About Ladakh Print E-mail


" The land is so barren and the passes so high that only our fiercest enemies or our best friends would want to visit us"

(Ladakhi saying)
Situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. Ladakh, which is inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area. Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Historically, Ladakh was a Buddhist kingdom which included Baltistan and Aksai Chin which are now administered by Pakistan and China respectively.

Ladakh is the highest plateau of the Indian state of Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000 m (9,800 ft). It spans the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River valley.

Historically, the region included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys, the Indus Valley, the remote Zangskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the south, Ngari including the Rudok region and Guge in the east, Aksai Chin in the east, and Nubra valley to the north over Khardung La in the Ladakh mountain range. Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the Vale of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west, and the trans–Kunlun territory of East Turkistan in Central Asia on the other side of the Kunlun range across the Karakoram Pass in the far north. Running southwest to northeast, the Altyn Tagh converges with the Kunlun range in Kashmir which runs southeast to northwest forming a "V" shape which converges at Pulu. The geographical divide between Ladakh in the highlands of Kashmir and the Tibetan Plateau commences in the vicinity of Pulu and continues southwards along the intricate maze of ridges situated east of Rudok, wherein are situated Aling Kangri and Mavang Kangri and culminates in the vicinity of Mayum La.



Ladakh has a climate of extremes due to the change in altitude throughout the region which ranges from 2500m to 7500m. Winter is December through to Febuary and is extremely cold and reaches as low as -30 c. During this period roads are closed due to ice, snow and freezing conditions. Ladakhi's prepare duing summer to spend this winter period indoors.

The best time to visit Ladakh is during May to October which includes the summer period of July and August where temperature varies from 20c up to 40c. Summer heat in Ladakh is low humidity and comfortable. VBB works only during the summer months when the roads are open.


Ladakh is sometimes known as "Little Tibet" due to the strong influence of Tibetan culture in the region. It is a predominately Buddhist district with religion still playing a strong part in the culture. The region has many famous monasterys including Thikse, Alchi, Hemis and Lamayuru, these sites display architectural features common in Tibetan construction. The interiors display the richly painted murals associated with mystical Tibetan Buddhism. During summer outdoor festivals are popular and include local polo games, archery and folk dancing. Despite neighbouring Kashmir’s political issues, Ladakh has remained a peaceful region.


Leh has many great options for food, from rich creamy Kashmiri style and North Indian style thali houses to traditional Ladakhi cuisine. Many restarants in Leh do a fantastic Chicken Jalfrezzi, as well as providing an extensive vegetarian menu. For those that enjoy delicious creamy dishes and delicate curry flavours a visit to one of the many Kashmiri restaurants is recommended.

Leh is a busy tourist town during the summer and tourists can enjoy meals from all over the world, including great apple pies and delicious breads, as well as Italian, French and Israeli cuisine to name a few. Don't miss the outstanding Indian chai and sweet shops, or try a Kashmiri tea flavoured with cardamon and mint.