Hanle is one of the most enchanting places in Ladakh and my favorite. Despite the unlimited mesmerizing landscapes, one thing is simple in Hanle that there is no better place to stay than Sonam Guest House Hanle :). A simple, warm and traditional Ladakhi style home stay turned into a guest house. Sonam Guest House Hanle is run by a gem of a person, Sonam Dorje, and his wife along with their other close relatives. In this article today, I will share a detailed review of this homely guest house with you. It will surely help you weigh-in your options and book a place to stay in Hanle. However, before going into the details of the review, let’s first know a little about Hanle.
There are only handful of guest houses or home stays only in Hanle village. Most of them have shared bathrooms or Ladakhi styled dry toilets. Sonam Guest House Hanle offers 8-9 rooms (multi-bedded) and many of them now have attached washrooms. Apart from the decent comfort of rooms at such a place, Sonam and Padma (Sonam’s wife) offers the warmest hospitality you will come across. The credit goes to his down to earth, simple and modest personality. He works at Hanle Observatory and mostly his wife Padma takes care of the guest house. So, if you are traveling to Hanle and looking for a decent, value for money stay in Hanle for you or your family, then believe me there is no better place than Sonam Guest House. It is also known by the name Padma Homestay Hanle as well because earlier it was a homestay only.
Hanle in Changthang region of Ladakh is one of the most beautiful, enchanting, calm and soul losing places in India. Hanle has a lovely Hanle Monastery offering some great aerial views of whole village that is a home of about 1000 people. The views from the top of the monastery are just breath-taking. Hanle also houses an Indian Astronomical Observatory which is the world’s highest observatory in the world at a staggering height of 4500 Mtrs. The Hanle Observatory is operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru and currently the second highest optical observatory in the world, with an installed telescope of about 2.01 meters (6.5 feet) diameter.
The general route to Hanle that most people travel is Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Nyoma (25 KMs) – Loma (22 KMs) – Hanle(51 KMs) = 275 KMs. You can reach Hanle in about 9 – 10 Hrs from Leh depending upon the number of breaks you take in between the journey.
You can read my detailed travel guide of Hanle Village in my previous article about Hanle: Hanle Village | The Hidden Gems of Ladakh
Complete review of Sonam Guest House Hanle
Like I have said, there are not many options of stay in Hanle and today I will share my detailed review of my enriching experiences at Sonam Guest House Hanle I had over last few years of my visit to Ladakh.
Despite being limited and kind of only guest house in Hanle, Sonam Guest House continues to offer better and better quality topped with great hospitality with every passing year. Hats off to the dedication & efforts put in by Sonam ji, his wife & their team to continuously offer this enriching experience to the travelers in the Himalayas especially Ladakh. All this comes at a great VFM price range of Rs 1000-1300 per day based on the season and time you are traveling.
With the experience of staying at so many properties in the Himalayas over last 8 years, I can easily say that Sonam Guest House is quite decent in return of the experience, hospitality, and support on offer to you. In case, no room is available at Sonam Guest House Hanle, they can also help you get the accommodation at Hanle monastery guest house as well which is better than nothing at least.
As my favorite saying goes, the pictures are better than a thousand words any day…
Price & Bookings
You can get in touch with Sonam Guest House Hanle using the below contact details:
- Sonam Dorje: +91-9469224302 / +91-9716507246. I am sure Sonam ji should be available on Whatsapp as well.
- Attributes: Down to earth local ready to support & help other locals of the village
- Here is the email where you can get connected with Sonam ji: firstname.lastname@example.org
The price ranges from Rs 1000-1300 per day based on the season and time you are traveling. You can refer my name or DoW name and I am sure whatever best price Sonam ji, it will be given to you.
As you reach Hanle, Khaldo Village, keep going straight towards the end where pasture land exist. It is the last house in the village. Don’t worry, it is not that big of a village and anyone will be able to help you out.
There are 4-5 cars that can come in the compound of the guest house and rest you will have to park the cars outside on the road. Plenty of open spaces and there is no need to worry about it.
Personal Experience at Sonam Guest House Hanle
Like I said above, my experience has always been fantastic every time I stayed at Sonam Guest House Hanle. Everyone is always very helpful, accommodating, supportive and were always present there whenever there was any need. I have got chance to stay at Homestay and newly built guest house rooms as well. Believe me, at such a remote place where even a toilet is an ultimate luxury, getting attached running water toilets and beds to sleep is nothing but a haven to live 🙂 🙂
Both Hanle Observatory and Hanle Monastery are nearby to the guest house. You will find plenty of wild horse in the pasture land behind the guest house and great night skies as it goes pitch dark at night. Those interested in the night photography, it is a perfect place to stay sipping the cup of tea served by them. These are one of the most beautiful memories of every of my Ladakh trips.
You can also read what other DoW Community members say about it at: Padma (Sonam’s) Guest House/Homestay, Hanle
Food & Rooms at Sonam Guest House Hanle
Rooms in the guest house are basic yet comfortable, cozy and of course, very clean. The best thing was at such a remote location you are getting such kind of homely experience, which is a kind of luxury in itself for a person like me. Rooms are of decent size, some rooms can even sleep 4-6. There is a mix of rooms with both attached and shared bathrooms having a running cold water supply. Of course, on request room heaters & hot water can be arranged too.
The quality of food is quite decent and homely. Do not expect too much but simple food. You can also request if you like to have some special but simple food.
Well for booze lovers, there is no Liquor shop in Hanle and hence, carry your own. But do take care and be away from liquor in initial days so as to acclimatize properly. Otherwise, liquor can hamper the acclimatization which can lead to AMS and other health issues.
Sonam ji have also always guided us for executing our DoW Causes, a step towards Responsible Travel by DoW, in the village school. You can read about these causes at the links DoW Cause | GYAAN 500 in action at Hanle, Ladakh.
For any major medical assistance, you will have to approach the main Hospital in Leh. Otherwise, for minor medical issues, there is a primary health center at the Hanle village. I always recommend that if possible carry an Oxygen cylinder with you on Ladakh trip. If you don’t know where to get it, you can read my article on How & Where to Rent Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh?
I always carry a pulse oximeter with me just to ensure what oxygen levels and pulse rate I am running on. It helps me keep a tab on them when I am in doubt. It also helps the people who travel with me and also many times at home as well. I believe it is an essential for any medical kit especially when you are traveling to high altitude places in the Himalayas. Although, I have moved to my Fitbit Charge 2 now that helps me track my workouts and as well as resting heart rate 😉 … But, you can buy an inexpensive pulse oximeter online easily from sites like Flipkart or Amazon India. I have this Dr Morepen Pulse Oximeter with me. (Flipkart link here)
There is no ATM in Hanle, so please ensure you carry proper cash with you to settle the bills and pay the tips.
There is no petrol pump near Hanle but there could be black fuel available in the village. Do carry a funnel and a thin cloth to ensure filtration of the impurities. You can also read my article about Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips
In the end, I will again say that Sonam Guest House Hanle is a great value for money and amazingly comfortable option for a stay at Hanle especially when you consider the remoteness of this place. You will surely get an enriching experience in the Himalayas of Ladakh by staying at Sonam Guest House Hanle 🙂 :). I just hope that as more and more people visit Hanle, this guest house continues to provide this excellence in hospitality and amazing services to the people traveling to this remote part of the Himalayas.
Well, I hope that the above review will help you decide your stay at Hanle. I will be here to answer any further questions you may have for your upcoming visit to Hanle or Leh – Ladakh. Feel free to post them under comments below or in the newly introduced Travel Questions section on this website from the main menu.
Do share this article with your friends or family whom you think might be in need of a stay at Hanle on their upcoming trip.