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Leh

The Cold Desert

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  • General Information

    Other Name: Ladakh, District: Leh, State: Jammu & Kashmir, India
    Area: 50000 Sq. Km.
    Languages Spoken: Ladkhi, Tibetan, Balti, English and Purik
    Long Distance Code: +91-1982
    Importance: The cold desert
    Best Time to Visit: May to July
  • Description

    Ladakh…. The cold desert. The land where snow sun and silence prevail and time seems to stand still. Lands abound with majestic mountains; set in spectacular environment is Ladakh. The land, where human bows to the bounty of natural beauty and rigidity, at the same time. The vast mountain ranges, the clear blue sky and the Indus River flowing by. A mixture of Buddhism and Islam, with monasteries and festivities, the people of Ladakh are equally tough, just as the climatic conditions and the mountainous terrain. <br />Ladakh is the abode of the rare Kiang & highland Yak and once was on the famous Silk route from Xin Jiang to West Asia and the plain lands of India. What we see today is the land which has been uplifted by the tectonic movements by the process of erosion due to wind and water. In geological terms, it is relatively young land, formed just a few million years ago. <br />Here the people pray for Sun and not for rains for their daily source of water. As the sun shines, the snow on the glaciers melt flowing in streams and later taking the shape of rivers. <br />The earliest history known of this region is that of the Namgyal dynasty, which ruled this <br />tough terrain in equal tough manner for nearly 900 years. Starting from the 10th century till the interference of the Jammu king and later the British, Ladakh remained under the reigns of the Namgyal who not only were responsible for the extension of their kingdom, but also responsible for prevailing peace in the region. Buddhism was offered a vast patronage in this region, mostly due to its proximity to Tibet and its isolation from the plains. Being the main stoppage in between the silk route, Buddhism grew and kept its traditions alive in these arduous terrains. <br />Ladakh has often changed names, all of which give a good description of the conditions prevailing in the region are Lad wags, meaning land below the mountain passes; Bladwags which means the land of the lama and one is Maryul, the red country. <br />Ladakh is one of the lowest population densities in the world having 2 inhabitants per kilometer. The imposing mountains, the dry terrains, the chilly weather and the overpowering silence. But the smiling faces of those 2 inhabitants in one km area make all the difference.<br />The people of Ladakh are hard working and smiling. The harsh nature has taught tem to fight and live happily in these harsh conditions. Mainly followers of Buddism and Islam, the people of Ladakh belong to different ethnic backgrounds. They follow their own rites and rituals, toil hard to stay alive and entertain themselves with various forms of dances and dramas. To witness such cultural festivals of Ladakh is an opportunity not to be missed for. <br />Ladakh is a virtual paradise for Adventure sports - Mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting, canoeing and many others.<br /><b>Leh</b> is the capital of this cold desert, Ladakh. Leh town offers a number of sightseeing options for the visitors. A historic town that served as the royal capital of the Old Kingdom, it is also a bustling town of the region more because of its prominence for the period unknown. <br />The land mark of this small town is the imposing nine-storey <b>Leh Palace</b> built by King Singge Namgyal. Built in the Tibetan form of architecture, this palace is said to be the inspiration of the famous Potala in Lhasa. The ruins of the old fort built in the 16th century lie beyond this palace on the Tsemo Hill, which a royal residence of the Namgyals. The Ladakh <b>Shanti Stupa</b> and the Jama Masjid are the worship points were people of the faith come to bow down in front of the almighty. <br />The central area of Ladakh has the greatest concentration of major Buddhist monasteries called gompas. The <b>Lamayuru</b> is believed to be the oldest and also a sacred site for the pre-Buddhist religion known as Bon. The other monasteries of <b>Phiyang, Hemis and Chemrey</b> were all founded under the direct patronage of the ruling Namgyal dynasty. <br />The Spituk village and the Praying ground of the Dalai Lama, the Jiva - Tsal are the places worth visiting. <br /><br />Some of the areas in the Ladakh - Leh region were restricted earlier, due to security reasons. But now many such circuits have been opened with special permits to boos tourism in the area and open another natural charm of Ladakh region to the travelers. Trekking is the most reliable source to witness the natural beauty of the region. Most of these areas can be covered while trekking. The villages of the Drok - Pa clan and the Nubra valley are the important ones.<br />The Drok - Pa clan lives in villages down the Indus, between Khalatse and the Shayok-Indus confluence. Buddhists by faith, these people have migrated and settled here from the Gilgit valley. They are racially and culturally distinct from the rest of the Ladakhis. Their customs, their rituals and also their typical Indo - Aryan looks separate them from the inhabitants of the Ladakh region. Peculiarly different as they are in their customs and rituals, equally peculiar is their behaviour as they do not keep any cows or consume any of the cow's products. One should not miss the opportunity to witness the celebrations of the community's harvest celebrations. <br />The Bactrian Camel Safari in Nubra is the major attraction to reach this place. The region comprising the valley of the River Nubra and that of the Shayok is the Nubra region. The sand plains in this region are not useful for any kind of vegetation. To reach this place one can drive past the one can drive on the Khardungla Pass, nearly 39 kms from Leh, is the world's highest motor able road.<br />The Panamik village is the last on this circuit. Once a bustling and prosperous town is today's sleepy village. Panamik was the last stoppage of the caravans on the silk route. Hence many bazaars were present to cater the need of the travelers. But today hardly anything bustles here, though the Bactrian Camel safari has become a major attraction in this region. <br />The Pangong Lake, situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft (4,267m) is a major attraction and can be reached by trekking. The beautiful lake is bisected by the international border between India and China. Spangmik is the farthest point up to which foreigners are permitted. The lake presents a spectacular view of the mountain ranges and their reflections shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake's brackish waters. It is possible to sight the huge yaks and the Pashmina mountain goats famous for their wool in this region. <br />The Rupshu area reached by the Manali-Leh road has the picturesque Tso-moriri Lake. Here, the Zanskar range is transformed into bare rolling many-hued hills, divided by open high-altitude valleys. The landscape very unlike Ladakh or any other place in India is the scoring point of this dry arid, Rupshu valley. The rare black necked cranes and the Brahmani ducks which fly from Siberia can be sighted here. One can also visit the hot springs of Chumathang having therapeutic value.
  • Location

    The northern most inhabited place of India, bordering Tibet on the east and Afghanistan in the North West frontier, Ladakh occupies most part of the big state of Jammu and Kashmir. This vast area is surrounded by two mighty mountain ranges, the Karakoram in the north and the Himalayas in the south. Owing to the altitude, ranging from 9,000 feet to 25,170 feet, the region experiences chilly weather throughout the year with a respite of two months when the maximum temperature reaches 25 degree centigrade. It is the coldest inhabited area in India.
Namgyal Dynasty

Namgyal Dynasty "Ladakh"
(13 Days / 12 Nights)

On Request
Namgyal Dynasty "Ladakh" / PC-604 (13 Days / 12 Nights)
Delhi-Leh-Uleytokpo-Uleytokpo – Ridzong – Lamayuru – Uleytokpo-Uleytokpo-Leh-Khardongla pass-Nubra (DISKIT & HUNDER)-NUBRA VALLEY-Nubra-Leh-Chumathang – Tsomoriri-Tsomoriri-Korzok-Puga – Tsokar – Tanglangla-Leh-Delhi

Ladakh is a land like no other. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. In geological terms, this is a young land, formed only a few million years ago by the buckling and folding of the earth's crust as the Indian sub-continent pushed with irresistible force against the immovable mass of Asia. Its basic contours, uplifted by these unimaginable tectonic movements, have been modified over the millennia by the opposite process of erosion, sculpted into the form we see today by wind and water. Yes, water! Today, a high -altitude desert, sheltered from the rain-bearing clouds of the Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalaya, Ladakh was once covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exist on its south -east plateau of Rupshu and Chushul - in drainage basins with evocative names like Tso-moriri, Tsokar, and grandest of all, Pangong-tso. Occasionally, some stray monsoon clouds do find their way over the Himalaya, and lately this seems to be happening with increasing frequency. But the main source of water remains the winter snowfall. Drass, Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the Himalaya's northern flank receive heavy snow in winter; this feeds the glaciers whose melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in summer. For the rest of the region, the snow on the peaks is virtually the only source of water. As the crops grow, the villagers pray not for rain, but for sun to melt the glaciers and liberate their water. Usually their prayers are answered, for the skies are clear and the sun shines for over 300 days in the year. Ladakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 feet (2750m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Thus summer temperatures rarely exceed about 27 degree celcius in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20 degree Celsius 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 can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time!

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Delhi-Leh
Day 2 : Leh
Day 3 : Leh-Uleytokpo
Day 4 : Uleytokpo – Ridzong – Lamayuru – Uleytokpo
Day 5 : Uleytokpo-Leh
Day 6 : Leh-Khardongla pass-Nubra (DISKIT & HUNDER)
Day 7 : NUBRA VALLEY
Day 8 : Nubra-Leh
Day 9 : Leh-Chumathang – Tsomoriri
Day 10 : Tsomoriri
Day 11 : Korzok-Puga – Tsokar – Tanglangla-Leh
Day 12 : Leh
Day 13 : Leh-Delhi
Srinagar And Ladakh Tour

Srinagar And Ladakh Tour
(12 Days / 11 Nights)

On Request
Srinagar And Ladakh Tour / PI-0121 (12 Days / 11 Nights)
Delhi-Srinagar-Kargil-Uletokpo-Alchi-Leh-Delhi



Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Delhi
Day 2 : Delhi-Srinagar
Day 3 : Srinagar
Day 4 : Srinagar - Kargil
Day 5 : Kargil - Uletokpo
Day 6 : Uletokpo -Alchi - Leh
Day 7 : Leh
Day 8 : Leh
Day 9 : Leh
Day 10 : Leh
Day 11 : Leh-Delhi
Day 12 : Delhi
Ladakh Himachal Tour

Ladakh Himachal Tour
(11 Days / 10 Nights)

On Request
Ladakh Himachal Tour / PI-0175 (11 Days / 10 Nights)
Leh-Alchi-Leh-Sarchu-Jispa-Manali-Dharamshala-Amritsar-Delhi

During the tour you will visit the most popular and famous monasteries of the Ladakh region built by different rulers. In this tour you are reaching the highest motor able road in the world. Here the landscape assumes fantastic view of the mountains. Visiting the most charming and beautiful Kulu valley spread out its charm on either side of the river Beas. The valley is also famous for its exquisitely woven colorful hand made shawls. We take you to Dharamshala known as Little Lhasa in the gorgeous Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh in North India.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Leh
Day 2 : Leh
Day 3 : Leh
Day 4 : Leh - Alchi - Leh
Day 5 : Leh - Sarchu
Day 6 : Sarchu - Jispa
Day 7 : Jispa - Manali
Day 8 : Manali
Day 9 : Manali - Dharamshala
Day 10 : Dharamshala - Amritsar
Day 11 : Amritsar - Delhi
Ancient Monasteries

Ancient Monasteries
(14 Days / 13 Nights)

On Request
Ancient Monasteries / PI-0181 (14 Days / 13 Nights)
Delhi-Srinagar-Kargil-Rangdom Gompa-Rangdom-Padam-Bardan Gompa-Padam-Kargil-Uletokpo-Leh-Delhi

Tour three different parts of Jammu and Kashmir whose landscapes are completely different from one each. These will take you to some of the most ancient monasteries of the region that were virtually untouched by the winds of modernization and change till very recently. In between, take in some of the most picturesque and ethereal views of snow capped Himalayan mountains that you may have ever seen.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Delhi-Srinagar
Day 2 : Srinagar
Day 3 : Srinagar - Kargil
Day 4 : Kargil - Rangdom Gompa
Day 5 : Rangdom - Padam
Day 6 : Padam
Day 7 : Padam - Bardan Gompa
Day 8 : Padam - Kargil
Day 9 : Kargil - Uletokpo
Day 10 : Uletokpo - Leh
Day 11 : Leh
Day 12 : Leh
Day 13 : Leh
Day 14 : Leh-Delhi
Mysteries of Himalayas - Ladakh with Himachal / PI-0190 (13 Days / 12 Nights)
Delhi-Leh-Sarchu-Manali-Shimla-Delhi

During the tour you will visit the most popular and famous monasteries of the Ladakh region built by different rulers. In this tour you drive to the highest motorable road in the world. Here the landscape provides fantastic view of the mountains. From Leh, drive down to Himachal Pradesh visiting the beautiful Kullu valley spreading out its charm on either side of river Beas. The valley is also famous for its exquisitely woven colourful hand made shawls. Ending the journey in a splendid royal style by re-living in the former summer capital of the British - Shimla.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Delhi
Day 2 : Delhi
Day 3 : Delhi - Leh
Day 4 : Leh
Day 5 : Leh
Day 6 : Leh
Day 7 : Leh - Sarchu
Day 8 : Sarchu-Manali
Day 9 : Manali
Day 10 : Manali - Shimla
Day 11 : Shimla
Day 12 : Shimla - Delhi
Day 13 : Delhi
Flavour of Himalayas

Flavour of Himalayas
(10 Days / 9 Nights)

On Request
Flavour of Himalayas / PI-0191 (10 Days / 9 Nights)
Delhi-Srinagar-Gulmarg-Srinagar-Sonmarg-Kargil-Leh-Khardongla Pass-Leh-Delhi

No matter what you say about Himalayas, their magnificence once translated in words will always be an understatement. Housing the highest mountain peaks of the world, Himalayas are the abode of snow giving home to many thrilling adventure activities that you can indulge in while visiting the place. Plan your vacations now to make your trip an unforgettable adventure.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Delhi
Day 2 : Delhi
Day 3 : Delhi - Srinagar
Day 4 : Srinagar
Day 5 : Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar
Day 6 : Srinagar - Sonmarg - Kargil
Day 7 : Kargil - Leh
Day 8 : Leh
Day 9 : Leh - Khardongla Pass - Leh
Day 10 : Leh - Delhi

Leh, India Tours

THE GRAND DRAGON
3 Star
Leh, India
 9323
Details

HOTEL NAMGYAL PALACE
0 Star
Leh, India
 3649
Details

HOTEL CARAVAN CENTRE
3 Star
Leh, India
 2760
Details

Hotel Royal Palace
3 Star
Leh, India
Price on Request
Details

Hotel Shangrila
3 Star
Leh, India
Price on Request
Details

SHAMBHA-LA
3 Star
Leh, India
 3768
Details

LOTUS
1 Star
Leh, India
 3649
Details

SPIC N SPAN
3 Star
Leh, India
 5129
Details