Situated on the western end of Himalayas, Ladakh has four major mountain ranges - the great Himalayan, Zanskar, Ladakh and the Karakoram, passing through it. A maze of enormously high snow capped peaks and the largest glaciers outside the polar region, dominate the terrain where valley heights range from a mere 8000 ft. to 15000 ft. while passes of upto 20000 ft. and peaks reaching above 25000 ft. can be seen all around. The world’s largest glacier outside the polar region, Siechen is here. Such daunting heights no wonder determine the land’s temperature.
The major waterway of Ladakh is the Indus which enters India from Tibet at Ldemchok. Starting near Mt. Kailash, the Indus according to Mythology, sprouts from the mouth of a loin, and is therefore known as Senge Khababs. Thus summer temperatures rarely exceeds about 27 C in the shade, while in Winter they may plummet to minus 20 C even in Leh. Surprisingly, though the thin air makes the heat of the sun even more intense than at lower altitudes. It is said that only in Ladakh a man sitting with his feet in the shade suffers from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time!
Ladakh is bounded by world's two mightiest mountain ranges the great Himalayan and the Karakoram, It lies athwart two others The Ladakh and the Zangskar range.
It lies at altitude ranging from about 2,750m to 7,673m. The temperature in summer goes upto 27C and in winter it drops down to minus 20C.
The Mons from Kullu and Tibet were the first population immigrants to Ladakh as shepherds' nomads and settled down near Indus River. Later drads and others immigrated to Lower Ladakh. Due to cultural and geographical similarities Ladakh is popular among tourists as Little Tibet. Buddhism is the dominant religion in Ladakh while Kargil district is dominated by Muslims and Buddhist. The approach to Ladakh is invariably marked with many walls that are long upto 2 to 3m, decorated with engraved stones bearing the mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" and Chortens which symbolizes Buddha's mind.
The Villages and Mountains are ornamented with gonpa or monastery residing thousand of Buddhist monks, hermits and Nuns .Islam came to Ladakh from central Asia and Kashmir after 15th century AD. Now the Kargil, Drass and Suru valley is populated by Shia and Sunis are in Leh and Kargil in smaller scale.
How to Reach
Permit and Passport