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.