Ladakh Tourism | Ladakh Tour | Ladakh Travel

Ladakh "land of high passes" is a region of India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that extends from the Karakoram Range in the north to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir and its culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet.  It's slightly smaller than Scotland, the settled population lives between 2700m and 4500m, and nomadic encampments even higher, and it's the largest and the least populated region of Jammu and Kashmir. The people are a mixture of Buddhist and Muslim 50% of each. Buddhists are the majority in the east close to the Chinese border and a slight majority overall while Muslims have the majority in the north and west. Travelers are likely to see more of the Buddhists as the majority of the tourist attractions are in the east and directly related to Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Ladhak was opened for tourism in the year 1974 and has been attracting worldwide attention for mountaineering and trekking, white water rafting on the Indus and Zanskar rivers, A large number of domestic and foreign tourist visit Ladhak during its short season of June / July to September.

Ladhak has three main regions i.e. Leh, Zanskar, Kargil and Saru Valley. The main tourist sites relate to Tibetan Buddhism, and to the stunning landscape. Ladakh is not only home to some of the most beautiful and serene monasteries you'll ever see, but it also a land of rich natural beauty - and it's this natural beauty that hits you so hard, because it's a barren beauty. Many travelers find themselves at a loss to understand how something so barren can yet be so beautiful. Be respectful, these are holy places and active monks in most of them.

Must-see sites include "Moon-land-view" (the area around Lamayuru) on the Leh-Kargil highway; Many places in Ladakh need an inner line permit which is available for free in DC's office in Ladakh. A travel agent can also arrange the permit for Rs 100 per person within an hour on any working day. Starting May-2014, no inner line permits are required for Indian tourists to visit popular tourist places like Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley and Tso-Moriri Lake.

There are some regular tourist circuits starting from Leh which entail driving 200-400 km round-trip out of Ladakh.

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Pangong Lake (Leh-Karu-Chang La-Tangtse-Pangong Tso, 158 km, 5-6 hrs one way): This is a popular trip to Pangong Tso Lake and can be done by taxi/bike. Most people do it as a day trip starting early in the morning and come back in the evening. However, there are arrangements for the stay near the lake in Lukung & Spangmik and one can stay overnight either in tents or at several guest houses to enjoy this place at a slower pace.

Tso-Moriri Lake (Leh-Upshi-Tso Kar-Tso Moriri, 211 km, 7-8 hrs one way): This is another trip which covers two smaller lakes Tso Kar and Tso Moriri. There is accommodation available in Korzok(Tso Moriri) but camping near the lake is not allowed. Those who want can head out to Manali (444 km) doing a night halt at Sarchu or Pang.

Sham Valley (Leh-Lamayuru, 109 km or up-till Alchi only, 66 km): This is an easier drive along Indus river towards Kargil and one can also see the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar on the way. The places to visit en-route are Hall of Fame war museum, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Basgo ruins, Likir Monastery, Alchi Monastery(oldest Buddhist monastery of Ladakh region founded in 11th century AD, wonderful architecture and extensive collections of thangkas) and Lamayuru Monastery.

 Nubra Valley (Valley of Flowers) (Leh-Khardung La-Diskit, 118 km, 4-5 hr one way): This is another popular trip but difficult to do in one day. Nubra Valley may not be as beautiful as is touted to be, and is the second favorite for tourists as a trip out of Leh. Some people return from Khardung La (18,380 ft), which is claimed to be the highest motorable pass in the world. It provides excellent views of Ladakh Range as well as Karakoram Range on the other side. Accommodation is available along the way and in Nubra Valley at various places. The places to visit in Nubra Valley are Diskit(regional hub with a nice monastery), Hunder (9 km from Diskit, white sand dunes, camel ride, several mid to high range camping options), Sumur (monastery, camping), Panamik(hot sulfur spring, avoidable) and the recently opened Turtuk(inhabited by Balti people, was part of Pakistan up-till 1972, 5 km from Pakistan border, wonderful scenery and comfortable home stays).

Ladakh Tourism, Ladakh Tour, Ladakh Tour Packages, Ladakh Travel

Various monasteries-around Leh: There are few big monasteries around Leh and can be covered in one day. Most important of them are Shey(previous capital of Ladakh), Thiksey(beautiful location and architecture), Hemis(most important monastery or entire Ladakh region). Others are Spituk, Phyang, Stakna, Matho(stunning location) and Stok Palace & Museum(current residence of the deposed king of Ladakh)

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