Incredible Ladakh

The word Ladakh means “The Land Of Many Passes" once really feels it when they enter Ladakh by road way either through Srinagar or Manali highway. It is part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the northern most tip of India sharing borders with Pakistan, China and the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh.It lies between the two highest Mountain ranges of the world — the Himalayan range in the South and the karakuram range in the North .Ladakh is also described as " LITTLE TIBET" because of its close cultural & trading relations with Tibet .

    Ladakh is an exotic destination for all seasons and for all reasons which is opened for tourist in 1974 since then a large number of tourist were travelling to Ladakh to see its unspoiled beauty which is so amazing , so natural which extremely difficult to describe and it is best that each person absorbs it with own eyes. You would better to visit Leh with a better camera because you will love to click every bit of Leh and its surroundings.

      A land with numerous undulating meadows and valleys, exciting peak and mysterious caves, majestic mountains and glaciers, powerful geysers of hot springs, barren landscapes and beautiful lakes, Innumerable species of birds and rare wildlife, You can also find some of the highest motorable roads in Himalayas. Ladakh is a mysterious storehouse of endless discoveries. 

  • History
    History

    Information about Ladakh before the birth of the kingdom during the 9th century is scarce. Ladakh can hardly be considered a separate political entity before the establishment of the kingdom about 950 CE, after the collapse of the early Tibetan Empire and the border regions became independent kingdoms under independent rulers, most of whom came from branches of the Tibetan royal family.After the breakup of the Tibetan Empire in 842, Nyima-Gon, a representative of the ancient Tibetan royal house founded the first Ladakh dynasty. Nyima-Gon's kingdom had its centre well to the east of present-day Ladakh

    The earliest layer in the population of Ladakh probably comprised the Dardi. Herodotus twice mentions a people called Dadikai, first along with the Gandarioi, and again in the catalogue of king Xerxes's invasion of Greece. Herodotus also mentions the gold-digging ants of central Asia, which is also mentioned in connection with the Dardi people by Nearchus, the admiral of Alexander, and Megasthenes.In the 1st century CE, Pliny the Elder repeats that the Dards(Brokpa in Ladakhi) are great producers of gold. Herrmann argues that the tale ultimately goes back to a hazy knowledge of gold-washing in Ladakh and Baltistan.[citation needed] Ptolemy situates the Daradrai on the upper reaches of the Indus, and the name, Darada, is used in the geographical lists of the Puranas.
    The first glimpse of political history is found in the kharosthi inscription of "Uvima Kavthisa" discovered near the K'a-la-rtse (Khalatse) bridge on the Indus, showing that in around the 1st century, Ladakh was a part of the Kushan Empire. A few other short Brahmi and Kharosthi inscriptions have been found in Ladakh.

  • Geography
    Geography

    Highest plateau (much of it being over 3,000 m), spanning the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River valley. Historic Ladakh consists of a number of distinct areas, including the fairly populous main Indus valley, the more remote Zanskar (in the south) and Nubra valleys (to the north over Khardung La ), the almost deserted Aksai Chin (under Chinese rule) and Kargil and Suru Valley areas in the west (Kargil being the second most important town in Ladakh).

    The mountain ranges in this region were formed over a period of 45 million years by the folding of the Indian plate into the stationary landmass of Asia. The drift continues and causing frequent earthquakes in the Himalayan region.. The peaks in the Ladakh range are at a medium altitude close to the Zoji-la (5,000-5,500 metres, 16,000 - 18,050 ft), and increase towards south-east, reaching a climax in the twin summits of Nun-Kun (7000 m, 23,000 ft). 

  • Culture and Arts
    Culture and Arts

    Like the land itself, the people of Ladakh are generally quite different from those of the rest of India. The faces and physique of the Ladakhis, and the clothes they wear, are more akin to those of Tibet and Central Asia than of India. The original population may have been Dards, an Indo-Aryan race down from the Indus and the Gilgit area.

    Like the land itself, the people of Ladakh are generally quite different from those of the rest of India. The faces and physique of the Ladakhis, and the clothes they wear, are more akin to those of Tibet and Central Asia than of India. The original population may have been Dards, an Indo-Aryan race down from the Indus and the Gilgit area.But immigration from Tibet, perhaps a millennium or so ago, largely overwhelmed the culture of the Dards and obliterated their racial characteristics. In eastern and central Ladakh, today's population seems to be mostly of Tibetan origin. Further west, in and around Kargil, the people's appearance suggests a mixed origin.The exception to this generalization is the Arghons, a community of Muslims in Leh, originated as a result of marriages between local women and Kashmiri or Central Asian merchants. They exhibit a marked dominance of the Indo-Aryan trait in their physique and appearance, though culturally they are not different from the rest of the Ladakhis.

  • Ladakh Cuisines
    Ladakh Cuisines

    Tourists can try Ladakhi food that is rich in flavor and it includes Thukpa which is a thick soup that is prepared with vegetables. Momos are stuffed with meat or vegetables and served with chilli sauce. Ladakh has many bakeries that serve freshly baked bread and tourist can relish it with apricot jam. There are various restaurants in Ladakh that serve international meal. Ladakh has organized a traditional food carnival for 2 days which is organized by an NGO and it is called Women Alliance in Leh. Ladakh food festival is celebrated for 15 years and many tourists to promote Ladakhi's amusing traditional culture and boost tourism.

    Cheese from Yak’s milk (Chhupri): While traveling to parts of Ladakh, you will come across Yaks, you will click pictures and probably take rides on them. But have you ever thought of trying cheese made of Yak milk? Weird? Well, probably for some people, but when in Leh please do not miss on trying out “Chhupri”. Locals do not understand it when you say Yak cheese, they understand the local term for it “Chhupri”.Tigmo (pronounced Teemo): We did not go looking for this dish, unlike the Chhupri. We just went into a local restaurant in Leh main market, asked for a local dish and were offered the “Tigmo”. It is a form of fermented and steamed bread, served with a veg/non-veg stew.

  • Tsomongo lake
    Tsomongo lake

    The place is a canvas colored with the blue-white skies, blue-green mountains with white tops, the calm blue water of the lake and lush green pastures. Who needs any place better than this? The place is a canvas colored with the blue-white skies, blue-green mountains with white tops, the calm blue water of the lake and lush green pastures. Who needs any place better than this? The Tso Moriri lake is probably not as famous as the Pangong Lake but it is still a must place to visit in Leh Ladakh for anyone taking a trip in this region.

    Tso-moriri Lake also known as Mountain Lake is a spectacular site amidst mountain ranges in Leh.
    Tso-moriri or Lake Moriri is a High Altitude Lake (officially named as Tso-moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve), located in the Changthang (literal meaning, northern plains) area with an altitude of 4,595 m (15,075 ft). The Tso-moriri Lake measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 4-6 km in breadth and about 100 feet average in-depth. Maximum depth of Tso-moriri Lake is 248 feet. Tso-moriri Lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains.

  • Diskit Gompa
    Diskit Gompa

    Diskit Gompa is located 150 km north of Leh city, the capital city of Ladakh on a hill, just above the flood plains of the Shayok River in Diskit village more than 10000 ft above sea level. Khalsar is a small town agead of Khardung La from where a left turn would take you to Diskit while the right turn leads to Panamik. The monastery founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the oldest and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey monastery.

    Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey monastery. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century. It is a sub-gompa of the Thikse gompa. The monastery has statue of Maitreya Buddha in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. An elevated cupola of the moanstery depicts a fresco of the Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet .A popular festival known as Dosmoche or the “Festival of the Scapegoat” is held in the precincts of the monastery in February during the winter season.

  • Shanti-Stupa
    Shanti-Stupa

    Shanti Stupa is one of the magnificent Tibetan structures that has ever been built. The architecture and the beauty of this place are unexplainable. Shanti Stupa is a white-dome structure dedicated to Buddhism. Located on the hilltop of Chamspa in Leh, it is one of the major tourist attractions of Ladakh not only for its religious significance for also for its splendid views of the surrounding mountain ranges that it has to offer. This marvelous structure is an example of the ties between Japan and India.

    Shanti Stupa was constructed in the year 1991 by Japanese Buddhist, Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The construction was jointly done by the Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhists to mark the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace. It is a part of peace pagoda mission, which aims to spread peace through the preaching of Buddha.
    The stupa has various relics of old Buddhism culture including the huge idol of Buddha placed at this base; the idol was enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The beauty of Shanti Stupa takes a level up at night, especially during the full moon night when it is naturally illuminated by the moonlight.

  • Khardungla Pass
    Khardungla Pass

    Khardung La is a mountain pass in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Khardungla Pass is the highest motorable road in the world. Really? Well, factually the answer is but it is still believed to be the one. I don’t really want to get drawn into this controversy or debate as I don’t understand on what basis it was earlier proclaimed to be the highest motorable road in the world. But we now know, for sure, that there are many higher motorable roads than the Khardungla Pass of Ladakh. It is more like the case of proclaiming Drass as the coldest place on earth, when it does not even features in the top 10 list. The locals would boast about it and take pride in it. But that is not the entire truth.

    The swift-flowing Indus and Zanskar Rivers offer rafting enthusiasts excellent venues for white-water rafting in Ladakh. Rafting expeditions are organized from July to September and usually cover the stretches of the Indus river between Hemis to Choglamsar and Nimmu to Phey.

  • Hemis Festival
    Hemis Festival

    Every year, on the 10th day of Tibetan Lunar month called as Tse Chu, the Monastery holds a two-day celebration to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava who is often said to be a reincarnation of Buddha. Guru Padmasambhava is believed to have fought demons for the people of Ladakh and helping people on the path of spirituality has been his life’s mission. The Hemis festival is held at the Hemis Gompa- the courtyard of the monastery. Hemis festival 2017 is being celebrated on 3rd -4th July. Scores of people gather here to participate in the celebrations and apart from the local crowd; a lot of tourists are also seen. The locals put on their best traditional garbs and the monastery is decorated with confectioneries and flowers, making the place look exploding with colors. The monastery which houses about 500 Lamas plays host to hundreds of people who come to see the Hemis festival.

    The Hemis Festival celebrations start by the Head Lama bringing out the portrait of Guru Padmasambhava into the courtyard for everyone to seek blessings. Then the Lamas of the monastery called ‘Chhams’ put on splendid masks depicting various guardian divinities of the Dugpa order which this monastery has been the leading establishment. These Chhams re-enact the feats performed by Guru Padmasambhava, accompanied by the beats and music of long horns, drums and cymbals. Which together make a unique music that strums through the people as they are seen tapping and swaying with the beat. The Chhams also perform their traditional dance and plays which has an underlying message of the triumph of good over evil.

  • Saka Dawa
    Saka Dawa

    The Saga Dawa festival is celebrated on the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar. Sindhu Darshan is celebrated in Shey Manla, located 8 kms away from the main city of Leh. Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh plays host to the popular yearly festival day called Hemis Tsechu.On this very day, every year, the lamas of nearby monasteries change the Tarboche flag pole, that is located at the South of the mountain, Kailash Kora. It is believed that if after the pole is changed, it does not stand erect, it is not auspicious by Tibetans. The festival is celebrated all over Ladakh.

    The Saga Dawa festival is celebrated on the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar. Sindhu Darshan is celebrated in Shey Manla, located 8 kms away from the main city of Leh. Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh plays host to the popular yearly festival day called Hemis Tsechu.On this very day, every year, the lamas of nearby monasteries change the Tarboche flag pole, that is located at the South of the mountain, Kailash Kora. It is believed that if after the pole is changed, it does not stand erect, it is not auspicious by Tibetans. The festival is celebrated all over Ladakh.

  • Trekking and Hiking
    Trekking and Hiking

    The Markha Valley trek places the individuals trekking through its terrain close to the awe-inspiring beauty of the nature. This trek is all about magnificent landscapes, green oasis commonly found in and around and the region and most importantly the Kongmaru La pass, which is a beautiful and scenic place located at an altitude of 5000 meter above the level of the sea.The other attractions while Trekking in Ladakh include quaint villages, monasteries and a chance to peep into the remotest of the settlements. The Hemis National Park situated in this region is renowned for its amazing biodiversity.

    This is the one that we chose because it combined hiking and landscapes with people and culture by incorporating homestays with families in villages along the way. For us, this combination is ideal and resulted in a trekking experience that exceeded our expectations. The Markha Valley Trek is also the most popular Ladakh trek and we’re told it can get crowded in the high season (July and August). If you travel to Ladakh during high season, take this into consideration and perhaps choose a less popular trek to avoid crowded trails.

  • Camel Ride
    Camel Ride

    Camel Safari or Caravan with the double hump camels is not just today trend it has been a life line for Ladakh since 17th century till partition 1947. Leh the main town of Ladakh was a tarde centre for traders of Central Asia and rest of India these camels were used for riding and transportation in the.Silk Route&.Hunder, which falls on the historic Silk Route, used to be a busy trade stopover with caravans of Bactrian camels moving in and out of the Nubra Valley

    Camel Trekking or Caravan with camels has been a vogue for Ladakh quest since Seventeenth century until partition was done in the year of 1947. Camel Traveling is predominantly evident in Nubra Area from Hundar up to the Diskit .Bactrian camels, along with dual humps, are basically also recognized as the 'Real Camel'. The offspring of those camels were used for riding and transportation in the 'Silk Route' in the consecutive centuries of 17th, 18th and 19th.The most distinctive feature of the Bactrian camel is its two humps. These humps, contrary to popular belief, are designed to store fat and not water. Bactrian camels are classified as herbivores.

  • Motorbike/Mountain
    Motorbike/Mountain

    A bike ride to Leh, Ladakh passes through some of the most breathtaking, challenging and awe-inspiring landscapes found on Earth. From the millions of years of permanence, the Himalayas with mountain streams, high altitude passes, majestic plains and enormous mountain lakes have left a lasting impression on the lucky ones who have got a chance to travel to this remote Himalayan region. But by any means it is not an easy ride since most parts of the road are at altitudes of 13,000 feet and above in the Himalayas. In addition, the number of miles one can cover in a day depends on the road and weather conditions and the few places one can stay enroute. This is where we step in with our experience so you can call your motorbike ride to Ladakh as the “Ride of My Life

    A Mecca for motorcyclists, Ladakh’s unsurpassed beauty demands that there be nothing between you and the landscape. A must-do tour for every true travel lover, Ladakh seduces everyone with her tough but rewarding landscapes and the highest roads in the world. All our tours to Ladakh cover the pristine Pangong Tso lake and Khardung La, the worlds highest motorable pas