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Best Indian Travel Guide

ABOUT LADAKH

Ladakh is a land like no other. Surrounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. The dense clouds and soar into the skies. Beneath the skies like a world inundated, lies a lost kingdom. Ladakh, the roof of the world opened to tourists only in the last decade. At an awe-inspiring altitude, this highland is the bridge between the earth and the sky.

Part fantasy, part reality, Ladakh, is where, the forces of nature conspired to render a magical unrealistic landscape,a landscape of extremes desert and blue waters burning sun and chilly winds, glaciers and sand dunes, a primitive battleground of the titanic forces which gave birth to the Himalayas.

 

PHYSIOGRAPHY

Jammu and Kashmir state I India is divided into three administrative division-JAMMU, Kashmir and Ladakh.Ladakh is the largest district,Ladakh was bifurcated into two districts viz. Leh and Krgil in 1979 for administrative convenience.Ladakh is situated in the northeast of India in the Indus valley basin. It lies between 32° 17’ ad 36° 30’ north latitude and 75° 50’ and 80°15’ east longitude, Ladakh is bounded in the north-east by China and Tibet ad in the north-west Pakistan. In the south it touches the border of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in the south-east. In the north-west is the karakoram range lying in the Hindu Kush moutais on the border of Afganistan and Pakistan. It was once crossed by the armies of Alexgender ane Baber to gain entry into the Indo-Gangetic plain.Karakoram pass at an elevation of 5575 m brought about a link between leh snd yarkand on the central Asian trade route.

 

BEST TIME VISIT

The best time to visit Ladakh is during summers. The summers in Leh Ladakh stretches from June to September. During this period, Ladakh as well as the nearby areas experience warm and sunny days (with temperature around 20-30 deg C) and amusing nights. For those who are interested in trekking, the peak season for Ladakh travel consists of the months of July/August. Around this time only, the passes on the Manali-Leh Highway and the Srinagar-Leh Highway become motorable and the tourist start coming soon after. The winter season is not supreme for travel to Leh Ladakh. This is because during winters, the temperature in Ladakh falls to below zero degrees often and the weather is quite cold and harsh. Also, because of heavy snowfall, the roads become unmotorable in winters.

 

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

Most of the festival events in Ladakh are the annual Spartan festivals. Among non-spartan events count the Losar or New Year celebrations and the notable Ladakh Festival organized by the Kashmir and Jammu government. The monastic festivals are dance-dramas in the gompa courtyards. The performers are the lamas, the monks themselves. Wearing colorful clothing and often terrible, at times comic masks, the monks perform mimes representing various aspects of the religion, be it the improvement of the individual soul and its sanitization or the conquer of good over bad. The events draw spectators from among the local populace, from near and far, in great numbers for attending these propitious events promises spiritual benefits aside the enjoyment of the party atmosphere. Huge crowds that get together heighten the sense of the occasion. Most monastic festivals are two-day events. Losar celebrations take close to one month and the Ladakh Festival is a two-week event. BOOK ON TIPS tours are designed around the dates of these unique events, bringing you the first hand experience of their festive atmosphere and thus enlargement your insight into the cultural heritage of Ladakh. Spitok Gustor(JAN,FEB), Dosmoche(FEB, MAR), Galdan Namchot(DEC), Losar(DEC, JAN) etc.

 

FLORA & FAUNA

A cold desert, Ladakh has high-speed winds, dry atmosphere, roacky and uneven terrain and very low temperature. Fa-hian, a famous Chinese traveler who wandered to this land in 399 AD described Ladakh as 'the land where snow never melts and only corn ripens'. located in mightiest mountains of the world, Himalayas, Ladakh is situated at 4,600 m above sea level and has often been referred to as the 'La-pass' or 'Dakh-land' (land of passes). There are hardly any trees and vegetation in sight except for the few narrow valleys that are fertile. However, the sky is clear and beautiful as if we are somewhere other than Earth. Due to the high altitude of the region, the rarefied fauna that can be found here is of Oriental and Palearctic type. Along the riverbanks, one can see a greenish patch of land and it only near the snow line that one can see wild roses, willow groves and some herbs. However, above that, due to the rapid decrease in temperature, vegetation becomes undersized and bare.

 

HOW TO REACH
  • By Road : Srinagar-Leh 434 Km, Manali-Leh 473 Km, Srinagar-Kargil 204 Km, Delhi-Leh 1047 Kms, Leh-Kargil 234 Km, Kargil-Padum (Zanskar) 240 Km, Leh-Deskit (Nubra Valley) 118 Kms.
  • By Air : Indian Airlines www.indian-airlines.nic.in operates 3 flights in a week between Leh and Delhi, 2 flights in a week from Jammu and once in a week from Srinagar. Jet Airways www.jetairways.com also operates six flights in a week between Leh-Delhi and Kingfisher Airlines www.flykingfisher.com operates daily flight Between Leh-Delhi.
  • By Internal Transport : The cheapest way to travel within the region is by public buses, which ply on fixed routes according to fixed time schedules. The most comfortable and convenient though expensive mode of travel, however, is by taxi, which are available for hire on fixed point-to-point tariff. For visits to the newly opened areas of Nubra, Dah-Hanu, Tsomoriri, Tsokar and Pangong Lakes it is mandatory to engage the services of a registered/recognized travel agency for making all the requisite arrangements including internal transport. Detailed information about bus schedules, taxi tariff, travel agencies can be obtained from the Tourist Office or Local travels guide "Reach Ladakh", available at Book Shops.

 

THE MAJOR PLACES IN LADAKH
  • Kargil : This area lies just behind the Zoji La Pass, and the center is Kargil, a small town with cobbled streets surrounded by apricot groves. Good panoramas of the Himalaya can be obtained on 03-04 day treks from Sanko to Drass via Umba, and on the more demanding Sanko to Mulbek via the Wakka La Pass at 4,930m.
  • Indus Valley : At an average elevation of 3500 m is sand-witched between the Zanskar Range on its South and the Ladakh Range on its North, This is the geographical backbone, and the historical heartland of Ladakh. All major sites connected with its dynastic history are here, starting with Leh, the capital city. The bulk of the population resides along the Indus. Its main attraction are the numerous Buddhist monasteries, quaint villages, fairs , festivals and bazars. Air and road communications converage at Leh.
  • Zanskar Valley : One of Ladakh’s remotest regions. A 300 km long valley ringed by mountains, only accessible by high passes. The Valley of Zanskar is situated in the inner Himalaya and is higher than most areas of Ladakh. The climate is very Harsh and receives very little rain fall. The twin peaks of Nun-Kun, its Monasteries and its extremely rugged, awe-aspiring landscape are its main attractions.
  • Shyok Valley : The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from Shyok. The Shyok River takes a southerly course after it is joined by the Nubra River. Thereafter the Shyok flows into the Indus at Keris.
  • Padum Valley : Padum the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, Padum (3505 m) is the present day administrative headquarters of the region. With a population of nearly 1500, Padum can be described as the most populous agreement of Zanskar, otherwise a very scarcely inhabited valley. Incidentally, it is only in Padum that there is a community of Muslims constituting nearly half the township's population, its origin in the area dating from mid 17th century. Lately, Padum has become a famous as a major trekking base and a popular tourist destination. Several places of tourist interest in the vicinity of the township can be visited in the course of entertaining walks.

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