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Leh & Ladakh

Leh & Ladakh

An Introduction

Leh is the largest town in Ladakh district of Jammu & Kashmir in India. One of the most beautiful and picturesque sites, it is a desert located on high altitude and is all about high hills, lakes and marvelous long trails along the mountains of Himalaya. The meaning of the name Ladakh is ‘land of high passes’. It used to serve as an important trading route in the history due to its location but now it does not play as a trade route. However it is an important part for India and therefore the Indian Military maintains a high presence in Ladakh. Ladakh is bordered by Tibet, Lahul & Spiti, Baltiyul, Karakoram Pass and Xinjiang. Ladakh is famously known for the beauty of landscapes with mountains, valleys and the culture of the people living here is all different from the other states of India.

History of Leh & Ladakh

During old times Ladakh used to serve as a major trade route between India, China and Tibet. Due to its close existence with Tibet, most population of Leh is Tibetan and the Tibetan culture is dominant in this area of India. Although it has been found that it was inhabited since the Neolithic times, Ladakh came into being after the rule of King Bhagan who reunited the area after Muslim conquest and built the Namgyal Dynasty.

Tourist Attractions in Leh & Ladakh

The highest desert of India is gifted with natural beauty and the Places to Visit in Leh & Ladakh are-

Nubra Valley

One will find sand dunes of white sand and clean river water covered with blue sky in Nubra Valley. This is the beauty of this cold desert which is at an altitude of 10,000 feet from the sea. To reach Nubra, one has to travel through Khardung La Pass where there one will have breath-taking views surrounding the pass.

Pangong Tso Lake

This lake is well known for its flawless beauty. The Pangong Lake is partially located in India and partially in China. It is situated at an altitude of 4,350 feet above sea level and stretches to a length of 134 kms. The clean blue water, surrounded by huge mountains and white sand banks makes this place look heavenly and it has been shot in different Bollywood movies.

Shanti Stupa

The Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese monk who was travelling to India with a mission to spread the message of peace. The white domed Stupa is in Leh and also called as the Peace Pagoda. The Stupa is located at a height and from here one can watch the whole town of Leh. People visit the Shanti Stupa to experience inner peace and also to have panoramic views of the area.

Thikse Monastery

The Thikse monastery is located at an altitude of 3600 feet above a hilltop and resembles to the Patola Palace of Tibet. The twelve storey building also has a Maitreya statue to commemorate the visit if 14th Dalai Lama. The monastery has several temples and other buildings located inside the complex.

Leh Palace

Leh Palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal on the verge of the Patola Palace of Lhasa, Tibet. The palace overlooks the whole town and was former residence of the Namgyal Dynasty. The palace has a museum which has rich collection of crowns, jewellery and dresses of the royal elite.

Languages Spoken in Leh & Ladakh

In Ladakh, Tibetan is the language that is used by the local people to converse. The other language is English which is understood and spoken by a few people here.

Famous Festivals in Leh & Ladakh

The culture and traditions of Ladakh is unique from the other parts of the country and the main festival celebrations are Losar Festival, Stok Guru Festival, Thikse Gustor, Dosmoche Festival, Sindhu Darshan, Hemis Tsechu Festival. Most of the festival celebrations take place with gatherings of people in the monasteries.

Cuisines of Leh & Ladakh

 The different cuisines one will find here are Thukpa, Tsampa, Ngamphe, Skyu and the steamed dumpling called Momos which are the most popular among tourists.

Climate in Leh & Ladakh

The climate of this area is cold desert climate. The temperature during winters reaches below 0 degrees and it gets freezing cold here. The best time to visit is from March to October.