-the land of high passes
A union territory in North India, Ladakh is also known as the trans-Himalaya, which is divided between Pakistan (northwest), as part of the Northern Areas, and India (southeast), as part of Ladakh union territory.
It is slightly smaller than Scotland, with a mixture of Buddhists and Muslims.
Ladakh is one of the highest regions of the world, covering an area of about 45,000 square miles.
It contains the Ladakh Range, which is a southeastern extension of the Karakoram Range, and the upper Indus River valley.
History of Ladakh
Ladakh has been known by many names like Maryul or low land by some Kha- chumpa by others.
The first immigrants who happened to occupy the lower areas of the Indus valley were the Brokpas from Dadarstan.
In the 10h century, the Tibet ruler Skit Lde Nemagon invaded Ladakh and defeated the lands which were divided into small principalities, one after another, and conquered a strong kingdom at Shey.
King Singge Namgyal was a builder, a strong monarch and a statesman who established the popular Leh palace and promoted horse polo.
Around the 7th century, the deserts and the barren mountains became the land for war between Tibet and China.
In the 8th century A.D, Arabs also jumped into this war and amidst this, Kashmir’s ruler, Laltadita conquered Ladakh.
And in the same period, the Arabs conquered Kashghar, taking control over central Asia, and eventually, Ladakh fell into pieces.
Ladakh was an independent country since the mid of 10th century.
Popular Languages of Ladakh
The languages popularly spoken by the inhabitants are Ladakhi, Urdu, Tibetan and Balti. Mong them, Tibetan and Ladakhi are the most common ones to be heard.
The Ladakh languages, which is more generally called the western archaic language, when the Balti and brig are also included, is one of the most spoken languages of the Ladakh region.
The Tibetan and Ladakhi languages are closely related and also have cultural similarities.
Capital of Ladakh
Leh and Kargil are the capitals of Ladakh and also have their own headquarters.
Chief Minister of Ladakh
Jamyang Tsering Namgyal is the youngest and the 8th chief executive counselor of Ladakh.
Governor of Ladakh
Former defense secretary Radha Krishna Mathur is the first lieutenant governor of Ladakh.
High Court of Ladakh
The high court in Jammu and Kashmir is the high court for both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Map of Ladakh:
Called to be India’s own Moonland, Ladakh is a place with some amazing landscapes and scenic beauty, making it to be heaven on Earth.
Ladakh is bounded by the beauty of the highest mountain ranges i.e. the Himalayas and the Karakoram.
Ladakh, as is popularly known, is a place for climbing, jeeps tours, rafting, and high-altitude trekking. from October to May, you can go on an amazing long road trip, or if not, by air.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is one of the important attractions for most of the tourists because of its architectural monasteries, eye-catching sceneries and an inside into the rich culture of Ladakh.
50 Best Places To Visit In Ladakh:
A glacial lake of around 150 km that is spreading over India and China, is a tourist attraction because of its ever-changing colors and a must when you are in Ladakh.
2.Royal Leh Palace
A 17th-century palace, resting atop a high hill, giving a panoramic view of Leh, is a dilapidated yet mesmerizing important cultural destination.
3. Magnetic hill
Everyone has come across this popular Magnetic hill or Gravity hill in Ladakh. It needs to be visited to understand the optical illusion of going uphill when in reality you’re going downhill.
4. Tso Moriri
A small and dainty lake, which is placed at the end of the Changthang plateau and is filled up by the streams and melting ice of neighboring mountains is a must lace to drive to while enjoying the scenic beauty and also a great place for camping.
5. Zanskar Valley
Placed between the Zanskar ranges and the Himalayan ranges, it is one of the most isolated places of Ladakh with mostly the Buddhist people making up to be the inhabitants.
6. Nubra valley
This is a place to be cherished and visited if you’re heading to Ladakh during the summers because this place has a lot of eye-catching places and things to offer the tourists to name a few will be Diskit monastery, Nubra river, the Shayok, etc
7. Shanti stupa
Built by the Japanese, this place provides some enormous panoramic view and serene scenes of sunrise and sunset, situated at a height of about 4000 meters, has to be on the must list.
8. Kargil (Kashmir- Leh highway)
The second-largest city after Leh, Kargil is a city of rich culture, history and political importance, the place where one of the famous movie, LOC Kargil was shot. It also is known as the battleground of the 1999 Kargil War, where the Pakistani soldiers disguised themselves as Kashmiri military insurgents and occupied Kargil, in and out.
9. Khardung La
One of the most popular motorable passes is Khardung La pass, which is one of the highest motorable passes in India.
10. Lamayuru Monastery
It is one of the oldest Tibetan monasteries which is maintained by the Red Hat Sect of Buddhism. The epic collection of wall paintings filled with rich colour, murals, scriptures makes it to be a worth it one.
11. Alchi monastery
One of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, it is an ancient Buddhist monastery which houses a lot of Chortens and temples and also a lace which consists of 3 major shrines of great importance to the Buddhist.
12. Shey monastery
It was the summer capital of Ladakh once upon a time with its palace and monastery. Though the place is mostly in ruins, the monastery is a place to visit and will be worth it.
13. Diskit Monastery
One of the renowned monasteries is the Diskit monastery, which is located in the Nubra Valley with a huge statue of 100 feet of the Maitreya Buddha built at the entrance.
14. Gurudwara Patthar Sahib
Not known by many, this gurudwara is built on the Leh- Kargil highway, in the loving memory of Guru Nanak sahib.
15. Sangam point
Coming from the literal meaning of the places’ name, where the Zanskar River meets the Indus, a great sight for the eye where 2 rivers of different colour meet each other at a point.
16. Spituk Gomba
A hub for the monastic community, a place for the deity of Kali, number of monks to give insight to the deep history of Buddhism or enjoy the view of the rugged terrains from such a height, it has it all to keep you hooked to be a must on your list.
17. Namgyal monastery
Also known as Dalai lama’s temple, it is a place of serenity and is an apt place for the solitude seekers.
18. Tso Kar lake
It is also known as the White Lake, which is the littlest among the 3 highest saltwater lakes in Ladakh.
19. Drass valley
Also known as the Gateway to Ladakh, it is the second-highest and coldest region of Ladakh. A place which totally changes during the summer with lush green beauty all around is a place to visit to soothe the eyes.
20. Leh post office
As mentioned in the movie “102 not out’’, it is the highest post office in the world with around an altitude of 3500 meters.
21. Hemis Monastery
It is one of the famous visiting places of Ladakh, for being one of the richest and largest monasteries of Ladakh. It is also famous for its rare antique collection.
22. Hall of fame
A place which is a museum to show the dedication of different Indian army in the wars of Kargil and Siachen sectors, by displaying different weapons, outfits, etc used in the particular period.
23. Thiksey Monastery
A 12 storey monastery with 10 temples with an assembly hall and quarters for Monk’s accommodation, the main attraction of this monastery is the 40 feet statue of Maitreya Buddha.
24. Trek to Markha valley
An adventurous trek in the Leh and Ladakh region is provided by this beautiful trekking experience in Markha valley.
Who doesn’t love cycling? And a visual treat of snow-filled mountains and eye-soothing sceneries, while you pedal yourself down through different lanes, is the best a cycling lover can ask for.
Just like cycling, motorcycling is also one of the lovable sport and a bike ride to Leh is a dream for many young groups out for expeditions. And this itself gives he reason why motor rides are a hyped-up thing.
27. Spot the snow leopard
To spot a snow leopard has around 50% chances in all total but this makes it more exciting. Try to get yourself lucky to spot and try it in Hemis National Park.
28. Indus River Rafting
River rafting has been an adventure sport and river rafting in Indus is one of the attractive tourist sport because it goes along the desert side by taking you through beautiful glimpses of nature.
29. Camel Safari
This has always been a means of transport for trading in Ladakh and now this can also be enjoyed as a piece of recreation by the tourists.
30. Yak safari
Yaks or Dong safari is a unique experience to enjoy in the desert where you get to see the serene nature, the crystal blue water, etc while on a safari.
31. Leh market’s shops
Buying a souvenir is the most important thing to buy when you are such an amazing place and which place can be better than the Leh market which has a plethora of bing options.
Skiing and snow-covered mountains go hand in hand. With steep slopes of trans- Himalayas, it makes an amazing spot to showcase the skill of skiing in Ladakh. Skiing trek is also one that is gaining popularity.
33. Lala’s art cafe
Situated in the old town of Leh, it’s a coffee house with a collection of black and white photographs and also different carvings starting from the entrance, making it a delight after a worn-out day.
34. Hemis festival
This is a 2-day festival, one of the biggest of Ladakh festivals, celebrated on the tenth day of Tibetan Luar month every year, to honour the memory of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
35. Losar festival
It is one of the popular festivals of Ladakh, starting on the 11th month of every year, with the rituals and rites performed according to Buddhists and pre-Buddhist practices.
36. Ladakh festival
Ladakh is mostly covered in winter and snow for around 8 to 9 months. So when winter comes, they welcome it with lots of celebration. One such is the Ladakh festival, which is celebrated for 7 days with processions and different dances like yak dance, etc.
37. Phugtal monastery
Situated at the mouth of a natural cave, in the south-east part of the Zanskar region, hic gives the look of a honeycomb from a distance and is a popular site for the trek lovers.
38. Stok palace
It acts as a summer home for the Royal family of Ladakh and the king Sengge Namgyal. It is now treated as a heritage hostel and consists of the Stok palace museum and a temple.
39. Chemrey monastery
Known for housing almost a storey high statue of Padmasambhava, this monastery is 400 years old unexplored monastery. It also consists of old scriptures which has texts embedded in gold and silver.
40. Likir monastery
It is situated in the Likir village and is the oldest monastery in Ladakh. The 75 feet statue of Maitreya Buddha made up of gold is the main attraction o the visitors.
The long peaceful walks and the monastery is the main attraction of the tourists o this village, which is situated on the banks of Indus river.
42. Panamik village
Lying on the bank of Nubra river, some of the main attractions of these villages are the hot springs, pashmina goats, etc
A peculiar place because the landscapes in here give the illusion of that on the moon, it is a sure place to blow your mind.
44. Darcha Padum trek
There is plenty of camping sites one can come across while on his region.
45. Samstanling monastery
It was founded 10 years ago, which is an important Buddhist shrine and is located in the Nubra valley. The murals and paintings of Buddha are its main attractions.
46. Wanla monastery
Located in Lamayuru region, this place is popular for consisting an 11 headed Avalokitesvara statue.
47. Stanka Gompa
This can give you a spectacular panoramic view of the surroundings, which takes small shaky bridge o reach the Gompa.
48. Gotsang Gompa
It is a retreat centre or a centre of tranquillity above the Hemis Gompa.
49. Shang Gompa
A centre of tranquillity and bliss with chantings of the monks, amidst the terrains of the Leh and Ladakh, is a bliss.
50. Lachung temple
One of the oldest holy sites of the region, this is a religious site found in the Diksit village, which consists of a lot of colourful and narrative paintings.
Wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Ladakh
1. Changthang wildlife sanctuary
This sanctuary of Ladakh, located in the Changthang valley of Leh, is spread across an area of 1600 sq. km.
And as Ladakh is a place of beautiful landscapes, along with different species of flora and fauna you also get to see the eye-soothing scenic beauty.
It is a place which has the highest water lake i.e. Tso Moriri and also gets to visit the world’s highest village.
The main attraction regarding the fauna spotting is the snow leopard. Apart from a snow leopard, other species spotted are Tibetan wolf, Wild Yak, Brown bear, etc.
2. Hemis national park
Spreading across an area of 4400 sq.mt, it is popularly known for being the largest national park of South Asia. it is the best place for spotting snow leopards and is home to around 16 mammals and around 47 bird species. And it goes without saying for being the paradise for nature lovers because of the added beauty of the surrounding landscapes
Besides being a habitat for animals and birds, being named after the 400 years old Hemis monastery, it also hoses no. of Chortans and Gumphas.
Ladakh is famous for
Being a place that belongs to the Tibetan sect of Buddhism, it houses some of the pristine monasteries of India.
The meditative environment it compasses is also magnanimous.
2. Highest motorable pass around the globe
The Chang-La and Khardung-La, some of the highest passes of Ladakh, with the beautiful scenic view, while passing through the valleys of Changthang and Nubra, makes it an awesome experience.
3. World’s best momos and Thupkas
The Indo-Tibetan restaurants are one of the high-class restaurants serving some delicious traditional Ladakhi food to satisfy your salivating mouth.
4. Camping trekking
Being a hotspot for offering a plethora of options like mountaineering, river rafting, etc it gives a mesmerizing scenic beauty to amount the snow-covered mountains and the valleys, making it one of the favorite attractions for the travelers.
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