Leh-Ladakh - the paradise of mountains is home to the top three highest mountain passes in the world. Leh is the capital of Union Territory Ladakh. Leh-Ladakh is often referred to together and is popular for the divine and picturesque topography, enchanting monasteries, tranquil valleys, and lakes and the rich Tibet-influenced culture. It is also considered as a heaven by the adventurous souls due to its high altitude trekking trails amidst spectacular mountain ranges of the Himalayas.
Ladakh, on the other hand, is the highest plateau in India at an altitude of over 3,000. It extends from the Himalayan to the Kunlun Ranges and covers an area of 59,146 sq km. Leh is located at an altitude of 3,524 with Srinagar towards its southwest and Manali to the South. Due to such high altitude, the topography is dominated by mountains.
The rock carvings of Ladakh indicate inhabitants from the Neolithic era. In the work of Herodotus and Puranas, the earliest inhabitants are mentioned as a mixed Indo-Aryan population. In the 10th Century A.D, the ruler of Tibet Skit Lde Nemagon invaded Ladakh and established a strong central authority. During his reign, Ladakh was divided into two provinces as the area of western Tibet slipped away from the kingdom. Later in 16th Century A.D., it was reunited by the Ladakhi Ruler Sengge Namgyal. In the post-partition scenario, major portions of Ladakh were illegally occupied by Pakistan and China while the remaining acceded to India.
No other cities in India are blessed with the divine ranges of the Himalayas. Even the barren lands in the place disperse an unimaginable beauty of nature. No other place in India offers a chance to witness the Buddhist culture like Ladakh. In Ladakhi society, high status is enjoyed by the women population compared to other rural areas of India. The cost of accommodation and food in Ladakh is very low, which is generally rare in hilly areas. Ladakh also has the highest motorable passes in the world.
The culture of Leh-Ladakh is greatly influenced by Tibetan culture. The food is very much common with Tibetan Food with the most sought after dishes being the Thukpa and Tsampa. Another popular Ladakhi dish is the Skyu and hot butter tea. The most followed religion is Buddhism and folk dance and music are similar to Tibetan music and dance. Weaving is an important part of its tradition. The most popular sport is ice hockey. Tibetan medicine forms an important part of the traditional health system of Ladakh.
Travelogy India has customized Ladakh Tour Packages to experience the culture of Ladakh along with other architectures. When in Leh-Ladakh, your visit to the numerous Buddhist monasteries is a sure thing. You can also spend some time with the monks and get your minds rejuvenated. The best time to visit Leh-Ladakh is during winter from Apr to June.For the adrenaline junkies, a trek in the high altitude mountains followed by camping and water rafting on the Zanskar River is a must. Other places to visit are the Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso Lakes, Hemis National Park, Nubra Valley, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, and the confluence point of Zanskar and Indus river. Ladakh is also popular for bike trips through the high altitude passes. While you explore the place, you should not forget to fill your stomach with sumptuous Ladakhi cuisines.