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Ladakh Travel Guide

High up in the shadow of the world’s highest peaks is a land of mythical beauty, Ladakh- a land where vividly coloured mountains rise up dramatically on all sides, dwarfing the crystal rivers and shimmering glaciers which make their way through the barren land. A land that is arid and harsh, but also one of the most beautiful anywhere on earth; a land of warm, friendly people and a cultural heritage that is nothing short of amazing.

Once a little-known and even less visited part of Kashmir, but today a destination that’s topping all the popularity charts when it comes to tourism-- Ladakh is exquisitely lovely and relatively unspoilt, and beckons the looking-for-new-horizons traveller. For those who have seen and done it all- Ladakh guarantees an experience one will not forget.

Khardung La (la means pass in Tibetan) in Ladakh, is regarded as one of the highest motorable road in world, with an estimated elevation of 5359 meters or 17,582 feet.

Since Ladakh is situated at an altitude of almost 3500mts, high altitude sickness is a very real problem and that is why it is recommended that your first 24 hours in Ladakh is spent resting.

Ladakh is also known as ‘Land of Many Passes’ because for centuries caravans of various traders carrying pashmina shawls, spices, saffron and opium, passed through Ladakh.

Two sports vastly popular amongst Ladakhis are Archery and Polo. Frequent competitions are held across Ladakh during summers which are accompanied by drinking chhang (the local barley beer), music and dance.

It is interesting to know that Ladakh does not receive any water from the rain for almost 300 days in a year. The main source of water in the region is the melted water from the snow which is carried down by smaller streams and is used for irrigation. The farmers prefer melted snow water for their crops instead of rain water.

Ever wondered why the women wear so much jewellery while working in fields or why the traditional dress gonchas worn by Ladakhis have capacious sleeves? The reason behind is that centuries ago, Ladakh was a part of the fabled Silk Route, and it was wealthy enough therefore, the Marauding armies would sweep down out of the blue on villages and loot and ravage them. The best way to escape was to make sure that one carried one’s most valuable possessions all the time and the capacious sleeves of the goncha were perfect for carrying articles for personal use. Whereas the women wore their jewellery so that even if they had to flee while working in the fields, the loss would not be that much.

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