Ladakh (The Moon Land) is a region of India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it extends from the Karakoram mountain range in the north to the main Great Himalayas to the south, It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir and its culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet.
Ladakh, the land of many passes, snow clad mountains and arid land is among the highest of the world's inhabited plateaus. It lies at altitudes ranging from about 2,750 meters at Kargil to 7,672 meters at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. This region has a unique landscape and topography, that is why it has also been described as 'Moon Land', 'Magic Land', and 'Mysterious Land' for its unique landscape and exquisite culture. One sees no horizon here but only mountain peaks soaring up to 5 to 6 km.
Besides these names one can it is also called “Land of Adventure”. So by all these titles given to this place one can easily imagine the importance of this place on the tourist map of India. This place is very much famous among foreigners than locals / domestic tourist and is foreigners first choice in Summer.
The centuries old culture of Ladakh has found expression in its monuments, monasteries, mosques, Imam-Baras, oral literature, paintings, fairs, and festivals. The monasteries or Gompas constitute the most interesting and fascinating feature of the cultural landscape.
Besides the breath taking sight seeing ladakh is also famous among adventurous people, who are interested in Hiking, Mountaineering, Trekking, Camping, River Rafting.
Most adventure loving people, mainly foreigners visit Ladakh on Bikes (Heavy Bikes Like Royal Enfeild, Bullet) and enjoy the nature all the way to Ladakh from both the overland approaches, i.e. From Kashmir Valley to Ladakh and Manali to Ladakh.
Indus River is the river that flows across Ladakh, it source lies in Western Tibet. This river is a paradise for adventure seekers as well as river-rafting beginners. Flow of the stream increases between June and August, and it is the best season for rafting.
Best time to Visit: Summer is the ideal and best time to visit Ladakh as the summer is pleasant with temperature ranging upto 30 ° C. But in winter the temperature is unbearable and it drops upto -15 °C to -40 °C in some high Altitudes.
Clothing : Single T-shirt or shirt in peak summer months (mid June-August), in winters (November-Feburary) heavy woolen and warm jackets and in rest of the months light/medium woolen and light coats/jackets.
Where to Stay: In Ladakh Guest Houses, Hotels, Huts of all types are available on reasonable rates.
How To Reach: The overland approach to Ladakh from Kashmir Valley via Kargil is approx. 434 Km, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet (3,505 m) high Zoji-La Pass, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh.
Manali to Leh :
This is the another route of 473 km. Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second / alternative overland approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from around mid-June to early October. This high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho, altitude ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. A number of high passes fall en-route among which the highest one known as Taklang-La is world's second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet/5,235m.
Road Distances :
• Srinagar-Leh 434 Km.
• Manali-Leh 473 Km.
• Srinagar-Kargil 204 Km.
• Delhi-Leh 1047 Kms.
• Leh-Kargil 234 Km.
• Kargil-Padum (Zanskar) 240 Km.
• Leh-Deskit (Nubra Valley) 118 Kms.
Air Travel :
Ladakh is also accessible by air as different airlines operate multiple flights not daily but on alternative days from Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi.