Army’s activities empowering the community, women, and youth, under the slogan “when you educate a woman, you educate a family”. The woman empowerment center includes adult education programs that include some basic domestic skills such as hygiene.  

Hours of Operations and Entrance Fee

The Museums Hours of operation are in the mornings from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and in the afternoons from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. As for the payments, the entrance fee is INR. 50 per person and an additional cost of Rs. 50 for the photoshoot inside the museum. Note that local tourists pay much less (Rs. 10) than international tourists.

Also, you will be treated to an evening match or parade as it is one of the main events at the Leh Hall of Fame. Our tour guides at Leh Ladakh will help processing payments and other necessary requirements.

My experience at the Hall of fame, Leh.

Now you know the facts and history of Hall of fame Leh. Let me narrate to you my tour experience of the Hall of fame, Leh.

The arrival

We were staying in a hotel in Leh which was around 6 km away from the Hall of Fame Leh. As the Hall of Fame is located near the Kushok Bakula Leh Airport, we headed towards it and reached the Hall of fame museum in around 15 mins. So, as soon as we started our tour on the NH1 Leh-Kargil road, we could not take our eyes off the natural scenic beauty of the splendid mountains and it was truly one of the best places for a day sightseeing.

Hall of fame leh entrance
The entrance

As we entered the circular door of the museum with a beautiful hexagonal border, we saw the mighty statue of Lord Buddha with the words carved on the bottom saying “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” We could actually feel that we were entering a whole different world with the feeling of peace and tranquility inside us as we looked upon the golden statue of Lord Buddha.

Hall of Fame leh - statue of buddha
The museum

The museum is divided into various sections that are further split up into two stories. On the first floor, we came across the “Operation Vijay Gallery” which was a presentation of a number of arms and ammunitions put up on a display that was used in the Kargil war. It also consisted of different weapons that were captured by the Indian Armed Forces from the Pakistani troops during the war. Next, we came across the section which displayed various pieces of stuff like apparel, shoes, tools, snowmobiles, and other amenities used by the soldiers deployed at Siachen. Along with these things we also saw pictures of bunkers and vigorous training of the soldiers in the Siachen Glaciers.

In the next section, we found a wall fastened with numerous pictures of the famous Kargil War that was fought between India and Pakistan in the year 1999. A detailed description was written on the pictures illustrated how the war was fought by our brave soldiers. A number of pictures of soldiers were framed on the wall. This beautiful wall was dedicated to all the heroic martyrs who laid down their lives fighting for our motherland. It stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by our soldiers to ensure the safety and security of our country. The wall was framed with the photos of the fallen soldiers named “Lest We Forget”, a letter was written by a young captain to his parents shortly before he marched off to perish in battle. War stories come to life in a 30-minute documentary featured on the same floor, and a display of authentic war documents and photographs from the battlefield. Alongside pictures of the military leaders, you can see 3-d models of the high-altitude military operations named “Blow-up of Tiger Hill”, “Blow-up of Tololing” and “Blow-up of point 4875” providing a vivid idea of how the Indian Army fought the war, together with actual battle plans.

Next to this, was a gallery that was dedicated to the Sino-Indian war which was fought between India and China in the year 1962. The war was fought on the Himalayan border when 80,000 Chinese soldiers carried out abrupt attacks on 20,000 Indian soldiers. After one month, the Sino-Indian war ultimately ended on 21 November when the Chinese troops made an agreed end to hostilities while the peace talks were underway. This section actually depicted the honor of the never-dying courage of our brave soldiers who laid down their lives working tirelessly to defend our motherland.

hall of fame projection room
War stories come to life through 3-d maps and a film

On the same floor, we came across a projection room where we saw a documentary “Operation Vijay” which depicts how our soldiers got victory over the Pakistani troops. The documentary also paid a tribute to Captain Vijayant Thapar who was honored as The Kargil War Martyr and also a gallantry award (Vir Chakra) recipient. On the same wall, a framed picture titled “The Last Post” is fastened which was written by Captain Vijayant Thapar to his parents on the same day just before his martyrdom. The feeling of immense pain, anguish, and at the same time pride and honor could be felt while we read the letter.

Hall of fame Leh traditional apparel
Artefacts and facts

As we headed towards the ground floor, we came across the diverse artifacts and facts related to the culture, history, flora, and fauna of Ladakh, information on the area, and other sites and things of interest. It also showcased the traditional apparel of the Warriors and Eastern and Western Ladakh. The wall next to the gallery presented a description of the Basgo King who was the founder of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh and later on brought together the magnificent land of Ladakh. Heading to the next section, a souvenir shop where we bought some mugs, caps, and t-shirts with different types of imprints of Ladakh on it. Apart from these things, pure Pashmina shawls jewelry ornaments, fresh dried fruits, and many such items were also available in the shop. We also clicked some unique pictures in one of the traditional apparel of Ladakh which was available at reasonable prices in the photo booth. After that, we headed towards the backyard of the Hall of Fame where they had set up a memorial entitled “Vijay Sthal” where the names of the lion-hearted soldiers of the war were carved on the planks.

Hall of fame Leh Outside
Beating Retreat Ceremony

On the other side, a playing field in the form of a military camp was designed for kids where they could spend some leisure time playing. Last but not least was the Beating Retreat Ceremony which started at around 06:30 pm. The ceremony continued for the duration of an hour and concluded with a documentary that highlighted the war and emphasized the sacrifice of the fearless soldiers to the functioning of the Siachen Units under such harsh circumstances. In the evening, they conducted a light and sound show and along with that our soldiers performed a live show which portrayed the actual scene of the war. in the memory of brave martyrs of the Kargil War. You should attend the light and sound show too, in the evening. If there’s a lot of time left till evening, you should visit the nearby attractions and then return in the evening to the Hall of fame Leh.

Why you should visit Hall of Fame Leh?

There are a number of reasons to visit the Leh Hall of Fame. It is certainly no wonder that traveler reviews rank it among the top sites in Ladakh. To start with, the site and the edifice itself, with a round door framed by a hexagonal border, situated between the windswept mist-clad glacial peaks of the Himalayas, really gets the imagination going with its futuristic pyramid-like shape. Before diving into India’s war history and the collection of still-smoking weapons, you see a Lord Buddha Statue with an inscription. Start your journey by laying your hands on the statue while pondering the profound meaning of these words and allowing yourself to feel the calm and steadfast motivation they inspire. 

There really is something for everyone here, as this must-visit museum also includes a play area, designed like a military camp, where you can test your strength and flexibility. To wrap up your tour try to catch the flag ceremony and the lights and sounds show, highly recommended by visitors. Leh Ladakh will advise on the best time for you to come here, depending on what else sparks your interest.         

Glorious homage to the soldiers who fought and died in wars

As one of the region’s main points of interest, Leh Hall of Fame is a part of many popular tour packages at Leh Ladakh, with other exciting venues. Constructed, assembled, and maintained by the Indian Army, it is said to be one of India’s top 5 museums. As the name suggests the Hall of Fame pays glorious homage to the soldiers who fought and died in wars, mainly against Pakistan. There is also a section dedicated to the war against China.

“Do not lament the death of a warrior, for those who fall in battle are honoured in heaven”

The Hall of Fame pays tribute to the soldiers who fought for their country in conditions inconceivable for most of us. What drove them and gave them the fortitude? This makes it relevant not only from the aspect of history, or Indian history in specific, but as a testimony of the strength awakened by a sense of purpose, patriotism, and faith. However, this is by no means a place for lament, as is written on top of the door of one of the sections: “Do not lament the death of a warrior, for those who fall in battle are honored in heaven”. This awe-inspiring homage to patriotism and duty to one’s country will not leave you indifferent.

“Beautiful, secret places”

The sign “Beautiful, secret places” catches the eye. In this part of the museum, you will learn that Ladakh traditional sports are archery and polo, which have been popular since medieval times. Not surprisingly, Ladakh is one of Bollywood’s top filming sites. The section named “Mystic Ladakh” showcases a display of local outfits, including old warrior outfits. Only a small sample of what you can experience while visiting this region. Simply let us know what sparks your imagination and Leh Ladakh will do the rest.

This floor also includes a section dedicated to the Namgyal Dynasty of Ladakh, a line of rulers who reigned from the 15th until the 19th century, when it fell to the Sikh Empire.

Pick up a souvenir

There is also a souvenir shop much enjoyed by the visitors, where among others you can get traditional pashmina shawls, made of spun cashmere wool, coming from Changthangi goat native to the high plateaux of Ladakh. You can also have your photo taken wearing the Ladakhi attire. 

Heroes we never name, and never forget

Stepping out of the museum wing, you move on to The War Cemetery – Shaurya Sthal. Apart from the numerous planks, you’ll find a heavy black marble block with a golden inscription, honoring the “heroes we never name”, who were every bit as valiant and brave as the officers whose lives we were got a glimpse of inside. Their names might have not been mentioned, but the tribute was paid. Around the fence, you will see a line-up of heavier armament pieces such as tanks, cannons, and aircraft.   

Unlike anything you have seen before – Lights and Sounds show

Over by the memorial, you will watch the Flag ceremony and the Lights and Sounds show, guaranteed to be unlike anything you have ever seen before. It consists of drum beating, signing, lights, and video clips showing the members of the Armed forces doing their activities, a lecture, a choreographed flag parade, and a short production, where soldiers act out a battle.

Ready for a coffee and a chat with other travellers

At some point, you will want to sit down and rest and perhaps chat to other travelers, which you can do at the AROMA café on the side of the building, serving refreshing drinks and snacks on a lovely fenced up terrace or in a cozy interior, while enjoying the stunning view of the surrounding area.

Something for everyone

The Leh Hall of Fame is definitely a must-visit. It features something for everyone. Prepare to admire the landscape, architecture, witness the ceremonies, while getting fully immersed into the heroic deeds of the Indian soldiers, fighting epic battles somewhere between the earth and the stars, firm in their patriotism and their faith that the most important battle, that must be fought until the end, is that within themselves. You will also learn a thing or two about the history of the region. Note that the use of a camera inside the museum is charged extra and you will be overseen by the uniform-clad curator at all times, making sure the items and premises are being treated with respect, and answer any questions you may have. 

Nearby Attractions:

The below information helps you to manage the whole day of the trip to the Hall of Fame museum.

AttractionDistanceTravel
Time
Spituk Gompa2.4 km5 min
Zorawar Fort3.6 km5-10 min
Main Bazaar Leh5.6 km10-15 min
Leh Palace5.8 km10-15 min
Central Asian
Museum
5.8 km10-15 min
Sankar Gompa6.8 km10-15 min
Shanti Stupa6.9 km10-15 min
Namgyal Tsemo8.8 km15-20 min
Google Map
Spituk Gompa

Spituk Gompa is a monastery that is 2.4 km away from the Hall of Fame Leh. It would take around 5 min driving to reach Spituk Gompa. You can hire a guide to accompany you, the guide will narrate to you the whole story about the monastery.

Zorawar Fort

Zorawar fort is 3.6 km away from the Hall of Fame Leh. It would take around 10 mins to arrive the fort.

Main Bazaar Leh

Main Bazaar Leh is the market in the main town where you will find a crowd of locals and tourists. It is 5.6 km away from the hall of Fame Leh. You can find a lot of restaurants in Leh Bazaar to have your lunch. After lunch, you should pay a visit to the whole market and do some shopping, as you will find many colorful artifacts here.

Leh Palace

After doing some shopping in Leh bazaar, you should visit the Leh Palace. You can see the complex of Leh Palace from the main bazaar. From Leh palace, you have a nice view of the whole city. Leh Palace overlooks the beautiful town of Leh, Ladakh. The palace has always been one of the important sites in Ladakh. It is 5.8 km away from the Hall of Fame Leh.

Central Asian Museum

The Central Asian Museum Leh has been founded to commemorate the important facet of the history of Ladakh. If you are interested in the history of Ladakh, then you should visit this monastery. This museum is 5.8 km far from the Hall of fame Leh.

Sankar Gompa

Sankar Gompa is a monastery that is 6.8 km far from Hall of fame Leh. The Sankar Gompa houses in the Sankar area of Leh. It is surrounded by a rich congregation of devotees. You should visit this place to know more about Kushok Bakula of Ladakh.

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa is situated at a hill on a higher elevation on the hilltop in Chanspa, Leh. It is a famous tourist attraction and you will find a lot of foreigners as well as Indians at this place. You will enjoy the panoramic view of the whole town with the majestic mountains in the background from Shanti Stupa. It is 6.9 km away from the Hall of Fame Leh.

Namgyal Tsemo

Namgyal Tsemo is a monastery 8.8 km far from Hall of Fame Leh.

Back to Hall of Fame Leh

After visiting these places you can head back to the Hall of Fame Leh to enjoy the light and sound show in the evening.

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About the author

Sam K. Pandepa is a certified travel agent of Ladakh. He completed his MBA in 2012 and has worked as a tourist guide up to 2015. After that, he is working as a travel agent.
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