LADAKH - THE ROOF
TOP OF THE WORLD
Situated at the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is bound by the mighty Karokaram mountain range in the north and the Great Himalayas in the South. Landscape of Ladakh has been modified and sculpted into the spectacular shape by the wind and the erosion over the centuries. Its altitude ranges from 9000 to 25000 feet. And is traversed by other mountain chains, the Ladakh range and Zanaskar range. It is rightly called “the broken moonland” and “land of endless discovery”.
Today a high-altitude desert, shelter ed from the rain-bearing clouds of the Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalaya, Ladakh was once covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exist on its south-east plateaux of Rupshu and Chushul, in the drainage basins or lakes of Tso-moriri, Tso-kar and Pangong-tso. But the main source of water is winter snowfall.
Dras, Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the Himalaya's northern flanks receive heavy snow in winter, this feeds the glaciers from which melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in summer. For the rest of the region, the snow on the peaks is virtually the only source of water. As the crops grow, the villagers pray not for rain, but for sun to melt the glaciers and liberate their water.
Ladakh, in Tibetan 'La-tags', is the large eastern district of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (India), with Leh as its capital, embracing the valley of the upper Indus. with a mean elevation of 4,000 meters, it is termed 'Mar-yul' or 'Lowland' and 'Khachanpa' or 'Snowland'. Popularly known as 'India's Tibet'. With an area of 96,000 square kilometers (including Kargil district), Ladakh occupies forty five percent of the total area of Jammu and Kashmir. Until 1834 A.D Ladakh was formerly an independent country with close affinity with Tibet. In 1834 it was seized by Zorawar Singh, General of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu, and thus formed a part of Gulab Singh's new kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh's northern boundary is formed by the Karakoram Range, one of the biggest mountain massifs in the world. To the south of the Karakoram Streches the Ladakh range which, with its two major passes- the Chang-la and the Khardong-la (both over 5,000 meters) forms the northern boundary of the Indus valley, which constitutes Ladakh's heartland. South of the Ladakh range and cut off from its main chain by the Ladakh the Indus, lies the Zanskar range. These three mountain chains embrace the two rivers valley, those of the Indus and the Shayok. The Indus, known as the Sengge-khabab or 'Loin River' in Ladakh, runs the entire length of the region. Zanskar lies to south-west of Leh(capital of Ladakh) and Dras, Purig and Suru to the west of Zanskar (Kargil Disrict). The greatest majority of Ladakhis are Tibetan-speaking Buddhist though there are Muslims in Leh and Kargil. There is also small community of Christians as well. The Buddhism most Ladakhis practice is that of a the Mahayana or Vajrayana school, and Chortens (Stupa), Mani wall, prayer flags and prayer wheel form a striking feature of this region. Ladakh is famous for Buddhist monasteries, enshrines rich Buddhist paintings and sculpture. Some of them Alchi and Lamayuru are founded in 10th-12th century A.D. One of the major attractions of the Ladakh region is the tremendous scope it offers for trekking. The avenues available for this activity range from short, day long treks up and down mountain slopes or across a ridge to enjoy the sheer beauty of the Himalayan scenery, to long trans-mountain traverses involving weeks of walking and camping in the wilderness. Another significant attraction of Ladakh is its beautiful lakes. It contains numerous lakes and springs of the world record. All sheets of water in this region are famous by the common Tibetan word TSHO- now pronounced as 'TSO'. The PANGONG -LAKE is the largest lake in Asia. It is about 150 kilometers and forms the boundaries between in between old Ladakh and Rudok. More than 50 kilometers of this lake falls in Ladakh on the Indian side and more than 90 kilometers of it falls in Tibet now in China.The TSOMO-RIRI Lake is a very fine sheet of water which is about 25kilometers in length and 4-6 kilometers in breadth. It is situated at an elevation of 15,000 ft above the sea level. A large number of wild animals including Kyang (wild horse of Ladakh) and different kind of birds are seen around this lake. Some among these birds like black neck crane are rare species. During the summer month it provides an ever lasting experience in life which can be called as rarer on this earth. Some of other major lakes are TSO-KAR near Tsomoriri and Kyang tso are also beautiful lakes of Ladakh.
Leh Ladakh Packages provides the best opportunities for achieving the adventurous targets, because almost all highest peaks, glaciers and passes of the world are connected to the Ladakh - Himalaya their subsidiaries, towards north, east, south and west. Since Ladakh is a trekking and mountainous country, and the greatest portion of it falls within the largest and highest massifs of mountains in the world. There are a large number of un-scaled peaks and the rarely known highest peaks of the world record and there is a greater scope for the Mountaineering all over the world to achieve the records. Ladakh also prove scope for adventurous white water rafting in Indus and Zanskar river.
Ladakh has fascinated tourist, travelers and visitors from far off places all over the globe. Most of visitors in Ladakh are fascinated by the unique geographical features, occurrences as the highest elevated land of the world. Some visits Ladakh to see a its barren mountains; some are eager to see a piece of high plateau which had been under the sea for millions of years ago. Some of them visit Ladakh to see the Buddhist monasteries enshrined rich Buddhist murals paintings and sculptures. Some visit the Lamas to study the new, re-designed Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh; some visit to enjoy the glimpses of the highest snow-crowned peaks of the world, Saser Kangri , Nun Kun, K2, and so on. Some visit to see, ascend and conquer the highest and unconquered peaks of the world, some rush to see and trek through the rarely-seen landscapes, valleys and mountain passes of the world fame. Some come here to enjoy the scene at the first and second highest Motorable road trek of the world and some come to enjoy the rich culture dance, unique dresses and remarkable hospitality shown by the people of Ladakh.