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Home>>North India>>Jammu-Kashmir>>City>>Leh ladakh

Leh ladakh

Ladakh

Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tourLadakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 feet (2750m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Since 1974 the Indian Government has encouraged tourism in Ladakh.

History of Ladakh
Ladakh was continuously pestered by the periodical attacks of the Kashmiri Muslims in the 16th century until it was finally annexed to their state in the mid 19th century.

One can see distinct influences of the different visitors to the place in the Ladakhi culture. Indo-Aryan Mons coming from across the Himalayas brought with them the North-Indian Buddhism to the Ladakhi highlands, Darads hailing from the remote western parts of the Himalayas and Baltis of the lower Indus Valley introduced the concept of farming in the region while the wandering nomads from Tibet brought the skills of herding to Ladakh.  

The kingdom attained its greatest geographical extent and glory in the early 17th century under the famous king Singge Namgyal, whose domain extended across Spiti and western Tibet right up to the Mayum-la, beyond the sacred sites of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.

The golden era of Ladakh came in the early 17th century, when its trade flourished under the wise rule of the famous king Sengge Namgyal. His empire stretched across Spiti and western Tibet all the way to the Mayumla situated beyond Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. During this period Ladakh became recognized as the best trade route between the Punjab and Central Asia . The merchants traveling through these routes frequently dealt in textiles, spices, raw silks, carpets, dyed stuffs and narcotics and Leh, served as halfway rest house for them.

The popular means of transport was on foot or on horsebacks. The modern vehicles are only in use since the 1960s when the Srinagar- Leh motor-road was finally constructed. The famous pashmina (better known as cashmere) also came down from the high-altitude plateaux of eastern Ladakh and western Tibet, through Leh, to Srinagar, where skilled artisans transformed it into shawls known the world over for their softness and warmth. The irony is that it is this very trade that attracted the greedy eyes of Gulab Singh, Jammu's ruler to this independent kingdom resulting in a decade long war and turmoil. There followed a decade of war and turmoil, which ended with the emergence of the British as the paramount power in north India. Ladakh, together with the neighbouring province of Baltistan, was incorporated into the newly created state of Jammu & Kashmir.

After the partition in 1947, Baltistan moved over to the territories of Pakistan while Ladakh is still in India as an integral part of the J&K state.

Capital of Ladakh - Leh
Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tour
With an area of 45110 Sq Km. and Altitude Range of 2,500 To 4,500m, Leh is the the largest town of Ladakh. The Population of Leh is 1,17 lacs . Climate remains dry cold during winter and dry hot during summer. Light woollens are required during summers. Barley( Sattu)  is the Staple food and Gurgur Tea is the Delicious soft drink. Best time to visit Leh is June To End September.

Leh is the largest town in Ladakh. A majority of Ladakhis are Tibetan Buddhists and the majority of the remainder are Shia Muslims. Ladakhis have in recent times called for Ladakh to be constituted as a union territory because of its religious and cultural differences with predominantly Muslim Kashmir

The region is watered by the Zanskar River, which flows into the Indus River just below.The district is bounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the West, China in the north and eastern part, and Lahul Spiti of Himachal  Pradesh  in  South East.

Leh is a beautiful destination with so many attractions and is the center of Tibeto-Buddhist Culture for ages. Its colorful gompas have attracted the devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Besides, it is also a favorite hiking locale and is known for some of the best hikes in the country.

People & Religion

People
Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tour
The people of Ladakh are generally quite different from those of the rest of India. They bore much resemblance to Tibetans and Central Asians with their round faces, short stubby noses and small 'chinki' eyes with pronounced cheekbones. Today's population seems to be mostly of Tibetan origin, in eastern and central Ladakh. Further west, in and around Kargil, the people's appearance suggests a mixed origin.  Ladakh was believed to be inhabited by the Indo-Aryan race of Dards, who originated somewhere down the River Indus, the regular influx of Tibetan people has resulted in the disappearance of racial characteristics of 'Dards' here . Most of the population of eastern and central Ladakh wears Tibetan facial features.  

Religion
The main religion in Ladakh is Buddhism. The ancient Buddhist inscriptions and frock engravings are found all over Ladakh including the now Muslim-majority areas of Drass and lower Suru valleys. The divide between Muslim and Buddhist Ladakh passes through Mulbekh (on the Kargil-Leh road) and between the villages of Parkachik and Rangdum in the Suru Valley, though there are pockets of Muslim population further east, in Padum (Zanskar), in Nubra Valley and in and around Leh.

The 'Mani' walls mark the beginning of the Buddhist villages and Gompas or monasteries can abundantly be seen here ranging from a tiny hermitage to the large temple complexes of the monks.

The culture and lifestyle of the people of Ladakh is deeply influence by their religion. However, there are a number of Muslim inhabitants here too, especially in the valleys of Drass, Kargil and Suru, mosques and Islamic-style 'Imambaras' can often be seen. Islam too came from the west. A peaceful penetration of mainly the Shia sect spearheaded by Islamic missionaries, its success can be attributed to the early conversion of the chieftains of Dras, Kargil and the Suru Valley. There are also pockets of Sunni Muslims among which the Dards of Drass and the Arghons of Leh are the largest groups 

Economy
In Ladakh animals are scarce and water is in short supply. The Ladakhis developed a small-scale farming system adapted to this unique environment. The principal crop here is barley. Rice had previously been a luxury in the Ladakhi diet, but has now become cheap and staple.  Fruit is grown At lower elevations while the high altitude Rupshu region is the preserve of nomadic herders. Two main export items are apricots and pashmina. The staple crop all over Ladakh is Grim. It is sowed in May and reaped in mid-July.

Flora and fauna
Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tour
The fauna of Ladakh have much in common with that of Central Asia in general and that of the Tibetan Plateau in particular. Exceptions to this are the birds, many of which migrate from the warmer parts of India to spend the summer in Ladakh.

Though it is not easy to spot wildlife in Ladakh, yet undoubtedly there are animals who have adapted themselves to survive in the harsh conditions such as rocky terrain, bitter cold, poor shelter and minimal vegetation. Many of these animals especially the large mammals have a long fur to protect them from severe cold.

Most common animals found here are - Yak (a wild ox), the largest animal found in Ladakh, Nyan, the largest sheep in the world, Bharal, the blue sheep and Urial, the smallest sheep in the world. Yaks have long black fur and curved horns and weigh a ton. They spend their winters in the lower valleys in herds and move upwards in summers. Nyan is one of the most magnificent sheep in the world and is also known as Great Tibetan sheep. They hardly ever descend lower than 4,500 m and are only 200 in number and reside mostly in eastern Ladakh. Bharals are the most common sheep found in Ladakh and reside at altitude of 6,000 m and can be seen grazing in Alpine meadows in herds, mainly in summers.

Ladakh was described as 'the land where snow never melts and only corn ripens'. There are hardly any trees and vegetation in sight except for the few narrow valleys that are fertile. Due to the high altitude of the region, the rarefied fauna that can be found here is of Oriental and Palearctic type. One can see a greenish patch of land, along the riverbanks .It only near the snow line that one can see wild roses, willow groves and some herbs. Vegetation becomes stunted and sparse due to the rapid decrease in temperature.

Around the Town

Leh Palace

Gompas in Ladakh
Ladakh's gompas contain the finest examples of the religion's artistry in Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tourmetalwork, painting, sculpture and the decorative arts. A visit to at least several gompas is necessary to appreciate the full flowering of the region's religious beliefs and the artistry that has gone into Ladakh's celebration of Buddhism. During a gompa's festival, the masked dances take place. The entrance verandah will almost always have a mural of the Guardians of the Four Directions: yellow is for north, blue for south, white for east, and red for west.

Off the central courtyard is the Dukhang, or main assembly hall, where the lamas gather for prayers and meals. The Dukhang usually has a high seat reserved for the gompa's Rimpoche (an incarnate Lama, who is the gompa's head), two or more rows of seats for the lamas, numerous thankas (religious paintings on cloth that are hung like a banner) decorating the walls and pillars and statues of various figures including at least one of the Buddha.

More About Gompas in Ladakh

Festivals of Ladakh

Weather of The Cold Desert
Summer temperatures rarely exceed about 270 C in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to -200 C even in Leh.
Maximum & Minimum Temperature  in Summer  is 25 & 8 deg c and (-) 5 &  (-) 20 in Winter.

How to Reach Ladakh

Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh city, Leh ladakh travel Guide, Leh ladakh Travel and Tourism, Leh ladakh tours, travel to Leh ladakh, Leh ladakh Travel Info, Leh ladakh city travel destination, city travel, Jammu Kashmir travel, Jammu Kashmir city tourBy Air : Leh is connected by regular flights to and from Delhi (daily), Chandigarh, Jammu (twice a week) and Srinagar (once a week). Indian Airlines www.indian-airlines.nic.in operates regular flights to Leh from Delhi (fare USD 135), Four flights in a week from Jammu and once in a week from Chandigarh and twice from Srinagar. Jet Airways www.jetairways.com also operates daily flights between Leh-Delhi (fare USD 143).

By Road:
The Srinagar-Leh road with a stretch of 434 km is the most popular land route to Ladakh and remains open only from early June to November.

The second most land route to Ladakh is the Manali-Leh road stretching across 473 km. It has been opened recently and remains open mostly from mid-July to mid-October. The trip on this route becomes more interesting with the panoramic views of the snow-clad peaks of the Western Himalayas on the way.


Internal Transport :
The cheapest way to travel within the region is by public buses, which ply on fixed routes according to fixed time schedules. The most comfortable and convenient though expensive mode of travel, however, is by taxi, which are available for hire on fixed point-to-point tariff.

Road Distances

  • Srinagar-Leh 434 Km
  • Manali-Leh 473 Km

  • Srinagar-Kargil 204 Km
  • Delhi-Leh 1047 Kms
  • Leh-Kargil 234 Km
  • Kargil-Padum (Zanskar) 240 Km
  • Leh-Deskit (Nubra Valley) 118 Kms.

 
 

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