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Journeys to the top of the World ..................................................Leh-Ladakh 

Ladakh, the region of mountain passes, a piece of broken moon land- a perfect place to witness the unmatched beauty of nature. Ladakh is the highest plateau of the Indian state of Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000m. It lies between 32 to 36 degree north latitude and 75 to 80 degree east longitude. The total area of 45110sq km makes Ladakh the largest district in India. Ladakh region is bifurcated in Kargil and Leh districts. Kargil lies at an altitude of 2750m and Leh at 3505m. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. Ladakh is a high altitude desert as the Himalayas create a rain shadow thus prohibiting the entry of monsoon clouds. The main source of water here remains the winter snowfall on the mountains that forms the glaciers. Like in the rest of the parts of the country where people pray for rain, here Ladakhis pray for the glaciers or snows to melt for irrigation and drinking purposes. It is believed that Ladakh was once under water centuries ago. A Buddhist saint, Dha Chomba Nomegung came from Kashmir and prayed for the existence of human life there. His prayes were listen and water receded, giving way to mountains and valleys.                

 

BEST TIME TO VISIT - LEH LADAKH :: The best time to visit Leh- Ladakh is during the summers. During the winters, the temperature plunges below the freezing point and hence, many tourists feel uncomfortable visiting the place under these harsh conditions. The summers are cool, sunny and pleasant.

  • Permit and Passport :: Tourists do not require permit for Leh, however, all foreigners are required to get themselves registered at Drass, Rumtse and Serchu if they are traveling overland. Those traveling by air get the registration done at the airport. Tourists are required to get permit for some of the restricted areas like Tsomoriri, Tsokar and Pangong Lakes, Dhahanu and Nubra Valley, which can be obtained from District Magistrate, Leh.
  • Avoid acute mountain sickness :: Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 ft. above sea level, therefore, make it sure to take complete rest on the day of arrival and get you acclimatized.

:: ACCESS INFORMATION ::

Ladakh from Kashmir Valley via Kargil is approx. 434 Km, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet 3,505 m high Zoji-La, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh.

Manali to Leh - 473 km. Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second overland approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from around mid-June to early October. This high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho, altitude ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. A number of high passes fall enroute among which the highest one known as Taklang-La is world's second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet/5,235m.

By Air :: The Leh airport is situated about 8 kms. from the city centre. Leh is connected to Srinagar, Delhi and Jammu by air.

  • Warning: Those with heart trouble or lungs problem should check with a doctor before flying to such a high altitude.

 

:: DESTINATIONS IN LEH - LADAKH  ::

Ladakh is Gifted with high mountain, valleys, lakes beautiful ancient Buddhist monasteries on hill top and their resident (monks) chanting prayers, absolutely different culture and the smiling faces of the Ladakhis is like an icing on the cake - adding further to its breathtaking landscapes. Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh as they stand out in their unique way, epitomizing exquisiteness. Tourists are awe stuck by the beauty of this place.

LEH ~ KARGIL ~ ZANGSKAR ~ NUBRA VALLEY ~ CHANG THANG

   

:: Main Attractions - Monasteries :: 

Spituk Monastery ~ Shanti Stupa ~ Tsemo in Leh ~ Stok Gonpa and Palace ~ Shey Gonpa and Palace ~ Thiksey Monastery ~ Hemis Monastery ~ Lamayuru Monastery ~ Deskit Monastery


:: LEH :: 

Is located to the north of the Indus River at an elevation of 3600m above the sea level. The town is dominated by the Namgyal Tsemo (victory peak) built by King Tashi Namgyal in 16th century, as a royal residence and the nine-storey Namgyal Palace built by King Sengge Namgyal on his victory in reunification of the Upper and Lower Ladakh in 17 century. Leh became the capital of Stod (upper Ladakh) during the reign of King Graspa Bum- Lde, who ruled Ladakh from 1400 to 1430 AD. In the later period, Leh became an important center for trade in Central Asia, along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and ultimately between India and China. Buddhist monasteries are the must visit places in and around Leh. 

Leh has a cold, arid climate with long, harsh winter season that is, from October to early March. The winter temperature in Leh dips down at maximum to -29 degree Celsius and during summers the mercury rises to a high of 33 degree Celsius.

:: KARGIL ::

Kargil (2704 m), situated about 204 kms from Srinagar in the west and 234 kms from Leh in the east, is the second largest urban centre of Ladakh and headquarters of the district of same name. The town lies nestling along the rising hillside of the lower Suru basin. Kargil is famous for the fine apricots grown here. In May the entire countryside becomes awash with fragrant white apricot blossoms while August, the ripening fruit lends it an orange hue. Numerous caravans carrying exotic merchandise of silk, brocade, carpets, felts, tea, poppy, ivory etc. transited in the town on their way to and from China, Tibet, Yarkand and Kashmir.

Places to See in Kargil :: 

  • Suru Valley > Suru valley has a beautiful landscape to view, especially when it gets dotted by flowers in the summer. The valley expands from Kargil town upto the Penzi La watershed, from where the Suru river rises.
  • Panikhar > is the best station to undertake mountaineering expeditions to the various Peaks surrounding the valley.
  • Drass > is around 60 Kms. to the west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar. The place has beautiful pasture grounds and majestic mountain peaks surrounding it. Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world, where the temperature goes as low as - 50 in winter.
:: ZANGSKAR :: 

Zangskar valley lies to the south west of Leh, surrounded by the Himalayan and Zangskar ranges. It is the most isolated of all the trans- Himalayan valleys. Zangskar comprises two main valleys of Stod (Doda chu) and Lunak (Tsarab chu), which converge below at Padum. The valley has an area of about 5,000 sqr. Kms. and is situated at an elevation of 13,154 ft.

Places to see in Zangskar ::

  • Padum - Padum is the sub-tehsil of Zangskar which is 464 kms from Leh and 234 kms from Kargil. Once the Capital of the Zangskar valley, today it is the administrative headquarter of the region and probably the most populous settlement of Zangskar.
:: NUBRA VALLEY :: 

Nubra Valley Known as Ldumra (the valley of flowers) is situated in the north of Leh. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. above the sea level. The main attraction in this area is the Bactarian Camels (Shaggy double hump Camel) around sand dunes, Deskit and Samstanling monasteries. The road journey to Nubra valley leads through the world highest motorable road, Khardongla Pass which is at a hight of 18380 ft above sea level and around 50 kms from Leh.

:: CHANG THANG :: 

Changthang means Eastern Flat Land; it is the land of nomads located in the east of Leh on the Chinese border.

Places to see in Changthang ::

  • The Tsomoriri Lake is a beautiful mountain bounded expanse of water, around 240 Kms. from Leh in Rupsho Valley. The Lake is located at 14,000 ft. near a small village of Korzok.
  • Pangong Lake is 40 miles in length and nearly 2 to 4 miles in width at a height of 4267m above the sea level. One third of the lake is in India and the rest comes under China. The colour of the water is the most striking feature of this lake that catches the first glance of one’s eyes, especially towards evening, when it is of rich deep blue, over the whole expanse which turns completely light blue at morning time. The water of the Lake is not that salty as sea water but it’s as cold as ice.

     :: PANGONG LAKE ::

:: GOMPA :: 

  :: MONASTERY BUDDHA ::

        :: TSOMORARI LAKE ::      

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