Ladakh, one of India’s most breathtaking places, gives a vision of beauty. The region is located in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh Ladakh, the famous main city of Ladakh is one of the coldest deserts in the world. The chilled weather, rocky lands, blue waters, and delightful views highly charm the tourists.
Even though the weather is quite icy here the people and residents of Ladakh are highly warm and welcoming. The Karakoram Mountains border the region in the north, and the Himalayas border it in the south. Ladakh is a heaven for people who love adventure. People highly enjoy activities like mountain climbing, motorbiking, camping and water rafting.
Nomads were the starting community of people lived here. They came in the Neolithic period with their yaks. After some years, Buddhist pilgrims travelling from India to Mount Kailash settled in this region permanently. Due to the settlement of these pilgrims, Buddhism became one of the main religions of Ladakh.
The kings of Ladakh officially made their kingdoms from Kashmir to Tibet over many centuries. Forts and houses were reserved for kings in the region. During the 16th century, Muslim armies from the West used to attack Ladakh very often. And also the Tibetan armies from the east in the 17th century. The Namgyal dynasty later rescued the Ladakh. They extended the kingdom as far as Nepal and established a new capital leh.
The Dogra army from Jammu secured the Ladakh in the 19th century. Later, it became part of the states of Jammu and Kashmir. On 31st October 2019, Ladakh separated from the rest of Jammu and Kashmir and became an independent union territory. Moreover, Leh district and Kargil district are 2 districts in which Ladakh is divided.
Geography of leh, ladakh
Ladakh is the administrative territory of India since 1947. The highest-altitude plateau region in India is Ladakh. It covers a few parts of the Himalayan ranges, the Karakoram Mountain ranges, and the upper Indus River. Ladakh is the largest region which covers around 60000 square miles.
A large-scale lake system surrounded Ladakh earlier. Anyway, now there are a few south-east lakes on the Rupshu and Chushul plateaus. Heavy snowfall covers the region in winter. The northern part of the Himalayas like Suru Valley, Dras and Zanskar receives heavy snowfall. When the ice melts, glaciers release water into streams used for irrigation during summer.
Leh, the beautiful district is located in the valley of the upper Indus river. It is one of the largest districts in the country. The area of the district is around 45100 sq. km. Kashmir bounds Leh from Pakistan in the west, china in the north-eastern part and Himachal’s Lahul Spiti in the southeast. Leh, with an altitude of 3524 m, connects to Srinagar, Kashmir in the southwest via National Highway 1. And to Manali via the Leh- Manali highway in the south.
If one is finding the best spots to visit in Leh Ladakh, it is a waste of time as every place and spot here is as mesmerising as heaven. People have seen so much about the beauty of Ladakh on the internet but trust me, Ladakh is far fascinating than anyone can imagine. A lot of tourists come to see the charm of this place throughout the year. And absolutely, the place is worth the hype.
There is a list of places which are must-visit spots which cannot be missed.
- Shanti stupa: The peace temple, Shanti stupa, stands at the top corner of Leh at Changspa. It is one of the new and most visited places in Leh. Ladakhi and Japanese Buddhists built the temple in 1991. It represents the religious significance of Buddhism.
People who enjoy trekking can reach on top by the stairs. The road is also connected to the stupa. Built at a high altitude, one can enjoy the wide view of the entire city. People prefer to go here in the evening so they don’t miss the amazing sunset from the top.
- Leh Palace: King Sengge Namgyal built the Leh Palace in the 17th century. The nine-story palace looked similar to the Potala palace of Lhasa, Tibet. Royal families were given the upper stories of the palace, and the lower stories were used as storerooms.
Leh Palace was converted into a museum for people to see the belongings and old stuff of the royal families of that time. The museum is so large that it is visible from almost every part of Leh. In addition, the visitors like it as they can enjoy the view of the whole city from the roof of the palace.
- Hall of Fame: It is a military war museum situated on Leh – Spituk Gompa road, near Leh airport. The Indian army maintains the museum. It displays the clothes, weapons, pictures, and arms of the wars fought by India in the last many years.
After that, they also have a collection of the memories of our heroic soldiers who died in the wars. There are also the clothes and arms of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives at Siachen Glacier.
In conclusion, The Hall of Fame is the place which will develop proud feelings towards our great Indian army. Hence, it is a must-visit place at Leh.
- Pangong Lake: This magical lake is very famous for its colour-changing view due to the sunrays and golden mountains around the lake. The blue water changes its colour 3 to 4 times daily. The length of the lake is 134 km and it is 5 km wide. However, China occupies around 60% of the lake area.
Also, the salty water lake freezes in winter. During winters, a thick layer of ice covers the lake, allowing people to walk on it. It is a famous spot among tourists because of its obvious beauty. People also visit here to do fun activities like pre-wedding shoots, photography and beautiful bird watching. There are so many movies shot here so you may visit some actors
- Leh main market: There is no point in going to Ladakh and not visiting its main market. Everything is loaded in the market. For instance, jewellery, clothes, mouth-watering street food, groceries and whatnot. The market is near other famous spots of Ladakh like the Hall of Fame, Jama masjid, Leh Palace etc. In addition, there are many shops where one can go shopping for Tibetan handicrafts, stone jewellery, silver jewellery, woollen and pashmina stuff, crockery, and bottles of delicious jam made with apricots.
The first thing that a tourist observes is the Tibetan culture in Leh Ladakh. The place has a strong influence on Tibetan and Buddhist culture. Therefore, people who have visited Tibet will recall Ladakh as a mini-Tibet. But still, the Ladakhi culture itself is lavish and amazing. However, One of the major parts of their culture is the demography of Ladakh.
- Festivals – Saka Dawa, Losar and Hemis Tsechu are some of the most celebrated festivals in Ladakh.
- Language – The most common languages of this region are Ladakhi, Urdu, Tibetan and Balti.
- Music and dance – Folk music and dances of the town represent its rich culture and heritage in a very elegant way. The famous dances are jabro , lharna , shondol , the mask dances and chham. In addition, the music loved by people here is their folk music which involves religious chanting with instruments like drums, daman, piwang and surna.
- Food – Most served dishes are with the ingredients like beans, potatoes, pumpkins, barley and beetroot. In winter, people like to have a plate of hot rice with mutton or chicken with yak meat. Dishes like momo, thukpa and skyu are also famous Tibetan foods enjoyed by residents and visitors a lot.
- Costume – In Ladakh, men usually wear a long woollen robe, known as goucha. Women also wear a similar kind of robe known as bok. Moreover, Both men and women wear a long hat called perak.
- The magnetic hill in Ladakh is a land where gravity fails. The hill is a downhill road which gives an upward illusion surrounded by slopes carved in a way. The Srinagar – Leh highway was constructed on the hill.
- Ladakh has India’s first and the world’s largest robotic telescope. The Indian Astronomical Observatory owns it. It is present in Hanle, a remote village of Ladakh.
- The Bailey Bridge of Ladakh is the largest bridge in the world. Engineers built the bridge between the Dras and Suru rivers. Also, on the left side of the bridge, there is a hydroelectric dam and a lake on the right.
- In the Drukpa monastery of Ladakh, there is a thousands-year-old tradition in which the kung fu nuns come to visitors wearing their pyjamas and welcome them by singing.
- Filmmakers shot the popular movie called 3 Idiots here. The climax scene of the movie on Pangong Lake leads to a rush of tourists. In addition, Filmmakers also shot other famous movies like Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Dil Se here.
The mountains covered in snow, monks in robes, blue water shining like a diamond under the sun’s rays, and the amazing bike rides are some of the first things which come to mind when someone talks about Leh Ladakh. Right? Once a person lands on that beautiful land, they will feel like they are in paradise for sure.
In other words, the place is so full of love and beauty that it is unfair for the tourists themselves to not visit and be admirers of the town. So, I hope you also visit this magical land and fall in love with our country a bit more.
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