India’s Own Moonland
A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth.
Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, sceneries to the modest cultures that it fosters. Right from gompas to the sensational momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit makes this city make it heaven on earth. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.
For those of us living in the constant confusion about the difference between these twin locations, Leh-Ladakh, here is something that might help you. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into three parts: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Ladakh, further is divided into two districts: district Leh, and district Kargil. The former district has a popular town ?Leh?and is a great tourist attraction because of its beautiful monasteries, picturesque locations, and interesting markets defining the culture of the place.
Pangong Lake, Ladakh Overview
The famous and sparkling blue Pangong lake is situated near Leh-Ladakh in the Himalayas, approximately at the height of 4350 meters. This endorheic lake is 12 kilometres long and extends from India to Tibet, with two-thirds of it lying in the latter. Owing to its altitude, the temperature here ranges from -5°C to 10°C as a result of which the lake freezes completely during winters in spite of its salinity. A unique feature of the lake is that it does not remain blue throughout the year or even the day, rather it changes colours from azure to light blue to green and grey too! It has been a tourist attraction for a very long time and has gained further popularity after being a ‘hot-spot’ for many film shoots, apart from being an essential for anyone travelling to Leh – Ladakh. The sublime beauty, crystal waters and gentle hills of Pangong Lake are an exceptional example of the beautiful landscape of the region.
Shanti Stupa is one of the magnificent Tibetan structures that has ever been built. The architecture and the beauty of this place are unexplainable. Shanti Stupa is a white-dome structure dedicated to Buddhism. Located on the hilltop of Chamspa in Leh, it is one of the major tourist attractions of Ladakh not only for its religious significance for also for its splendid views of the surrounding mountain ranges that it has to offer. This marvelous structure is an example of the ties between Japan and India.
The lesser known of the many lakes within the Changtang Wildlife sanctuary, Moriri Tso lake is twin to the Pangong Tso Lake. Located inside the Changtang wildlife sanctuary, this lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquility. The water body measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 100 feet average in depth. The lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains. Since Moriri Tso lake is the lesser known of the two lakes, the crowd frequency is less too. Pangong lake always has many more people, and is now crowded with little stalls that sell Maggi and tea.
The Leh Palace, also known as ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ is one of the most historically rich edifices that can be found in the country and is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir, in the town of Leh in India. This grand structure was built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal as a royal palace, and the King and his family were the former residents of the majestic mansion. The Leh Palace is also one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine stories in all, and offers marvellous panoramic views of the entire town of Leh, as well as of the Stok Kangri and Zanskar mountains of the mighty Himalayan ranges, thereby giving the palace a strategic position.
Best known as the gateway to the Nubra and Shyok valleys in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, the Khardung La Pass, commonly pronounced as Khardzong La, is a very important strategic pass into the Siachen glacier and claims to be the world’s highest motor able pass at an elevation of 5,602 m.
The pristine air, the scenic beauty one sees all around and the feeling that you are on top of the world has made Khardung La a very popular tourist attraction in the past few years.
The popular Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is said to be a gravity hill where vehicles defy the force of gravity and move upwards on the hill when parked at the marked location. The hill lies at a distance of 30 km from the town of Leh, at an elevation of around 14,000 feet above sea level. To the eastern side of the hill flows the Sindhu River, originating in Tibet and is an almost essential stopover for all those who travel to Ladakh. An optical illusion or actuality, the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh has mysterious magnetic properties that draw tourists from across the globe.
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