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India Tour Package » Himalayan Expedition » Ladakh Tour
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Ladakh Tour

Local Man with Yak, LadakhOnce an independent kingdom of western Tibet, the Kashmir valley was rewarded to Raja Gulab Singh by the British after he enabled them to win over the Sikhs. This welded the disparate region of Jammu, Ladakh, Baltistan, Gilgit and Kashmir which later became the political entity under dispute between India and Pakistan.

Ladakh is encompassed by two of the world's supreme mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karkoram. Crumbling old monasteries perched on rocky promontories command the barren empty vistas. In summer, it is sullen grey, silt laden, sometimes turning to violet. In autumn, the Indus is at its most graceful, weaving through golden banks of tall poplars and tumbling waters.


Location
Ladakh is a high altitude plateau at India's furthest frontier, bordered by Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Tibet in the north, Kashmir to the west and Himachal to the south. The Indus river bisects the plateau. The place is at a distance of 434 km east of Srinagar and 474 km north of Manali.

Climate
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Winter is severely cold and is chilling through out the year. The best time to visit is from May to the end of October.


Major AttractionsLamayuru Gompa, Ladakh
Maitreya Buddha, Mulbekh - At Mulbekh, a pit-stop on the road to Kargil from Leh, is a startling 23ft rock engraving of Maitreya Buddha, standing in splendid isolation. This is one of the earliest of pre-Tibetan Buddhist sculpture dating back to 8th century. The attention to the muscles, the high-arching eyebrows and full cheeks indicate that the figure of the Buddha was formed out of rocks by the Kashmiri pandits.

Tak Tok Monasteries - The first cave where Buddha is said to have meditated. In the 16th century, the only Nyingma monastery of Ladakh, Tak Tok, 50km south east of Leh grew up around the site above the village of Sakti nearby the Pangong Lake. The cave is now a temple, dark, gloomy and covered with soots from thousand of butter lamps.

Lamayuru Gompa - Down the west lies the earliest surviving monasteries of Ladakh, Yung-drung or the Swastika perched high above the village at the bottom of the valley. The place was chosen by the Kashmiri yogi Naropa in the early 11th century. The monastery was later enlarged and embellished by Rinchen Tsangpo. The most important feature of this cave is that its mouth is behind a glass wall, but it's still a thrill to flash a torch in for a glimpse of the place of meditation.

The Sum Tsek Temple - The temple's architecture is unparalleled in the entire Himalayan region. Its mud walls rise to three storeys and houses the giant figures of four armed Bodhisattvas. The ground floor has a ceiling, the center is occupied by a stucco chorten, while the Bodhisatattvas occupy the alcoves in the sides and far walls.
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Nearby Attractions
Manjushri Temple Sculptures, Alchi ChoskhorAlchi Choskhor - Leh's famous Alchi Choskhor, the religious enclave was commissioned in the 11th century by Kaldan Sherab and Tsultrim Od. The murals so remarkably preserved at Alchi are very different from the Tibetan influence. Besides, two main temples the Alchi Du- khang and the Sumtek, are four smaller structure.The 12th century Lotwasa Lha-khang has a sclupture and a painting of Rinchen Tsangpo. The central image is of Buddha with Bhumispar-shamudra on one of its side.


How to Reach
By Air - Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operates regular flights to Leh Airport from Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu.
By Rail - The nearest Rail Head is Jammu 620 Kms from Leh. Jammu is connected to all parts of India through express trains.
By Road - Ladakh is connected to Delhi by two routes - via Srinagar-Zoji La Pass, and via Manali-Rohtang Pass. Regular bus service operates on the routes. Cabs can also be hired from both Srinagar and Manali


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