About Ladakh !
Ladakh famously known as the "Land of high passes" is among the
highest of the world’s inhabited plateaus. Enveloped between the Kunlun mountain
ranges and the great Himalayas this region of Jammu Kashmir is the repository of
a myriad cultural and religious influences from mainland India, Tibet and Central
Ladakh is situated at an altitude ranging from about 9000ft at Kargil to 25,170ft
at Saser Kangri in the karakoram. It covers an area of about two-thirds of the state
of Jammu & Kashmir. Summer temperature accelerates up to 27 degrees while in
winter it drops to minus 20 degrees.
Ladakh is mainly populated by the descendents of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan race but
the Ladakhi population seems to be mostly of Tibetan origin.
People in Ladakh mainly practice Buddhism and the rest are mostly muslims belonging
to the shia community.
Ladakh is also called as little Tibet because of its cultural and religious significance,
the proof of which is the enormous number of attractive Gompas or monasteries such
as Phyang, Spituk, Likir, Alchi, Lamayuru, Ridzong, Hemis and Thicksey. These Gompas
besides giving shelter to the monks is also home to the young where they imbibe
the religious instructions. And since Ladakh is famous for its festivals therefore
they are held annually in the courtyard of gompas. Those festivals include dance
cum drama performed by Lamas donning the exquisite robes and masks imitating the
Buddhist deities and often symbolizing religion and its history.
Every year about 100,000 tourists visit Ladakh and get impressed by its scenic beauty
and therefore cast a spell on its visitors, making them believe in fairies.
The main tourist attractions of Ladakh are:
- Leh: It is the largest town of ladakh, it is famous for the 9 storey
palace of King Sengge Namgyal which was built in 17th century and is believed to
be inspired from the Tibetan architecture. Above this palace are the ruins of royal
residence, a fort built by King Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century. The other famous
sites in Leh are Jo-Khang and Jamia Masjid dating back to the 17th century. Besides
these historical sites leh offers a variety in semi precious stones, handicrafts,
- Kargil: It is the second town of Ladakh about 204 kms away from
Srinagar, it is situated on the Suru river just at junction of the famous treaty
route linking the Silk Route and caravans from China, Afghanistan, Yarqand, and
the Indian plains, which used to pass through kargil in the past. Since kargil is
situated in almost the centre of Himalayas therefore it serves as a base camp for
adventures such as trekking, river rafting and mountaineering expeditions.
- Suru Valley: It is one of the beautiful regions of Ladakh, sheltering
beautiful lush green fields and colorful flowers which further adds to its beauty
and therefore provides a spectacular view to the eyes of its viewers. Major attractions
of Suru valley are places like Trepone, Sankoo, Rangdum etc.
- Zanskar: It is the most isolated of all the trans-Himalayan valleys.
It is spread over an area of 5000.sq.kms; Zanskar is enveloped by high mountains
and deep gorges. Since Zanskar receives a heavy annual snowfall this route remains
inaccessible for several months. Zanskar is also called as the “Land of religion”
because of its huge collection of Gompas in Ladakh such as Sani, Karsha, Stongde,
Bardan and Phugtal.