Activities in Ladakh
The first inhabitants of Ladakh are thought to have been a mixture of nomadic herds men from the Tibetan Plateau and a small contingent of early Buddhist refugees from northern India called the Mons. Sometime in the fourth or fifth centuries, these two groups were joined by the Dards, a tribe of Indo-Aryan origin who migrated southeast along the Indus Valley, bringing with them irrigation and settled agriculture.
The first independent kingdom in the region was established in the 9th century by the maverick novel man Nyima Gon, taking advantage of the Chaos after the collapse of the Guge Empire of the western Tibet. Buddhism, meanwhile, had also found its way across the Himalayas from India. Disseminated by the wondering sage- Apostles such as Padmasambhava (Alias" Guru Rimpoche"), Dharma gradually displaced the pantheistic shamanism of the Bon Cult ( which still holds away in remote villages north of Khalsi, near Lamayuru). The east word expansion of the faith towards Tibetan plateau continued in the 10th and 11th centuries- the period later dove the " Second Spreading ". among its key proselytizers was the " great translator" Rinchen Zangpo, scholar and missionary associated with the foundation of numerous monasteries in Ladakh and in neighboring Spiti.
Around the 14th century, Ladakh passed through a dark age during which, for reasons that remain unclear, its rulers switched allegiances from Indian to Tibetan Buddhism, a form of the faith deeply invested with esoteric practice drawn from the Tantra texts, and possibly influenced by the animated celebrations common to born. This coincided with the rise to prominence in Tibet of Tsongkhapa, who is accepted as founder of the Gelug-pa or " yellow hat" school. With the Dalai Lama at its head, Gulek-pa is today the most popular school in Ladakh with many more monasteries than sects, such as Kagyu, which is closely linked with Milarepa, a tantric practitioner (11th -century) whose ideas and sonnets have stuck with many Ladakhi Buddhist. Under Tashi Namgyal ( 1555-70) , who re-unified the kingdom, Ladakh became a major Himalayan power and the ascent to the thrown of the "lion" Sengge Namgyal, in the 17th century, signaled further territorial gains. After being routed by the Mogul-Balti army and Bodh Kharbu in 1639, he turned his energies to civil and religious matters, founding a new capital and palace at Leh, as well as a string of monasteries that included Hemis, seat of the newly arrived Brugpa sect, a branch of Kagyu school.
Sengge's building spree created some fine monuments, but it also drained the kingdom coffers, as did the hefty annual tribute paid to the Moguls after the both Kharu debacles. Finances were further strained when Delden, Sengge's successor pickled a quarrel with his ally, Tibet. The fifth Dalai lama dispatched an army of Mongolian horse men to tech him a lesson, and three years of conflict were only ended after the Mogul governor of Kashmir intervened on Ladakh's behalf. This help, however, came at a price : Aurangzeb demanded more tribute, ordered the construction of a mosque in Leh, and forced the Ladakhi king to convert to Islam.
Trade links with Tibet resumed in the 18th century, but Ladakh never regained its former status. Plagued by feuds and assassinations, the kingdom teetered in to terminal decline and was an easy target for the Dogra (Sikh) general Zorawar Singh, who annexed it for the Maharaja of Kashmir in 1834. The Ladakhi royal family were banished to Stok Palace where they reside to this day.
Ladakh became a part of independent India in 1948, following the first of the three Indo-Pak wars fought in this region. However, both the international frontier, and the so called" Cease Fire Line" that scythes through he top of Jammu and Kashmir remain "unauthenticated": even today, the two armies take periodic pot-shots at each other across the disputed Siachin glacier in the Karakoram, 100 km north. When you conceider the proximity of China, another old foe who annexed a large chunk of Ladakh in 1962, it is easy to see why this is India's most sensitive border Zone- and why it remained off- limits to tourists until 1974.
Today, Ladakh comprises over 60 percent of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as it stands, and like the other two state districts, Kashmir Valley and Zanskar, has its own distinct culture and boundaries formed by mountain ranges that have ensured independent development over several centuries. Long dissatisfied with centralized government from Srinagar, in September 1995 the Ladakhis finally saw the establishment in their region off an autonomous Hill Development council, localizing government control. It's hoped that Ladakh's particular needs, dictated largely by climate and traditions, will be better met under the new system. In 1995, agitating Zanskaries, hoping a for a similar Hill council, were making travel in the region awkward, but things have calmed down since a compromise reached in early 1996.
Activities in Ladakh
Cultural & Scenic Tours in Ladakh
Set amidst the Himalayan and Karakoram mountains, Ladakh boasts of being rich in culture, and tradition. It is an ideal place for witnessing history with unique touches of the region itself different from other parts of the country. Beautiful monasteries, High altitude lakes such as Pangong Tso / Tso Moriri and Tso Kar the famous one. Driving in the west to Alchi and Lamayuru section is a picture perfect destination. You can follow the Indus river up to Batalik via Da and Hanu villages where you can interact with Aryan Valley. You can drive further to Kargil via Himbotingla pass or retrace to Shashi La pass to reach at Bodh Kharbu or Sanjak to back to Leh. Reach Khardungla pass the world highest one motorable pass to reach at Nubra valley called Valley of Flowers. You may wait to choose your travel to see the colorful festivals in Ladakh. Please see Ladakh Festival calendar.
Trekking in Ladakh
Leh Ladakh is counted among those few destinations which offer an ideal setting for mountaineering and trekking. With its uneven terrains and picturesque locales, Ladakh offers an exciting mishmash of scenic charm and challenging heights to adventure enthusiasts. But such virulent conditions have not shaken the determination of a traveler to avoid challenges posed by nature. Also it is very easy to find overnight accommodation in villages. You may choose your day hike to trekking for minimum for two days to any number of days. Ladakh has various trekking circuits such as Markha Valley / Sham Trek / Pugga Valley Trek / Lamayuru to Daracha Trek, Trekking in Zanskar/ Trek over Warila Pass/ Trek over Omasila to Nubra valley/ Alchi Lamayuru trek are some of the major attraction for you.
Expedition in Ladakh
Peak over 7000 M ASL Nun and Kun are major attraction for your proper summit. You need to get the details from Indian Mountaineering Foundation. While as Stok Kangri / Kangyartse are trekking peaks are around 6000 M ASL which you can choose for advance trekking lovers. A proper acclimatization is required.
Motor Bike Tours in Ladakh
Ladakh, popularly known as "the land of numerous passes of mystic Lamas", 'The Moon Land', 'Little Tibet', and 'The last Shangri La' is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India, situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh lies at an altitude from 9000 ft to 25170 feet above the sea level. At these heights, you are on the roof of the World. Manali to Leh is approx 500 Kms drive and one of the most beautiful high altitude drive in the world. Riding at high passes and beautiful valley in Nubra is a dream destination for all Bike riders. Driving in the west by following river Indus will take you to Beema - Da and Hanu villages which are considered as a pure Aryan race. Reach up to Himbotingla pass and Shashi la you can go further to Kargil or drive to Bodhkharbo to retrace back to Leh.
Mountain Bike Tours in Ladakh
Dream destination for Mountain bike lovers. You can ride from Leh to Nubra valley over Kahrdungla pass. Pangong lake located at a distance of 150 kms from Leh and can be complted in two to three days. Following the river Indus would be interesting to reach Achinathang and Da Hanu villages and back to Leh via Himbotingla pass and Shashi la.
Jeep Safari in Ladakh
The jeep safari trip from Manali to Leh can be extended to Nubra valley across Khardongla pass, the highest motorable road in the world or to Srinagar after crossing Zojila Pass. Zanskar region is most amazing to follow the base of Nun Kun peaks and driving up to Padum in the centre of Zanskar region. You have many possibilities to explore around and back to Kargil. Pangong lake jeep safari , Nubra valley jeep safari and Driving in the south east of Leh you can reach to Tso Moriri Lake and Tso Kar Lake and drive back to via Tanglangla pass. You have possibility to start your safari from down suout of Himachal from Chandigarh to reach Shimla and visit Spiti valley and after kaza follow the Manali Leh highway to reach Ladakh.
River Rafting in Ladakh
Experience splendid and thrilling white water rafting in the parts of Northern India with us and take along memories to cherish forever. Zanskar and Indus are two major rivers for your rafting. End of May to first week of September is the best time to go for rafting in Ladakh.
Two Humph Camel Ride in Ladakh
Take a ride to some of the ancient passes and have a glimpse of village life in Ladakh through a Camel Safari. This unique safari has always proved to be a fascinating part of a Ladakh Visit. The 'ship of desert' is something more than just a mode of transport in the frozen desert of Ladakh. You may have a pleasure camel ride at Nubra valley which may be for couple of minutes to hours though we can arrange long safari around Nubra valley for number of days.
Festivals in Ladakh
In Ladakh every occasion marriage, birth, harvesting, commemoration of head Lamas founding of the monastery, Losar (new year) and flowering is marked by feasting, dancing and the singing of folksongs that forms a part of its living heritage. Most of the festivals are held in winter but some popular festival take place in summer too. The monastic festivals are the heart of all the festivals. They are performed by Monks wearing colorful silk garments and different facial mask. You can choose any of the festive date to witness the same.
Frozen River Trek in Ladakh
Chadar: A word in Hindi which translates to bed sheet or blanket. The trekking in Zanskar region over the frozen river is referred to as the Chadar trek or the Frozen River Trek because the ice cover over the river appears like a blanket. Chadar trek is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh region.
Snow Leopard Trails in Ladakh
Snow Leopard tour from October to March, that's from end of Autumn to Beginning of Spring. These elusive cats are spotted throughout the Hemis National Park, and in Sham area west of Leh. Beside Snow Leopard there is always a good chance of spotting many other famous and rare animals like "Nyan" or "Tinetan Argali",(Ovis ammon); Himalayan blue sheep, called "Bharal" or "Napo", (Pseudois nayaur); Uriel, locally called "Shapo" (Ovis orientalis), Asiatic ibex Skin(Capra sibirica), and among the predators are Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Lynx, Pallas Cat, and many others
Photography Tours in Ladakh
experience of this fascinating Himalayan region. The photographic encounters with the mountain people and their way of life , the dramatic road journeys, the serene and surreal lakes, the high passes and the sharp pure Himalayan air day after carefully planned day, all these elements come together to turn our Ladakh photo tour into an experience that its participants will remember for a lifetime.
Filming and Documentary
Ladakh is a picture perfect destination and many films are getting pasteurized at different locations in Ladakh. You have numerous possibilities for short documentary and advertisement.
Meditation and Monastic experience
Buddhism is an unique religion in the world. Meditation is main key point of this religion. Meditation is an unique form of practice to relax your brain. It has scientific process to be performed and you may get in touch with meditation centre and any senior Lama at any monastery. Away from the crowded cities and nice climate attract people to learn this process around the world.
Geological Study & research
Ladakh is an unique destination in the world. Glacial formation and its past approach mystery attract many scientist to explore unexplored.