The Most Beautiful Place in India
Ladakh is literally translated as “Land of High Passes” in Tibet. It’s a piece of broken moon land- a perfect place to witness the unmatched beauty of nature. It is a region encircled by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya to the south and the Karakoram to the north. Being the highest inhabited region in India, it’s culture and history is closely related to that of Tibet. It's the highest plateau of state of Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000 meters above the sea level.
From the Snow-draped peaks losing their heights in the clouds, also below them to the cold and arid high altitude, vast glaciers, dusty valleys, it has all. Not only the landscapes, but also the climate in Ladakh is unique.
Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food. Not only Cuisine but Architecture & Music and Dance are influenced by the Tibetans culture. Ladakh is greatly influenced by the Tibet and also is known as Little Tibet.
One is spoiled with the choices as there are so many places to visit Ladakh. Few are as follows:-
Leh: Leh is the capital and the largest town of Ladakh. It has many historical places and monasteries. Connected with Srinagar and Manali by road and air, it has become a tourist hub.
Kargil: Known for its old world charm, Kargil is the second largest town in Ladakh.
Pangong Lake: Is one of the most beautiful high altitude lakes in the world. Relatively unknown before it got popularized by the blockbuster film 3 Idiots. Now it seemed to be the favourite destination for many tourists.
Lamayuru Village and Monastery: Is the centre of Buddhism and one of the most revered Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. Not to be missed is the Moonscape near the village.
Tsomoriri Lake: Another high altitude but less frequented than Pangong. This lake is pristine and exotic.
Sand Dunes at Hunder: Beautiful village Hunder, is known for its mysterious sand dunes and Nubra Valley.
Khartungla Pass: Located at an altitude of 5,360 meters, it is among the highest motorable roads around the world.
Gompas and Stupas: These religious monuments are an integral part of the land. They are as old as their civilization and have experience the test of time.
Zanskar: Sub-district of Kargil and one of the most remote parts of Ladakh. Is the least visited place in Ladakh.
Adventure Sports and Outdoor Activities: With such diversity of landscape, Ladakh & Zanskar offer a range of adventure activities such as trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking and river rafting (on the Indus & Zanskar rivers). Jeep safaris to the lakes of Tso Kar, Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso are popular as is the jeep safari to Nubra Valley along the old caravan trade route to Central Asia. Once you get to Nubra, try a camel safari on a Bactrian camel.
Leh is dotted with historical edifices such as the Leh Palace, a 17th-century structure that looms over the main bazaar, the hilltop Shanti Stupa sponsored by Japanese Buddhists in the 1980s and the fort-monastery complex of Namgyal Tsemo on a hill above town. Leh's bustling markets –the Main Bazaar and Old Town – are delightful with their colourful traditional wares. Further away are the palaces at Stok and Shey and the World Heritage Site Alchi Monastery, famous for its frescoes.
Festivals: In Ladakh every occasion, marriage or birth, harvesting or commemoration of the head Lamas founding of the monastery, New year and flowering is celebrated by feasting, dancing and singing of the folk songs that forms a part of its living heritage.
Few among them are Hemis, Thiksey, Karsha and Spituk, Dosmochey, Matho Nagrang, Stok Guru Tsechu, Phyang Tsedup, Yuru Kabgyat, Losar Celebration, Sindhu Darshan, etc.
Most famous is Ladakh festival takes place in September 1-15 every year in Leh and villages. The inauguration ceremony takes place in Leh on large scale with the procession of various cultural troupes from different part of Ladakh. It passes through Leh Market dancing, singing with traditional music, in colorful traditional Ladakhi dresses, and finishes at Polo ground after performing their best dances and songs. The festival last for 15 days with regular program in different villages. The program includes Archery, Polo, and Mask Dances from the monasteries, traditional dances by cultural troupes from Villages. There are series of musical concert and dance program in Leh town.
The best time to visit Ladakh is from June until September, the region's summer season. At this time, it's an unparallel paradise, with stunning views, clear, warm and sunny weather. It is often said that Ladakh is perhaps the only place where you can get both sunburn and frostbite at the same time.