Ladakh: The Crossroads of High Asia
There are a million different possibilities in Ladakh. You can do a short trek. You can do a long trek. You can do a trek where you see beautiful monasteries. The choice is all yours.
What iO thinks
Since it started getting popular in the early 2000s, Ladakh has been known as a haven for trekkers. During the hot summer months of July and August, tourists flock to the small town of Leh for some much needed R&R. But you do not have to be in those crowds. When you do a trek to the Ladakh, it seems as if the many mysteries of Ladakh are opening up to you. The stark mountains and the contrasts in weather always humble you – whether you do an easy trek or a difficult one.
Where is Ladakh?
How to reach Ladakh?
Leh is connected by air with the international hubs of Delhi and Mumbai. Flights depart daily and at varying times in the morning. Flights do not operate after noon as the air is too thin at that time.
The road from Delhi to Leh winds through the towns of Chandigarh, Manali, Palampur and Jammu. To travel by road to Leh is a trip in itself but great for acclimatisation.
Titbits on Ladakh
At 3,500m (11,500ft), Ladakh is one of the highest inhabited regions in the Himalayas.
Ladakh holds evidence that the Himalayas rose from the sea of Tethys millions of years ago with fossils of seashells at 4,000m (13,000ft).
Being in the rainshadow area, Ladakh is an excellent destination for the July school holidays when the rest of the country is too hot or under heavy rains.
The major religion of Ladakh is Tibetan Buddhism and monasteries in the high mountains are part of the attraction of Ladakh.
Ladakh has one of the clearest skies in the world and is home to observatories.
The elusive snow leopard can be best spotted here during the winters.
Some of our favourite hotels in Ladakh
Some of the most beautifully designed resorts can be spent in Ladakh. While travellers are generally out and about exploring the culture and the landscape of Ladakh, staying back and reading a book while a Himalayan Wagtail ponders around, is definitely an option worth exploring. We absolutely adore the following resorts and try to include them in your program.
Chamba Camp, Thiksey
The Grand Dragon
Why is Ladakh called Little Tibet?
Ladakh is known as little Tibet due to the striking similarities between the two regions in geaography, architecture, religion, and language. Ladakh has had a close relationship with Tibet as well from the 9th Century (after the fall of the Tibetan Empire) to 1950 (when China conquered Tibet). This included trade relations. In the 9th Century, when Bon was introduced to Ladakh, the region looked towards Tibet for religious guidance – more so during Mughal rule as the rule facilitated Islamic philosophies. This continued in spite of Mughal and Sikh invasions. But there routes closed after the Chinese conquest of 1950 and the closing of the border between Nubra and Sinkiang.
Today, Ladakh harbours more than 3,500 Tibetan refugees and the Ladakhi language follows a Tibetan script.