Famous Place in Ladakh

Kargil

Location: 204 km from Srinaga
Altitude: 7672m
Significance: Capital of the Ladakh.
Hotels: Carvan Sarai, D' Zojila, Kargil Continental , Siachen
How to spend time/Attractions : Trekking, Mountaineering, Photography, Camping
and sightseeing

Kargil, the second town of Ladakh, is situated on the Suru River which flows at around 10,000 feet hight. Two other rivers that meet here are Drass and Wakha Chu. Visible all around are lush green fields of barley and wheat, vegetable beds and rows of poplars and willows. A quiet town today Kargil was once witness to the most hectic bartering among traders of different faiths and nationalities. Hundreds of caravans carrying silks, ivory, carpets and precious stones to and from China, Turkey, Yarkand, Afghanistan and India, passed through the town.

This area lies just behind the Zoji La Pass, and the center is Kargil, a small town with cobbled streets surrounded by apricot groves. Good panoramas of the Himalaya can be obtained on 03-04 day treks from Sanko to Drass via Umba, and on the more demanding Sanko to Mulbek via the Wakka La Pass at 4,930m.

Kargil is famous for its apricots and mulberries. June presents a rare sight of fragrant white apricot blossoms while in August, the ripening fruit lends the countryside an orange hue. Tourists to Leh by road make a night halt at Kargil before starting on the second leg of the journey.

Leh

Location: North of the Indus River
Altitude: 3550m
Significance: Capital of the Ladakh
Hotels: Hotel Shambhala.
How to spend time/Attractions: Trekking, Mountaineering, Camping, Photography and sightseeing

Leh is the Capital of the Ladakh, and the largest town of the region. It is located to the north of the Indus River at an elevation of 3600m above the sea level. The town is dominated by the nine-storey Namgyal Palace and Namgyal Tsemo (victory peak), built by Tashi Namgyal on his victorious in reunification of the Upper and Lower Ladakh.

In the later period, Leh became an important center for trade in Central Asia. Leh remained merely a headquarter of Ladakh district until 1974, when Ladakh was opened for foreign tourists. Since then period Leh became the centre for tourism related activities in the region.

Leh is also a good base for longer day trips out into the Indus Valley. Among the string of picturesque villages and Gompas within reach by bus are Shey, site of a derelict 17th century palace, and the Spectacular Tikse Gompa.

Nubra Valley

Location: 150 km north of Leh
Altitude: 3500 m
Significance: Historical heartland of Ladakh
Also known As: Orchard of Ladakh

Places to see: Drok-pa village, Baigdandu village, Shyok Valley, Diskit and Hundar

How to spend time/Attractions: Camping, Photography, Trekking and Mountaineering. Nubra Valley is the geographical backbone, and the historical heartland of Ladakh.

The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La from Leh where one will first encounter the Shyok Valley. To enter the Nubra valley, one must cross over the Shyok River via a small bridge and pass through a military checkpoint. Non-locals require an "Inner Line" permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to pass. The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass lie to the northwest of the valley which connect Nubra with Xinjiang. Previously there was much trade passing through the area with East Turkestan and Central Asia. The Nubra valley contains the small towns of Sumur and Panamik. Sumur has a Buddhist gompa or monastery while Panamik is noted for its hot springs. Most of the people are of mixed Tibetan and Central Asian origin and speak varieties of the Balti language.

The beautiful village of Baigdandu is located in the valley. Here one can suddenly find beautiful people boys and girls with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and ruddy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis.

Buddhist monasteries flourished in the valley among which the famous Diskit Gompa. This monastery, over 350 years old, is the oldest in the Nubra region. It is also one of the largest.The monastery belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) Sect. The Nubra valley is accessible from Leh via a number of high passes. One of them is the Khardong-la, the highest motorable pass at 5600 m.

Zanaskar

Location: Between Great Himalayan Range to the south and the Indus Valley to the North
Altitude: 6000m
Significance: Highest than other areas of Ladakh
Hotels: Hotel Haftal Hotel Chorala Hotel Snowland

How to spend time/Attractions: Photography, Trekking, Camping and Mountaineering

Zanskar in the Kargil sub-division of Ladakh, spread over an estimated geographical area of 5000 sq kms of mountainous territory and surrounded by high-rise mountains and deep gorges. It is located between the Great Himalayan Range to the south and the Indus Valley to the North.

Zanskar river, which flows through it, joins the Indus a little below Leh. The whole Zanskar Valley is situated in the inner Himalaya and is higher than most other areas of Ladakh. The Climate is very harsh and the area receives precious little rain. The great attractions are the Buddhist culture, beautiful monasteries, awe-inspiring barren montainscape and the twin peaks of Nun(7135m) and Kun (7077m).

Towards the western end of the Himalayas a series of continuous mountain ridges, comprising scores of 6000 metre (20000 foot) peaks, forms an effective barrier between the Indian provinces of Lahaul and Ladakh. Linking these contrasting mountainous regions is a trekking route that provides one of the great challenges of the Indian Himalaya.

Padam is the Head quarter of Zanskar and can be reached by a rough road from Kargil. Along this highway are glimpsed unforgettable sights of Nun- Kun, Barnaj, Doda and other high Peaks, and views of several glaciers, such as Ringdom, Pensi, Darung, Drung and kange


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