Ladakh

Ladakh is a fascinating destination. Age-old monasteries, quaint lanes, colorful markets and stunning views of the Himalayas make Ladakh an exotic destination.

Ladakh is the highest plateau of the Indian state of Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000 m (9,800 ft).It spans the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River valley.Historically, the region included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys, the Indus Valley, the remote Zangskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the south,Aksai Chin and Ngari, including the Rudok region and Guge, in the east, and the Nubra valleys to the north.Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the Vale of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west, and the trans-Kunlun territory of Xinjiang to the far north.

Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Ladakh was the connection point between Central Asia and South Asia when the Silk Road was in use. The sixty-day journey on the Ladakh route connecting Amritsar and Yarkand through eleven passes was frequently undertaken by traders till the third quarter of the 19th century. Summer temperatures rarely exceed about 27 degree celcius in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20 degree celcius even in Leh.

 

Ladakh has many historic monasteries called Gompas, where Buddhist monks and nuns live, study and practice their religion. The monasteries of Ladakh are situated in scenic locations, on hills and mountains and have rich collections of Buddhist Thangka paintings, art and artifacts. Many of the monasteries are open to tourists who can admire the architecture and art collections in these Gompas.

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