Ladakh “land of high passes” is a part of Jammu & Kashmir State in north of India consisting of two districts Leh and Kargil. Leh town is the capital to Ladakh region. Ladakh lies at altitude ranging from about 9,000ft (2750 metres) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672 metres) at Saser Kangri in The Karakoram Range. Ladakh is bounded by two of the world’s mightiest ranges, the Great Himalaya in the south, and The Karakoram in the north. Historically, the region included , the Indus valley, the remote Zanskar valley , Lahaul and Spiti(Himachal Pradesh) to the south, Aksai Chin in the east, the Nubra valley to the north and Kashmir-Jammu valleys to the west.
Ladakh is a land like no other. It is the most interesting section of the Himalayas .Mostly the people are follower of Buddhism over here. There are 10000 monks in the valley. Out of every nine person, one is devoted to a life of religious practice and contemplation. It is also know as the “Little Tibet” as it offers the most significant cross section of Tibetian culture and architacture, for superior to what is available in the devasted Chinese-occupied Tibet. In the past Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes( the old silk route) Ladakh was the connection point between Central Asia and South Asia- but since the Chinese occupied Tibet- the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s.
The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. It is at a distance of 434 Kms from Srinagar and 474 Kms from Manali. The most striking thing as soon as one enters Ladakh and moves past the high passes, is the remarkably clear and luminous air, joined to the bright white of the perennial snows which crowns towering nameless peaks and the luxuriant green of the oases at the bottom of the valley, where presence of the fresh water from the run off the glaciers has made it possible to transform the harsh highland desert into an immense fruit orchard where delicate apricots and cherries grow.
With the majestic Great Himalayas mountain range Ladakh is very famous for it’s buddhist culture, old monasteries, high passes, remote valleys, crystal clear blue water lakes, warm hearted people having the faces and physique more like those from Tibet than of India. Most common wild animals found here are – Yak , the largest animal found in Ladakh, Nyan, the largest sheep in the world, Bharal- the blue sheep and Urial, the smallest sheep in the world, the Himalayan marmot, Antelope, Grey wolf, and the Snow leopard which is found at a height of above 5000s metres.
Ladakh the mysterious part of Himalayas is also famous for the festivals held in major Buddhist monastries annually. The main features of these festivals are the dance-dramas , the mask dance,enacted by Lamas( buddhist monks) donning colourful robes and fearsome mask representing various buddhist deities. There are cultural festivals too. Summes archery festivals are held in many villages as per local traditions. The 15 day ladakh festival is a major event sponsered by the jammu & Kashmir government to showcase the rich culture & heritage of Ladakh.The 3 days Sindu Dharshan Festival is sponserd by the Minisitry of Tourism, Govt. of India,during the month of June to Showcase the historical and cultural importance of the Indus valley.
For long Ladakh has captured the imagination of explorers and naturalists. But now, ladakh has waved its magic on tourists and adventurs lovers. Ladakh is fastly getting famous as the best tourist destination in Himalayas and the world. Since 1974, the Government of India has successfully encouraged tourism in ladakh.
Leh the main town (3,505 metres.)
The unspoiled paradise that you can reach after traveling through many beautiful passes or flying over the majestic Himalayan Mountains. Leh is the largest town of Ladakh. Leh is truly the paradise enclosed in the Himalayas. It preserves a remarkable series of monastic centers that have maintained intact their architecture and original spirit.
You can enjoy visiting monasteries, you can experience the culture and traditions of Ladakh by being the part of festivals, you can enjoy adventour in the lunar mountain scape and the varied topography, enjoy trekking, hiking, rafting on Indus river, enjoy Yak rides & camel rides, enjoy shopping- local made items like silver ornaments, tea pots and cups, local shawls and much-much more.
Leh has quite a few interesting places on offer. The main attractions of this area include the captivating Leh Palace, Leh Monastery, Leh Mosque, Tsemo Gompa, Stok Palace Museum and beautiful villages and valleys.