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LADAKH INFORMATION

Quick Facts

Area: 98000 square km. Population: 135000 Altitude: Altitude ranges from 9000 feet (2,750 m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672 m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Temperature: In summers, up to 27 degree Celsius, and in winters it is -20 degree Celsius and below in the higher reaches. Best Season: Early June to October Clothing: In summers, light woolen clothes and in winters, heavy woolens with wind proofing

Genereal Information on Ladakh

The flight into Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is an exciting experience as you fly over the dramatic regions of the Himalayas, the Great Himalayan, Zanskar, Ladakh and the Karakoram. This area is highest inhabited region of India and the River Indus with its tributaries flows through the ranges. Ladakh is a separate province of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and distinct in its culture and topography. It is a region which was opened to tourists only a few years ago.

Since then, a large number of visitors, particularly tourists from European countnries, particularly are traveling to Ladakh to see its unspoiled beauty. The landscape of Ladakh is glorious but stark and the surrounding mountains are painted in colors that only nature could choose. Only adventure lovers are recommended to visit Ladakh. Ladakh should not be compared with a hill station like Srinagar. The region is predominantly Buddhist and several important Buddhist monasteries dominate the region. Some of them are located within visiting distance from Leh and normally day excursions are ideal to visit most of them. The clean, dry air, magnificent scenery and the warm hospitality of the happy people makes Ladakh truly memorable.

The territory of Ladakh represents some 70 per cent of area of the State of Jammu and Kashmir with the lowest density of population in the world which is less than one or two per square kilometer. The effect of elevation and isolation amidst snowy mountains has made the countryside forbiddingly arid and produced one of the most unusual climates in the world. Burning heat during the day is normally followed by extreme cold at night and dry cold air makes you feel its presence. The average annual rainfall is less than four inches. As you drive up and down this arid, barren, sun-beaten and wind-swept countryside, you may get a peculiar feeling that you are somewhere on the lunar surface – this topography character has given Ladakh the term “Moonland”

History of Ladakh

Though Ladakh seem to be remote but it has never been totally isolated. Over the centuries the trade route from India to Central Asia passed through this area through its high passes and desert landscape. Caravans carrying spices, brocades, pearls, carpets, tea and other goods of daily needs took around two months to cover the distance from Amritsar in the Punjab to the Central Asian towns of Yarkand and Khotan! Leh and Kargil profited from this ancient route and also developed into the centers of trade. Since 1962, the fear of Chinese invasion made Indian Army to send a large contingent of the army to different areas of Ladakh. The army present here has been very significant for the political reasons but it has also done a lot good to the tourism of Ladakh. The requirement of the Army to reach to the strategic points has resulted in better infrastructure of roads and Ladakh has become for the rest of India reachable and the region seems to be now ‘opened up’. Near Leh in the upper Indus Valley there is the cultural heartland of Ladakh, where the old capitals of the area and many splendid palaces and Gompas (monasteries) can be found

MAP AND HIGHLIGHTS

Best Months to Visit Ladakh - April to September

Daily Temperature Range: 1 C - 25 C (dry)

Altitute range: 11000 ft - 18000 ft

Low oxygen - Need acclimatization (low activity/rest for at least one day