"Behind the Himalayas" Top 5 Page for this destination Ladakh Range by Saagar
Ladakh Range Travel Guide: 199 reviews and 618 photos
Ladakh was totally unknown to me until I visited. The few words I had read about Ladakh previously were of Sven Hedin's Tibet explorations, but I would not have been able to put it down on a map.
This is a sizeable chunk of Tibet in India. Quite a big bit, too, but since travel is somewhat restricted it remains fairly limited to visitors without a significant purpose. It is possible to travel the Indus Valley, The road to Manali, the Nubra Valley and the Zanskar district. Due to the troubles in other parts of Kashmir, some of the past accesspoints by foot and road are now rather difficult.
Apart from the magnificient Trans-Himalayan landscapes and glaciated mountains, this is about the only part of the Tibetan cultural area where the culture, religion and language - in short, people's identity - has been left in peace.
Ladakh, as a province of Jammu&Kashmir is sub-divided in two political districts (Kargil and Ladakh) and about four main travel regions across these: Lower Ladakh/Kargil district, Zanskar, Leh/Upper Ladakh and Nubra Valley. To get from one populated area to the other you have to cross very, very high passes, and two of them, one is Khardung La, are the highest public motorised road passes in the world at near 5800 m. All of Ladakh is located behind, i.e. north of the main Himalayan Range, and there are two main NW-SE running mountain chains, Zanskar and Ladakh ranges, and some criss-crossing ranges in the north of the district toward Karakoram pass. To the far east Ladakh runs into the Changtang western Tibetan plateau. The Himalayan chain of mountains form a natural fence toward the rest of Jammu&Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and the Indian plains below.
All these geographical features you can see on the satellite photo I have copied a detail from here (click to enlarge).
Don't come to Ladakh unprepared - this land and people(s) deserve some previous insigths, and so do you. I talk of experience - I was supposed to go to Swat and Baltistan, but by last minute decision I ended in Ladakh without much knowledge between my ears... Luckily I had time to adjust; I spent nearly 4 months of steep learning in Ladakh.
The best literary introduction is the 250p book by Janet Rizvi "Ladakh: Crossroads of High Asia", Oxford University Press 1996. You can get it in Delhi, in Leh and elsewhere on the road. It's the definite treatise on just about anything in Ladakh. The various guidebooks cover Ladakh nicely, but miss out on the need for humbleness for Ladakh and the Ladakhis.
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