Laddakh is a beautiful region located on the eastern borders of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Under Jammu and Kashmir the districts are governed by the Autonomous Hill Development Council. Leh is the capital of the region. In the south of Laddakh lies the Himalayan mountain ranges and in the north are the Karakoram ranges.
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The Sindhu River flows through Laddakh. Karakoram's Saser Kangri is the highest peak of Laddakh.
Laddakh is often called the land of high lands and ‘Small Tibet'. The land, Buddhist temples and features of the local people are quiet similar to Tibet. Living here one can feel the cultures of Tibet and Laddakh at the same time.
The capital Leh is situated on a height of 11, 552 feet. The climate is very hot in the morning and very cold at night. Laddakh is the land of many beautiful Buddhists temples and pagodas. The ‘Silk Route' passing through here joins it to Western Asia. In ancient times people and traders used to take this route from Western Asia to reach India and vice versa.
World's highest motorable road is also here and is called, Khardung La. It is 18, 380 feet above sea level. Laddakh can be classified into 6 geographical features: Mid – Laddakh, Nubra, Pangong, Rupsa, Jaskar and Western Laddakh.
The main region of Mid – Laddakh is made out of the Sindhu Valley. In its southern direction lies the Jaskar mountain range and in its northern direction lies the Laddakh range. The Nubra region is dense with deep valleys and high mountains and hills. Rupsa region is a high political area. Its northern borders merge with those of Tibet. Jaskar is a valley area. It can be reached after crossing a number of high lands. It is located in the middle of the Himalayan Range and the Jaskar Range. In winters this area is cut off from the mainland of the country. Kargil is an important city of the region because of its memorial. The Suru, Dras, Vakh and Sindhu River – valleys make it an important geographical area.
Due to low water availability the region is barren and rocky. The Himalayan Range lying on the Southern direction of Laddakh force the monsoon clouds entering India to strike on the mountains and retreat back resulting in the region receiving almost no rainfall. The average rainfall of the region amounts to 150 millimeter. The average summer temperature is 20° to 25° C and in winters the temperature drops down till – 35° C. Jaskar is the coldest region of Laddakh.
People have been living in Laddakh from almost 10, 000 years. Historically Laddakh has been influenced from Kashmir in the west and Tibet in the east. Its western region has a deep impression of the Kashmiri cultures and traditions. Muslim population ratio is very high especially in Kargil. The other regions have influential Buddhists religion.
Rafting, trekking and mountain climbing in Laddakh provide a thrill while peacefulness can be sought in the many pagodas and temples of Laddakh. The bluest sky can be viewed here. This is the only place in the whole world where if you stand out in the sun you might catch look while if you go inside the house you would feel as if you are freezing with cold.