Ladakh “land of high passes” is no more a part of Jammu & Kashmir State but is a Union Territory in North Part of India. 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 Jammu Kashmir valleys to the west.
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.
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 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.