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LADAKH


Ladakh is a land like no other. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the great Himalayas and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two others, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. It is spread over a huge area and has very low density population. Ladakh is a land that bounds in awesome physical features set in an enormous landscape and, therefore, it appears beautifully desolate and remote. The barren beauty of Ladakh with snow capped peaks and clean azure sky have attracted the intrepid traveller since the region was opened to tourists in the 1970s. Since then Ladakh has become a favorite haunt for trekking and mountaineering enthusiasts. The rugged terrain and the majestic mountains around make an exotic cocktail for an adventure sport lover. But before you decide to fly away to the land of Buddhist monasteries and brave people, it is imperative to understand that you need at least a week to enjoy your tour to Ladakh since acclimatization itself needs at least a few days in Ladakh. Ladakh is home to a large number of Buddhists who have preserved their rich culture and tradition from the days of yore. A tour to Ladakh is not just about beautiful views of snow-capped peaks kissing the blue sky or colourful flags fluttering in the wind but is also about centuries old culture of Ladakhi people and their indomitable spirit to live cheerfully in one of the most hostile terrains in the world.


NUBRA




Nubra Valley lies about 150 km north of Leh where the rivers, Shyok and Siachan, meet form a large valley. This valley separates the Ladakh from the Karakoram Ranges and the famous Siachen Glacier lies to the north of the valley. To the northwest of Nubra valley, lies The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass of the 'Silk Route' fame which connect Nubra with Xinjiang. Panamik village is the last settlement in the northern end of in Nubra valley is open to tourists. Nubra valley has a lot to offer and is as a must do for everyone who travels to Leh It has been identified as a tourist circuit by the local administration of Leh district.


KARGIL






Kargil is a town, which serves as the headquarters of Kargil district of Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It is the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. It is located 60 km and 204 km from Drass and Srinagar to the west respectively, 234 km from Leh to the east, 240 km from Padum to the southeast and 1,047 km from Delhi to the south.



ZANSKAR




About 20 kms south-east of Rangdum stands the Panzila axis, across which lies Zanskar, the most isolated of all the trans-Himalayan valleys. The Penzila pass (4,401m) is a picturesque tableland surrounded by snow-covered peaks. As the Zanskar road winds down the steep slopes of Penzi-la to the head of the Stod valley, the majestic " Drang-Drung" glacier looms into full view. A long and winding river of ice and snow, "Drang-Drung" is perhaps the largest glacier in Ladakh, outside the Siachen formation. It is from the cliff-like snout of this extensive glacier that the Stod or Doda tributary of the Zanskar River rises. The spectacular Himalayan landscape and the lifestyles of the inhabitants attract many tourists to the hidden kingdom of Zanskar. The Zanskar valley is situated across the Suru Valley and over the Pensi La in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Zanskar is situated 235 km away from Kargil.


LEH




Leh the erstwhile capital of the kingdom of Ladakh is now a dream destination of many and the Mecca of adventure enthusiasts! Leh, one of the coldest deserts in the world is located at a distance of 434 Kms from Srinagar and 474 Kms from Manali (Himachal Pradesh). At the time of reorganization of districts in 1979, Ladakh was divided into Leh and Kargil and now Leh district is synonymous with Ladakh and vice-versa! Built by the Buddhist kings of Ladakh in 1553 the Leh Palace was once the world's highest building. The primary attraction within the Leh city this palace is structurally similar to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Now only the palace prayer room lives up to the sense of former grandeur of Leh Palace. Leh is a backpacker's haven with numerous trekking trails, valleys, and picturesque lakes.


DRASS




Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name. It has become famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world by virtue of the intense cold that descends upon the valley along with repeated snowfalls during winters. Winter temperature is sometimes known to plummet to less than minus 40 degrees. The Drass valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. For centuries its inhabitants are known to have negotiated this formidable pass even during the most risky period in the late autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow-bound and is subject to frequent snow storms, to transport trader's merchandise across and to help stranded travellers to traverse it. By virtue of their mastery over the pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade during the heydays of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people enduring with fortitude and harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Drass can well be described as the guardian's of Ladakh's gateway. Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley across the sub-range separating the two valleys. This trek passes through some of the most beautiful upland villages and flower sprinkled meadows on both sides of the 4500 mts high Umbala pass, which falls enroute. The trek to the holy cave of Amarnath in neighbouring Kashmir, which stars from Minamarg below Zojila, takes 3 days and involves crossing of 5200 mts high pass. Drass also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.

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