Not much remained in the Old City of Leh. Today it is confined to a small area at the base of the Leh Palace. It is a labyrinth of gullies and mud coloured houses, stacked up in odd alignment.
The gullies are the most interesting features of the Old City. Unlike many other old cities in India, here it is completely devoid of colours. There are no bazaars or the usual hullabaloo associated with old cities. Inhabitants live in windowless houses. Their door opens to the gully but they have no space or compound to call their own. Leh have boomed because of tourism business and elsewhere new buildings and stylish guest houses are mushrooming up but nothing seemed to have changed in Old City. It is not yet affected by anything. Partly the government has taken the initiative to preserve the Old City of Leh.
Though the Old City has nothing much to offer, there are places to see around Old City. Lala’s Art café in Old City organizes city walk tour for Rs. 300-400. It includes tour around the old gullies, Leh Palace, Tsemo Fort and the Museum. There are so many gompas hidden in between the gullies.
Around the Old City there are many bakeries and they are quite popular with the foreigners too. People would line early morning to get freshly baked bread and cookies for breakfast or lunch.
Since Leh became a major tourist hub, the landmark has been slowly changing. Houses have become more modern and stylish, adapted to make the stay more comfortable. The Ladakhi architecture has merged with the western architecture. Old City remains true and stands out unique and exotic like an antique piece. The Leh Palace and Tsemo Fort along with many gompas make this place steeped in mystery of those bygone days.