Expect to be a little breathless even before you reach Ladakhs biggest town Leh. The stark, stunning beauty of Ladakh will impress even the seasoned travellers as you drive or fly over snow capped mountains.
The Himalayan region in northern state of Jammu and Kashmir is bound by the Karakoram in the north and the Great Himalayan range in the south, and also has the Ladakh Range and the Zanskar Range traversing it. Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet, consists of two districts Leh and Kargil which are governed by the Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
Considered among the most extreme of environments, Leh with its gorgeous mountains, its arid desert terrain sprinkled with ancient Buddhist monasteries, and its dignified popplar trees is sparsely populated.
Its natural beauty is perfectly complemented by the unassuming generosity of its people. Primarily Buddhist, with a small population of Shia Muslims, people here stay preoccupied with agrarian responsibilities during the warmer months. In winters temperatures can drop to -20 deg Celsius forcing livestock and humans to stay indoors. Many of Ladakhs traditional and religious festivals, however, take place during winter.
With the exception of wildlife enthusiasts patient enough for the elusive snow leopard, most people visit the place between the relatively warmer months of May to October.
Situated on the banks on the Indus River, Leh itself has a few attractions to offer. Dominated by the 17th century, nine storied Leh palace, the small town has at its heart a marketplace of curio shops and cafes. A few hours outside of Leh, are the Thikse and Spituk monasteries and the Tibetan village of Choglamsar. Leh is best served as base camp to explore the rest of the region.
For nature and adventure lovers, the place has a range of options for which both equipments, guides and travels is easily arranged. Mountain trekking, rafting, wildlife spotting and hiking on frozen rivers in winters are some of the activities that can be undertaken once visitors get acclimatized to the thin, high altitude mountain air. Amenities are generally basic, luxuries limited but the experience is truly unforgettable. Read more