Little Tibet

The Ladakh and Zanskar valleys are trekker's delight. Little Tibet' or, 'the moon-land' or 'the last Shangri La' are all names that have been applied to Ladhak. It is an 'other-worldly' place with gompas perched on soaring hilltops, shattered looking landscapes splashed with small but brilliant patches of green and ancient palaces clinging to sheer rock walls. Leh at a height of 3,500 meters is the main entry point to this region. The Ladhak and Zanskar valleys are trekker's delight. The region has the highest motorable road in the world and getting there by road, from either Srinagar or Manali provides one of the most exquisite views of the Himalayan range. 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 Celsius 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!
Ladakh is surrounded by mountains and made up of mountains. Sheer walls of rock and ice divide the Indus Valley from Tibet, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, and human habitation is restricted to narrow strips of greenery clinging to the rivers that drain down from mountain glaciers. This rugged region is home to one of the last undisturbed Tantric Buddhist populations on earth, protected from colonial interference, rampaging Mughals and the ravages of the Cultural Revolution by sheer force of geography.
From November to May, Ladakh is almost completely cut off from the outside world. Even in summer, getting here involves crossing the highest mountain passes in the world, or a hair-raising flight that weaves between the peaks. Isolation has preserved an almost medieval way of life, dictated by the changing seasons. However, change is coming to this mountain Shangri La. Tourism and hydro-electric power are flooding the region with money, and global warming is altering rainfall patterns, threatening farming cycles and Ladakh’s traditional mud-brick architecture.
Unlike the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh has seen little violence since Independence. Most Ladakhis are Buddhist, with smaller communities of Shia and Sunni Muslims in Leh and the valleys surrounding Zanskar and Kargil.

CLIMATE DATA FOR LEH 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average high °C (°F)

-2
(28)

1
(34)

6
(43)

12
(54)

16
(61)

21
(70)

25
(77)

25
(77)

21
(70)

14
(57)

7
(45)

2
(36)

Average low °C (°F)

-14
(7)

-11
(12)

-5
(23)

-1
(30)

3
(37)

7
(45)

10
(50)

10
(50)

5
(41)

-1
(30)

-6
(21)

-11
(12)

Rainfall mm (inches)

9
(0.35)

8
(0.31)

11
(0.43)

9
(0.35)

9
(0.35)

3
(0.12)

15
(0.59)

15
(0.59)

9
(0.35)

7
(0.28)

3
(0.12)

4
(0.16)

Ladakh VIDEO

Attractions in Ladakh, around and from Ladakh

  • Alchi Alchi is a village located about 70km away from Leh in the lower Sham region, on the bank of Indus River at an altitude of 3,300m. The small village has clusters of white and brightly painted houses a

  • Basgo Fort The site at Basgo consists of four distinct structures, three temples and a fort. The fort (Basgo Rabtan Lhartsekhar Castle) was built first and is the only structure made from rammed earth. Basgo was

  • Basgo Gompa and Fort Basgo is situated about 40 km west of Leh, along the way to Srinagar. It is known for its castle ruin and the adjoining royal temples spectacularly located on the rocks. The complex of buildings inclu

  • Chemre Gompa Chemre gompa is located 40 km south of Leh in the Chemre Valley. Situated atop a rocky outcropping in the valley, it resembles a medieval European castle when seen from the rear. The gompa has a Dukha

  • Dha-Hanu Dha and Hanu are two villages situated in the Dhahanu valley, about 163 km southwest of Leh in Ladakh. The valley in the main settlement of the Dards in Ladakh called Drokpa or sometimes pronounced Br

  • Hemis Hemis is the biggest monastery complex of Ladakh, located 45km south of Leh and belongs to Drukpa Kagyu sect. It was established in 1630 by Lama Tagstang Raspa and built by Palden Sara under the patro

  • Lamayuru The village of Lamayuru (3390m) is home to the most famous, spectacularly set and the oldest known monastery in Ladakh, dating back to 10 Century. The gompa is said to have been founded by the Indian

  • Leh Leh , the capital of Ladakh is located in the heart of Indus river valley (34.17° N 77.58° E), at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Its importance as a tradin

  • Nubra The Nubra Valley in Ladakh is one of the most bizarrely beautiful high-altitude valley on the Nubra and Shyok rivers. It is the most Northerly point that a tourist can visit in India, close to the bo

  • Pangong Tso Lake Pangong Tso Lake, the largest Brackish lake in Asia is situated at a height of about 4,250 m (13,900 ft), is around 134 km long, much of which extends into Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3 mi) wide at its b

  • Stok Towering at an impressive 6153 m, Stok Kangri is a serious challenge. Although at such an impressive height, it is not a technical climb and in season requires no advanced mountaineering equipment. We