CULTURE OF LADAKH

Leh Ladakh is an oasis of nature and serenity. Arid Leh features a unique Buddhist lifestyle. The Buddhist monasteries built centuries ago bring global tourists to Leh and Ladakh. The ancient rock carvings, large pillars and peace in the monasteries still leave a deep impact on the hearts of travellers. Apart from the sightseeing options, the culture and lifestyle of Leh Ladakh is one of the reasons why tourists love to flock here.


The culture of Leh Laddakh is quite similar to the Tibetan culture because of the region’s close proximity with Tibet. In Ladakkh the cuisines are mostly of Tibetan origin like thukpa and tsampo. Nowadays however it is also getting influenced by the cuisine styles of Central Asia and the rest of India. The architecture of Leh Laddakh also is influenced by the Tibetan style and has references to the existence of dragon. The religion of the state also follows Tibetan as well as Buddhist influences. Most of the chants are in Sanskrit or Tibetan.


Ladakhi culture is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture, in fact it is quite similar. There are more Buddhists than Muslims in certain areas and the ratio changes as we move towards Zanskar valley. Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa (noodle soup) and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as ngampe (roasted barley flour).


A dish that is strictly Ladakhi is skyu, a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables. As currency started making its place in the economy of Ladakh, food from the Indian plains gained popularity. Tea in Ladakh is traditionally made with strong green tea, butter, and salt. It is mixed in a large churn and known as gurgur cha(Butter Tea), after the sound it makes when mixed. The milk and sugar based sweet tea made in Indian style is also common now. Most of the surplus barley that is produced is fermented into chang, an alcoholic beverage drunk especially on festive occasions.


Ladakhis are very fond of ice hockey which is generally played in the month of January on natural ice. Archery is a traditional sport and many villages still conduct archery festivals, which also include drinking, dancing and gambling as a medium of celebrating the sport. Polo is another traditional sport of Ladakh.


The architecture in Ladakh draw heavy influences from Tibet and India. The monastic architecture reflects a deeply rooted Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, is a common feature on almost every gimp, including the likes of Hemis, Thiksey, Alchi etc. Ladakhi Buddhist festival music is much like its Tibetian counterpart and often involves religious chanting. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts in celebration of various festivals.



HISTORY OF LADAKH

For nearly 900 years, from the middle of the 10th century, Ladakh was an independent kingdom, its ruling dynasties descending from the kings of old Tibet. The kingdom attained its greatest geographical extent and glory in the early 17th century under the famous king Singge Namgyal, whose domain extended across Spiti and western Tibet right up to the Mayum-la, beyond the sacred sites of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.


 Gradually, perhaps partly due to the fact that it was politically stable, Ladakh became recognized as the best trade route between the Punjab and Central Asia. For centuries it was traversed by caravans carrying textiles, spices, raw silk, carpets, dyestuffs, narcotics, etc. to the Central Asian towns of Yarkand and Khotan. On this long route, Leh was the midway stop, and developed into a bustling entrepot, its bazars thronged with merchants from distant countries.


The famous pashmina (better known as cashmere) also came down from the high-altitude plateaux of eastern Ladakh and western Tibet, through Leh, to Srinagar, where skilled artisans transformed it into shawls known the world over for their softness and warmth. Like the land itself, the people of Ladakh are generally quite different from those of the rest of India. The faces and physique of the Ladakhis, and the clothes they wear, are more akin to those of Tibet and Central Asia than of India. The original population may have been Dards, an Indo-Aryan race down from the Indus and the Gilgit area.


Ladakh’s earliest inhabitants were nomadic yak herders, but permanent settlements were established along the Indus by Buddhist pilgrims travelling from India to Mt Kailash in Tibet. Buddhism soon became the dominant religion, though the minority Brokpa tribe still follows Bonism: the religion that preceded Buddhism in Tibet.


By the 9th century, the Buddhist kings of Ladakh had established a kingdom extending all the way from Kashmir to Tibet, protected by forts and dotted with vast Buddhist gompas (monasteries). Different sects struggled for prominence, but the Gelukpa (Red Hat) order was introduced by the Tibetan pilgrim Tsongkhapa in the 14th century, and it soon became the major philosophy in the valley.


Simultaneously, Muslim armies began to invade Ladakh from the west. In the 16th century, the province fell briefly to Ali Mir of Balistan, but Buddhism bounced back under Singge Namgyal (1570–1642), who established a new capital at Leh. Ladakh was finally annexed into the kingdom of the Dogra Rajas of Jammu in 1846.


Since then, Ladakh has been ruled as a sub-district of Jammu and Kashmir. In response to anti-Buddhist discrimination, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) was formed in 1996, lobbying for the creation of a Union Territory of Ladakh. Since then, candidates from the Ladakh Union Territory Front have lead the field at elections, but with the state government profiting heavily from Ladakh’s tourism industry, autonomy is likely to remain a distant dream.



DELHI LADAKH TOUR PACKAGES

Care to drive on some of the highest motorable passes in the world or how about a camel safari in the desert in the sky? We bring to you Delhi Ladakh Tour Packages, tastefully crafted to offer you a vacation in India that will remain etched in your memory forever. No matter which part of Ladakh you wish to travel, we offer complete information on Leh and Ladakh. Select your dream trip to one of the most adventurous terrains in the world. Ladakh offers every spirit of tourism like pilgrimage, shivering hill station, rich culture heritage, romantic beaches, adventurous activities, historical landmarks etc.

Ladakh is among the most beautiful places in India and one of best places to catch different attraction at one Place. Ladakh is a destinations which is unique in beauty and can mesmerize anyone. Delhi Ladakh tour is always a thrilling and a great experience for every tourist. Discover Ladakh offers great deals and discounts on Delhi Ladakh tour packages. Try a Delhi Ladakh Tour Package to enjoy a trip to this part of the country and have a unique holiday experience.

BIKE TOURS LADAKH

A bike ride to Leh, Ladakh passes through some of the most breathtaking, challenging and awe-inspiring landscapes found on Earth. But by any means it is not an easy ride since most parts of the road are at altitudes of 13,000 feet and above in the Himalayas. You have to Buckle up for the most precious bike trip of your life time. Stopover in sapphire lakes, rusty terrains, peaceful outbacks and almost anywhere your heart wants to.

Discover Ladakh welcome you all to come, visit our region and be a part of the experience & thrill of riding a motorbike and traveling around the beautiful region through – mountains, valleys, high plateaus, crossing – villages,
streams, rivers, high mountain, high mountain roads, visiting – temples, monasteries, small towns and making numerous friends all around. We guarantee you that the touring experience would be a life long memory and to cherish for times to come. Did you know that the road leading to Ladakh is the same trail that was used by caravans going to the Silk Route centuries and centuries ago? If this isn’t awe inspiring enough, the roads leading into the region are only open four months of the year – for the remaining eight, they are covered in snow.

For many riders, the highlight of bike tours to Leh Ladakh is Khardung-La, the highest motorable road in the world. To pass from Leh into the Nubra Valley, you will need to drive your motorcycle along a road that sits at 18,380 feet. It is surely a terrifying, yet exhilarating experience. Relive your life again and add a little spice to it with exciting Bike Tour Ladakh. Discover Ladakh offers great deals and discounts on Ladakh Bike tour packages. Try a Bike Ladakh Tour Package to enjoy a trip to this part of the country and have a unique holiday experience.