Ladakh - The Coldest Desert In The World!

Ladakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 feet at Kargil to 25,170 feet at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Thus summer temperatures rarely exceed about 27 degree in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20 degree even in Leh. Surprisingly though, the thin air makes the heat of the sun even more intense than at lower altitude, it is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.


 Choglamsar :

The original Choglamsar village is situated on the bank of Indus river. The new Tibetan refugee camp just off the main road from Leh, which is important center for Tibetan Culture, History and Buddhism. Tibetan children village has library, Medical center, Traditional Handicraft shop and study center. Around one Km from TCV towards Hemis the central Institute of Buddhist studies, the study center for Tibetan Buddhism and Ladakhi culture has Tibetan painting and sculpture school, library with good collection of books.

Stok Palace Museum:

Around 14 Kms from Leh, across the Choglamsar bridge. The Stok Palace was built by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in 1825. The present Royal family resides at Stok Palace. The Stok Palace Museum has vast collection of Thankas, traditional clothing and ornaments from Royal family. The Gurphug monastery is 1 Km from the Palace and this is the branch of Spituk monastery. The festival called “Guru Tsechu” take place on the 9th and 10th days of the first month of Tibetan Lunar Calendar.

Shey Palace:

Shey, 15 Km south of Leh, was constructed by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon and of successive kings. Around 12 Ft. Shakyamuni Buddha’s statue made by copper guilt is the largest in the region, built by Deldan Namgyal in 1633 is a funerary memorial to his father, king Singee Namgyal. There is another statue of the Buddha three stories in height at dresthang down the castle. Stone carving and many chortens are scattered around the Dresthang Gompa. On the 30th day of the 1st Tibetan month celebrates shey rul-lo and on the 10th day of the 7th Tibetan month the festival of Shey Surb-lo is held.

Thiksey Monastery:

About 20 Km south of Leh. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and part of Gelukpa order. the disciple of Jangon Tsongkhapa, Sherab Zangpo of stod, first built the temple of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of the Thiksey valley. Then Paldan Sherab nephew of Sherb Zangpo, founded Thiksey monastery. There are sacred shrines and a many precious objects to be seen. The successive reincarnation of the Skyabje Khampo Ringpoche act as in charge of the monastery. Thiksey gustor (festival) held from 17th to 19th day of the 12th month. There are chance to see prayer in the early morning.


Leh :
Capital of Ladakh, elevation 3500mts, population 35,000, majority Buddhist.

It is divided into several regions and such regions, is at the cross-road of central Asia and still retains powerful traces of its history. The people have a deep traditional society and a strong sense of culture. Music and dancing is their great past-time and “CHANG” is their locally prepared drink, similar to beer.

People are very friendly and helpful , you will find every one greets you with “Joo-Lay", which means Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank you.

Ladakh is also known for the spectacular Monastic Festivals major events in the evolution of Tibetan Buddhism. Thousands of people turn out in their colourful dress, best making every festival a “ CARNIVAL” of colors.

Pangong – Tso Lake:

Two days return trip from Leh. 125 Kms via Karu, Zingrial 30 Kms from Karu, and Changla Pass 5289mtrs and to Pangong all the way down passing via Tangtse Army and police check post. From camp to Pangong 20 kms drive Lukong TCP only 48 Kms of the Lake to Chuchul Broder and from here onwards in China.

Starting early , it’s reasonable day trip from Leh is possible. There are goods fixed camping facilities with hot and cold shower with all meals.

Tso-Moriri (Rupshu Valley) :

Tso-moriri is a huge mountain lake in the southeast Ladakh , in the Rupshu area . It is inhabited by nomads known as Changspas who live in rabos (tents) during summer, looking after their flock of sheep which produces Pashmina WOOL, one of the finest and costliest varieties.
Some of the famous travelers have visited the area ! GeorgeTrebeck 1822, Thomas Thomson 1847, A.H . Francke 1909.

From Leh to Tseomoriri Lake is 221 kms 6 to 7 hours drive by Jeep . The first part of the journey is on the fine black top road via Upshi 46 kms Chumathang 76 kms to Mahe Bridge 22 kms where the Indus River is to be crossed. The rough road ahead turns west to Sumdo 24 kms and then proceed south across the Namshant 12 kms Karzok 31 kms the only village in the area on the western shore of the Lake . Some portions of the road are sandy requiring a four –wheel drive. Another road from Sumdo towards west joining the Leh-Manali road via Pologongka La 4800 m Tso Kar Lake at Debring covering 70 kms from Mahe. This route is popular with jeep-safari travellers, via Tang – Lang –La 5300mtrs, the second highest Motor able road in the world
One can stay two days at Karzok village, visiting the interesting Gompa . The Thalda Kurmi Massif two peaks one can see from the Village towards easter shore of the Lake , this the earlier name . The Lamas and the villagers called in LUNGSER (the golden mountain) and Chhamser (the place of worship). The other peak Eapgo (the place for prayer.)
Good Fixed vamping arrangements with all meals.


Nubra:

Means green valley, height of the valley is 2728 to 3000 mtrs, surrounded by mountains, to reach NUBRA valley there is a pass known “KHARDUNGLA”5350 mtrs. The highest vehicle pass in the world. The population is about 12,000, Budhhist 85 percent and 15 percent Muslims . The famous Gompa are Sumoor (Samashtanling) 250 years old, 110 Lamas under head Lama of Rezong,and the other one is Diskit Gompa about 500 years old under head Lama of Siptuk Gompa 90 Lamas are residing here. Also HUNDER GOMPA wonderful wall painting inside the Gompa built by the local villagers 200 years old.

Dha Hanu:
 

Along the Indus valley leading north west of Khalsi, 168 kms from Leh.
The area is more famous for its inhabitants, the Drads and Brokpas, “ People of the land” and ancient Indo- Iranian people with their own Buddhist traditions.
It is warmer than Leh, main crops are apricot, apples, walnut and grapes.
Tour can be done in two days. In Dha good guest Houses and Paying guest houses.
Day 01 Leh- Uletokpo( 80 kms) 3040 mts drive via Likir and Alchi Gompe:
Uletokpo : Ule Ethnic Resort, Indus river runs below the Resort. 24 hours running hot and cold shower. Mud huts made of mud and Canvas.. Check in the resort.
In the evening dry to visit Rezong Gompa.
Day 02 Full day trip to Dha Hanu 88 kms, via Khalsi and passing Dhomkar, Sukerbuchan, Achni, Thang.
The road is good no passes, 2 hours esay drive from the resort.
Visit the village and local houses.
Return back via Shanker Chiktan road via Khangral and Lamayuru .This area only shiet Muslims, different culture. In the evening back to resort
Day 03 Uletokpo to Leh.


Kargil:

District headquarters of the region of Suru, Drass Wakha, Badh Karbu and Zanaskar. Lies midway between the alpine valley of Kashmir 204 Kms from Srinagar via Zogila Pass and Drass and from Leh 234 kms via Lamayuru, Fatula Pass 4100mtrs and Namikala Pass_____ . This is where all Vehicles going between these two places make a night halt. For Tourist Kargil is mainly a transit point between Srinagar – Leh and to Zanaskar. The people of Kargil are mostly Shia Muslims. Kargil next roaring Suru river.
In the past until 1947, it was an important trading Center linking with Ladakh, Tibet, Yarkand, Gilgit, Zanaskar.



Suru Valley


Rangdom : 3650mtrs Entrance to the Budhist world. must isolated part of Suru Valley. Rangdom Gompa 18th century on a low hill. good trek route to east through Kanjila 5200mtrs linking up to the Leh – Kargil road at Lamayuru. After Rangdom, pass Pensi-la 4450mtrs wonderful Lake on the top and you can see. Duung-Durung Glacier. Then to Padum 3505mtrs once the ancient Lingdom of Zanskar

RANGDOM GOMPA- Zanaskar

Famous For: Long trek and Tours in the region also famous Monasteries around Padum.
Sani Gompa: Is located 6 kms west of Padhum. This castle like Gompa is unique because it is constructed on ground level. Legend has it that it was founded by Emperor Kanishka, the Kushan ruler as evidenced by the Kanishka Stupa in the backyard of the Gompa.
Karsha Gompa: is the landmark monastery in Zanaskar and is also the largest. It belongs to Gelukpa sect. As it stands on the side of mountain, it is a majestic complex of neat white washed adobe blocks. About 150 monks are resident here and use the several chapels for meditation and prayers.
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