Discover India - Ladakh

Ladakh is often described as "little Tibet", because culturally it has a lot in common with Tibet. It is also known as the Land of Passes (Lapass; Dacha-land).

Ladakh is a region in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India. It is engulfed by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalayas and the Karakoram. It consists of two districts, Leh and Kargil. Its capital is Leh and Ladakhi is the main language of Ladakh. 

Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir is known for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture, is a land of freezing winds and burning hot sunlight. Little rain and snow reaches this dry area, where natural forces have created a fantastic landscape. The main source of water in this land remains the winter snowfall. 

Major Festivals

Hemis festival is an annual dance-drama festival. It is held in honour of Guru Padma Sambhava, a Buddhist missionary who spread the message of Lord Buddha in the Himalayan region. Splendid masked dances are performed to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns. A colourful fair, displaying some beautiful handicrafts, is the special highlight of the festival. Ladakh is also known for the Sindhu Darshan Festival, which is held in the honour of River Sindhu or Indus River. 

Exploring Ladakh 

Ladakh offers great scope for undertaking adventure activities, the most popular and best established among these are trekking, mountaineering and river-rafting.The Leh Palace is one of the major attractions in Ladakh. The palace was built in the 17th century but it is now in ruins and deserted. It was once the home of the Royal family. This palace built for King Singge Namgyal, now houses the Ladakhi branch of the Indian Government's archaeological conservation organization.

The architecture of Ladakh contains Tibetan and Indian influences and monastic architecture reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, is a common feature on every Gompa, ecclesiastical fortifications of learning, lineage and sadhana (that may be understood as a conflation of a fortification, a monastery or nunnery, and a university (Sanskrit: vihara), located in Tibet, Ladakh (India), Nepal, and Bhutan. Famous gompas are Lamayuru, Likir, Thikse, Hemis, Alchi and Ridzong Gompas. 

Among the popular places of tourist interest include Leh, Drass valley, Suru valley, Kargil, Zangskar, Zangla, Rangdum, Padum, Phukthal, Sani Monastery, Stongdey, Shayok Valley, Sankoo, Salt Valley. 

Ladakh Wildlife 

Ladakh is also home to some of the rare animals and plant species of the living world. These include the Mountain Goat (Ibex), the Snow Leopard, Brong Drong (wild Yak), Kyang (wild Horse) and Nyan (large horned sheep), Musk Deer and the Tibetan Antelope (also called Chiru). 

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