Ladakh is the highest livable region with a settlement. It is located in the northern part of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh is an adventure and spiritual destination, which is attracting tourists with charming Buddhism culture, interesting natural beauties, mountain passes, adventure activities, and the colorful festivals.
Do you know that the monks wear masks and dance during festivals in Ladakh? Well, this is not the only interesting fact of the land.
Located on the Mount Saraswati, the Indian Astronomical Observatory is one of the top ten highest operating telescopes in the world. The advantage of such a location is that it makes it the best place for stargazing and photography. Do you know that the panoramic view of the Pangong Lake from this observatory during night will be starry? The telescope is located at 4500m above sea level. At this height the air will be free of pollution and will be dry. This allows the viewers to catch a clear view of the heavenly objects.
The Bailey Bridge is the highest altitude bridge in the world. The bridge runs between Dras and Suru River and was built in 1982. The bridge is located at 5,602m above mean sea level. This bridge is a temporary structure built with lattice steel and has a strategic value in military operations.
The area located between Zanskar and Suru Valley is the country’s highest located settlement region. The Rangdum community populates this region, which is 4,400m above sea level.
Pensi-la might not be the highest point in the world, but it is the highest located agricultural field region. The agricultural land closer to Tso Moriri Lake of Korzok region stands at 4,600m above sea level with agricultural fields.
The camel with two humps is common in Ladakh. The Bactrian camel safari is a very common activity in the Nubra Valley region. These camels are native to Mongolia and were imported here during the silk trade era.
The first interesting fact is that the Pangong Lake is located at 4,350m and it is the world’s highest located salt water lake. This lake is shared between India and China. Saline water sources do not usually freeze during winter but, the Pangong Lake freezes.
Technically speaking the Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is an optical illusion. Although it looks like an uphill route, it is actually downhill. So, if you leave your vehicle in neutral and turn off the ignition, it would look like your car is being pulled uphill.
Ladakh is a high altitude desert. It has very less vegetation and is filled with a barren landscape of ice and rugged mountains. Although it is a desert, the land is home to around 225 bird species including some of the rare birds like Hoopoe, Robins, Finches, Redstarts, and others. During migration time, you can find many migratory bird species too.
While the rest of the world follows the Georgian calendar, the Ladakhis follow the Tibetan calendar. Under this calendar, each year has 12 months with 30 days in each. It looks pretty normal, right? Well, here is where it starts to get weird. Every third year will have 13 months. The months do not have any name and are just numbered. The days are named after the five visible planets, the sun, and the moon. That extra month in every third year is added at the time of any auspicious days and any inauspicious weeks or days are just cut off from the calendar.
While movies have focused on male Kung-Fu masters and warriors, Ladakh teaches Kung-Fu to monks and nuns, equally.
The world’s top three motorable mountain passes are located in Ladakh. The highest of all is Khardung La Pass at the height of 5,359m above sea level. Every adventure lover who visits Ladakh makes sure to try a mountain bike ride along this route.
Ladakh is the highest plateau located in Jammu and Kashmir. The plateau is located 3000m above mean sea level and it runs from Kunlun Ranges to the Himalayas and includes the Upper Indus Valley.
According to travelers, the Chadar Trek is one of the hardest trekking trails in the world. This trekking route covers the trails of the frozen River Zanskar. Thus, the route is open only between late December and February. The temperature will be less than zero throughout the trails.
The Karzoo ice hockey rink in Leh is the highest natural rink in the world. The rink is an irrigation pond located 3,484m above the mean sea level and during winter, the pond freezes, making it an open-air ice rink. The winter sports club tournaments take place in this rink.
The Hemis National Park of Ladakh is the largest national park in the country, covering 4,400 square km of wildlife. Located to the west of River Indus, this place is famous for snow leopard, blue sheep, Tibetan sheep, Ladakhiurials, and others. This is also the right place to enjoy birdwatching. Top birds to spot in this region are brown accentors, robin accentors, red-billed choughs, and Himalayan snowcocks.
Katpana desert is the highest desert in the world, located 2,226m above the mean sea level. This desert runs between Khaplu Valley and Nubra Valley (Ladakh). Do you know that the snowfall is the major water source in this desert?
We already saw that the Pangong Lake is the highest saltwater lake that even freezes during winter. There is one more interesting fact about it. This lake changes its color based on the position of the sun. In the morning, the lake will be azure blue and it becomes green in the afternoon and red by evening.
No, this is not the bulletproof coffee that is trending today. The temperature is very low and to avoid their lips being damaged by the cold temperature, the monks started this tradition of butter tea. This pink tea is made with tea levels, butter, and salt.
Siachin Glacier is an Indian military base and it is protecting India from invading forces. The Indo-Pakistan war of 1972 took place in this region.This makes Siachin Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield at the height of 6000m above mean sea level. This place also has the world’s highest telephone booth. Even during the mid-day, the temperature can go as low as -14 degree C.
Lunar landscape is the term given to the places where the environment looks like the moon. One such lunar landscape is found in Lamayuru village of Ladakh. The rock, color of soil, and the panoramic view would look like as if it is on the moon.
If you wish to experience Ladakh, pack your bags and plan your vacation.