Ladakh, 'The Land of High Passes', is a region sandwiched between two majestic mountain ranges of Asia; Karakoram range in the north & The Himalayan range in the south. It is found in the vicinity of two other ranges i.e. Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, hosts the highest airport of the world. The serene waters of the Indus, Shyok and Zanskar rivers originate from glaciers and traverse northwestward, transforming the otherwise barren region into a swathe of lush green pastureland. The region constitutes one of the coldest deserts of the world as well as lush meadows. It is known for magnificent, clear and refreshing waters, golden clouds, snow laden peaks, lofty mountains, shimmering brackish lakes and landscapes ranging from lush meadows to dusty slopes.
Some of the most popular and exotic tourist attractions of the region include:
Tso Moriri Lake: This exhilarating lake is situated in the Changthang plateau. White clouds with their reflection in its clear waters present a breath-taking view. Korzok, a picturesque village, lies adjacent to this lake. This village hosts a beautiful monastery and is a popular tourist attraction.
Pangong Tso Lake: It is the largest salt-water lake in Asia and forms a border with Tibet. Located 4300 meters above sea level, it is 5 km wide and 130 km long. This lake is completely frozen during the winter season, despite being a brackish lake. The marine life is absent, while only a few migratory birds like Brahminy ducks and gulls and the beautiful Black-necked Crane can be seen here. This lake changes colors with the seasons. The sparkling shades of green, violet, purple and blue present a delight to watch.
Yak Safaris: Yaks, locally called 'dongs', are the largest animals of the region. Safaris on Yaks bring travelers closer to the local lifestyle and culture.
Ladakh is known for its magnificent monasteries, locally known as Gomphas. They are situated on the hilltops and mountaintops. They are religious structures where Buddhist monks and nuns practice their faith. They reveal minute details regarding the Buddhist religion and culture. Some of the most popular monasteries of Ladakh include:
Thiksey Monastery: This splendid monastery is situated almost 18 km from Leh. Travelers from all over the world visit this place. The holy shrines in these gomphas bare witness to a glorious past. It is home to a historic temple, known as Lakhang Nyerma.
Alchi Gompa: It is situated 67 kms from the Leh town on the embankments of the Indus River. This Gompha, influenced by and built in traditional Indian architectural style, forms one of the most impressive monasteries in the region.
Owing to its location between famous Asian mountain ranges Ladakh is one of the most popular adventure tourism destinations of the world. Some of the activities include:
Mountain Climbing: Ideal period for mountain climbing is from June to September, when most of the snow has melted. Most popular peaks include Suru valley and Nun Kun.
Jeep Safaris: Jeep safaris provide the finest opportunity to explore Ladakh. Ladakh has a rough to moderate terrain and jeeps are the best options for the travel. Nubra, Tsmori and Dah Hanu as well as Khardung-la Pass provide a breathtaking and challenging drive.
Ladakh is the land of natural as well as spiritual beauty, and an exciting adventure destination. The more you visit it, the more you crave to visit again.
Sara has deep interest in writing informative articles on Travel and Tourism in India. Also given her words to a portal for Ladakh Tours where one can find info on Trekking in Ladakh, Ladakh Trekking Tours and other destinations of India. Explore- ladakh.india-tours.net