Ladakh, popularly known as "The land of high Passes", "The Land of Mystic Lamas", "The Broken Moon" and "The Last Shangri-La". Ladakh is at an awesome altitude, this highland seems like the bridge between the earth and the sky!! It is here where the forces of nature conspired to render a magical unrealistic landscape, a landscape of extremes, blue waters and desert, freezing winds and burning sun, glaciers and sand dunes - Truly a paradox of nature like no other.It is bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges the Karakoram in the north and the Great Himalaya in the south, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 ft (2,750 m) at Kargil to 25,170 ft (7,672m) at SaserKangri in the Karakoram. In the prehistoric period Ladakh formed a great lake. Even at present the region has some of the largest and most beautiful lakes, Pangong lake, Tsomoriri lake, Tso-kar lake, etc.
Ladakh is totally isolated from the modern world. Even an Indian traveler will probably find no similarities in the land and people between the ones he leaves behind and those he encounters in Ladakh. It is one of the favorite tourist destinations located in the northernmost part of India. Lapped in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas, It has been the center of Tibetan-Buddhist Culture since ages. Its colorful Gompa have attracted the devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Besides, it is also a favorite hiking locale and is known for some of the best hikes in the country.
Ladakh covers an area of approximately 98,000 sq. km with a population of about more than 2 lakhs, it is a repository of myriad cultural and religious influences from Tibet, India and Central Asia.
Ladakh is India's highest, coldest and the driest zone. Ladakh has a cool and dry mountain climate. Much of Ladakh is above 11,000 feet (3,350 M). Therefore, you can expect warm to hot days in the summer and cool nights. In winter the temp may drop as low as -35°C. There is occasional snowfall in winter caused by “Western Disturbances”. Summer days are generally warm, 20°c to 30°C. Annual rainfall is 6''
The language of Ladakh is Bhoti, a Tibetan dialect with written Ladakhi being the same as Tibetan. Most of Ladakhi people know Hindi and many knows English, but in villages without road access neither can be expected.
Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being: Thukpa, noodle soup and Tsumpa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour. A dish that is strictly Ladakhi is skyu, a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables. As Ladakh moves toward less sustainable, cash based economy, imported Indian Cuisine are becoming more important. You are likely to be served rice, dal (lentils) with veggies even in villages without road access.
In leh town you can taste a vast range of cuisines - which includes Tibetan, north Indian, Chinese, Italian and even Korean.
Ladakh's flora and fauna are more similar to those of Tibet than to the main Himalaya and are a product of the dry climate, cold winters and short growing season. The animals of Ladakh have much in common with the animals of Central Asia and especially those of the Tibetan Plateau.
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