LADAKH- LAND OF MONASTERIES AND ORAL CULTURE
|96,000 sq. km
|Leh (30,000 inhabitants)
|50% Buddhist 45% Muslim
|230-240V (Limited supply)
Ladakh occupies the western end of the Tibetan plateau and is often referred to as ‘Little Tibet Indeed, its Buddhist people are of Tibetan origin and many still wear the traditional robes, stove pipe hats and curious felt boots with turned-up toes.
Amazing monuments and eye catching monasteries
Ladakh is a land that abounds in awesome physical features set in an enormous landscape and, therefore, it appears beautifully desolate and remote. Yet, over the centuries, it has imbibed diverse ethnic, religious and cultural influences through the many missionaries, explorers and traders who traversed its windswept plateaux and deep valleys. In the process, it has been able to evolve and inherit a rich culture, which survives even today as a living heritage of the Western Himalayas. This heritage finds manifestation in the region’s monuments, monasteries, art and oral literature, fairs and festivals, and in the time-honored tradition of collective celebration of various Events. Here, every occasion- marriage, birth, farming and harvesting, even the flowering of plants is celebrated with great fanfare, marked with feasting, dancing and singing of folk songs that form part of its rich culture. In summer, most villages hold colorful archery festivals and thanks giving events, while winter is the period in which most of the religious festivals and social and cultural events are held.
About 15,000 sq. kms. in area, Kargil district has an agrarian population of approximately 120,000 people, who cultivate the land, along the course of the drainage system, wherever artificial irrigation from mountain streams is possible. About 85 % are Muslims, mainly of the Shia sect, Islam having been introduced to the original Buddhist population around the middle of the 16th century by missionaries from Kashmir and Central Asia. Their descendants, locally titled Agha, are mostly religious scholars who continue to hold sway over the population, even as the age-old traditions of Buddhist and animistic origin are discernible in the culture. Many elements of the ancient supernatural belief systems, especially many traditions connected with agricultural practices, are still followed with subdued reverence.
Zanskar is a tri-armed valley system situated between the Great Himalayan Range and the Zanskar mountains, the three arms radiating star-like towards the west, north and south from a wide central expanse. Here the Zanskar River comes into being by the confluence of its two Himalayan tributaries, the Stod/Doda and the Lingti-Tsarap Rivers. It is mainly along the course of this valley system that the region’s approximately 14,000 strong, mainly Buddhist population, live.
TravelZeg works very closely with all the hotels and Guest House in Ladakh and has its team for co-ordination and on site logistics. With our associate office in Ladakh we ensure good quality control over our activities like Jeep Safaris, trekking tours, expeditions and monastery tours.