Ladakh, holiday destination of Himalayas

Ladakh, a Trans Himalayan district of Jammu and Kashmir is situated at an altitude varying between 2,750 and 3,505 meters. This place offers a combination of adventurous, scenic, traditional and cultural environment. The powerful mountains of the world, the Karakoram and the great Himalayas situated here, add grace to the area.

Tourist spots: An ancient palace, fine monasteries, stunning trek-ways, and snow crowned pinnacles, uncontaminated rivers, lakes, and the scenic greenery.

Explorative and fun-filled activities like yak and jeep safaris, trekking, cycling, mountain climbing would make your journey an adventurous one. Adding to which, the historical treasures – Monasteries or Gompas that belong to Buddhism, are situated in the lap of the mountains. The Ladakh festival, Ladakh Harvest festival, Hemis festival, Tak-Tok festival, Sindhu Darshan and the Losar festivals are the local celebrations of great significance.

Leh, the energetic capital of this district is situated at an altitude of 3,505 ms. to the east of Jammu and Kashmir. The Zanskar river with its water springs nourishes this region. To the north of Ladakh, a ruined Tibetan palace of the 17th century, made of mud bricks can be seen. Tracts of lush irrigated farmland and a desert are on either sides of this palace.

A few kilometres from this town is an ancient temple of the Ayalokitesvara and a majestic snowy Stok Kangri range that goes up to a height of 6,120 ms.

This unique destination of cold desert is also known as Moonscape and the last Shangri-La. The desert (altitude - 9000 ft) is privileged to host the second largest Buddha statue. The Oracle festival of the Matho Monastery is held during the months of February and March, eminent for its fortune-telling and divinity. The largest, Hemis Monastery based in Moonscape, is famous for its Hemis festival.

The Shey Gompa of the 17th century is a museum with 35 thangkas, Buddha idols, bells and artistic jade cups, royal jewels and ceremonial clothes. The Alchi Monastery was built as a monument to Buddhism. Alchi has been built in the valley on the banks of the Indus. The five sacred temples with fine paintings of court life, battles, traditions, customs and culture exemplify the Buddhist art and architecture. Among them, the Sumtsek and the Dukhang are the most ancient temples and are constructed in the Kashmiri architectural style.
The contemporary lifestyle of Buddhists have been depicted through the beautiful Mandalas painted on the walls. The Chemrey Gompa (17th century) and Basgo Monastery host excellent friezes. The Likir Gompa (15th century) belonging to the Gyalukpa sect is rich in its collection of fine paintings, robes and works of art.

Lakes at Ladakh:The 135 kms long Pang-gong Tso lake and the scenic Tso Moriri lake at an altitude of 4600 ms located 30 kms south to Pang - gong Tso lake, are the most famous lakes to the southeast of this moonscape. The impressive 7 kms long Spangmik lake, offers the view of the steep Chang Chenmo range. Tso Kar, a unique salt water lake and Startsapuk Tso, a fine fresh water Lake are the other twin lakes of Ladakh.
The stunning 160 kms trekking path from Padum to Lamayuru, the 115 kms tricky trek route from Padum to Darch and the most popular trek-way from Spituk to Hemis along the Indus river attracts the trekkers with their picturesque beauty. It is famous for winter sports.

For shopaholics, the Tibetan handicrafts emporium, Ladakh art palace and the Leh market are the three prominent shopping spots situated near the main bazaar road. Pashmina shawls, Thangka paintings, silver jewels worn by the Tibetans, hand woven rugs and carpets are the other products sold. The ideal season to visit this scenic picnic spot is during July and August.

Above all these, Ladakh is famous for its spicy food that consists of delicious Tibetan, Chinese and Kashmiri cuisines.