Ladakh is a high altitude plateau at india’s northern frontier. Its ancient name is Maryul, ‘red land’ or ‘low land’, to distinguish it from the higher Tibetan plateau. To its west is the vale of Kashmir and to the south, himachal Pradesh. Mountain ranges frame the plateau all sides. The timeless Indus river bisects the plateau, shaping oasis villages over the ages. The most prominent of these is Leh, the capital of ladakh. The present name of ladakh is a rendering of la-tags – ‘ land of the high mountain passes’ – the impossibly high passes over forbidding mountains, which trans-himalayan caravans, monks and mountain people have crossed with determination over centuries. Ladakh has been shaped by their influences, by Tibetan vajrayana Buddhism, by the palaces and politics of its royal lineages, by the freezing long cold winters of a high altitude mountain desert. This is the story of how this all came together to make ladakh uniquely popular among the world’s greatest travel destination.
Ladakh’s history from the middle ages to the 19th century, becomes intimagtely connected to that of Tibet, in the mid 8th century, Buddhism was having a hard time securing a foothold in Tibet, which was under the influence of the animistic bon religion, the Tibetan ruler king trisong deutsen tried desperately to maintain Buddhism at the state religion, even inviting the Nepalese scholar sankarakshita in an attempt to subdue his people. It wasn’t until the king begged for help from a yogi from uddiyana (present day Swat in Pakistan) that Buddhism established itself in central Tibet.
Nestled in the midst of the Himalayas, Ladakh is a beautiful Himalayan destination becoming popular every year. Ladakh which means "the land of may passes" is a treasure of rich cultural and natural resource as well as a heaven for adventure enthusiasts. Situated at an altitude of 11500ft above sea level the region is a perfect gateway to relieve yourself from the hot summer months & experience something unique and different.
Leh, the ancient capital of ladakh region is perched at an altitude of 3,350m amidst starkly beautiful mountains, which softly combine into an oasis of lush fields.
Today Leh has emerged as an important tourist destination providing a usual holiday. It is a perfect place for climbing, trekking, white water rafting and camping. The region is studded with a number of Buddhist monasteries and glorious palaces.
The headquarters of india’s largest district. Ladakh with the smallest population was first opened to tourists in 1974.
Leh, for centuries, was an important commercial junction linking central Asia with Kashmir, and kulu valley of Himachal Pradesh with Tibet and China.
In this land of lamas there are many monasteries called Gamphas the Buddhist deities are worshipped. The nearest to the town is Shankar Gompha 3km away containing many golden images and a collection of rare pictures. The famous Gomphas, numbering 12 are scattered around the town. Hemis Gompha is the largest of them all 49km from Leh, with several golden images and stupa adorned with most valuable metals. The famous Hemis festival is held in the second half of June or early July every year it features mask dances. It draws crowds of spectators. A legend says that Christ spent some years as a boy here.
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