|» Location :
||Northern Most Part Of J&K
|» Also Known As :
||The Moonland, Little Tibet, The Last Shangri La
|» Significance :
||The Remotest Region Of India.
Ladakh is a land like no other.
Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great
Himalayas and the Karakoram,
it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh
range and the Zanskar range .
In geological terms, this is a young
land, formed only a few million years ago by the buckling and folding of the
earth's crust as the Indian sub-continent pushed with irresistible force
against the immovable mass of Asia. Its basic contours, uplifted by these
unimaginable tectonic movements, have been modified over the millennia by
the opposite process of erosion, sculpted into the form one sees today by
wind and water.
a high -altitude desert, sheltered from the rain-bearing clouds of the
Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalayas, Ladakh was once
covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exist on
its south -east plateaux of Rupshu and Chushul - in drainage basins with
evocative names like Tso-moriri, Tsokar, and grandest of all, Pangong-tso.
Occasionally, some stray monsoon clouds do find their way
over the Himalaya, and lately this seems to be happening with increasing
But the main source of water remains the winter
snowfall. Drass (also spelt as Dras), Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the
Himalaya's northern flank receive heavy snow in winter; this feeds the
glaciers whose melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in
For the rest of the region, the snow on the peaks is
virtually the only source of water. As the crops grow, the villagers pray
not for rain, but for sun to melt the glaciers and liberate their water.
Usually their prayers are answered, for the skies are clear and the sun
shines for over 300 days in the year.
The captivating landscape, with an incomparable
diversity of flora and fauna: Ladakh is regarded as the 'trekkers' paradise'
and, indeed, is a refreshing treat to the trekkers.
Trekking in Ladakh
Ladakh is the
ultimate destination for a trekking holiday, offering everything from short
and easy excursions to the long challenges of the snowy peaks, invoking
visions of the spectacular views, the lush meadows, green woodland and
Ladakh and its adjoining areas like Zanskar
valley provide excellent trekking routes, which allow the traveller to visit
the remote village in the far-flung area of these regions. The high mountain
passes, monasteries, yak herds on the high slopes would all give a feeling
of the land beyond.
Buddhism in Ladakh
The dominant religion of Ladakh is Buddhism, and it is the
living religion of the people here, the practice of which has enabled them
to live in complete peace not only with other religions but also with the
nature. It is manifest in the art and architecture of Ladakh. The
monasteries, or the gompas as they are called, are beautifully designed and
have the finest of sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes, gold and silver
chortens, paintings done on silk scrolls and walls and scriptures printed
out of hand-made wooden blocks. In the monasteries the devout pray for the
peace of the world.
Festivals of Ladakh
The centuries -old culture of Ladakh has found expression in
its monuments, monasteries, oral literature, art forms and fairs and
festivals. And in the time-honoured tradition of collective celebration ;
every occasion -marriage , birth , harvesting or even the flowering of
plants --- is marked by feasting, dancing and the singing of folk songs that
form a part of its living heritage .
How to Get there
The nearest airport is Leh. There
are flights from Delhi, Chandigarh and Srinagar. Road
There are two overland routes the Srinagar to Leh road remains open
from early June to November. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport
Corporation operates regular deluxe and ordinary bus services.