Zanskar and Ladakh - Both regions are influenced by Tibetan Buddhism and desert-like mountain landscapes. And yet they are by nature quite different. Ladakh is the scenic region. Zanskar seems archaic and sometimes bizarre. At the beginning of your journey you visit in the Indus Valley important monasteries. There you will get a first impression of the diversity of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
The drive over Taglang La on Leh – Manali highway known as second highest mountain road in the world takes you into the midst of the stamped snow of distinctive peaks Zanskar Mountains. You pass through high plains on Rupshu Changthang to wide valley of Sarchu to Kelang Serai near to Baralacha la pass source of 3 river, from where you walk through the Zanskar Mountains to Padum on our first leg of trip and next stages we climb to Barmi la pass and descend through narrow gorge to Lingshed Sumdo. We follow Oma Chu River to Dibling and numbers of time main River and side streams to be cross. Dibling is one of the remotest village in Ladakh and inhabitants of this village often visit Lingshed. We follow a small trail to the junction and here we will have first view of Nun and Kun which remains in sight during our climb to Kanji la pass. The more we go up the better appreance of peak rising in Great Himalayan Range. Some of known and famous peaks are Hagshu, Doda and Brahma. On a clear sky one can have a clear view of Nanga Parbat to the west and K2 to the North.
Ladakh is also fondly known as the 'Land of High Passes' by the Indo-Aryan people who reside in the area. It is located in the Jammu and Kashmir State of India between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. It is a beautiful place to spend a vacation as shown by the following facts about the region.
In the 8th century, Ladakh was annexed by Tibetan Empire. Ladakh frequently changed hands between kingdoms of China and Tibet. After the break-up of the Tibetan empire, separate Ladakhi dynasty was established. The dynasty spearheaded the second spreading of Buddhism, importing religious ideas from north-west India, particularly from Kashmir and spread in Tibet proper through Ladakh.
Faced with the Islamic conquest of South Asia in the 13th century, Ladakh chose to seek and accept guidance in religious matters from Tibet. At last, Dogra Kings established their rule over Ladakh. European influence began in Ladakh in the 1850s and increased. During British Empire, Ladakh was the Princely State of the Dogra. At the time of the partition of India in 1947, the Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India. Pakistan raiders had reached Ladakh but were repulsed. In 1949, China closed the old trade routes and built roads connecting Xinjiang and Tibet through their area in 1955. China also built the Karakoram highway jointly with Pakistan. India built the Srinagar-Leh Highway during this period cutting the journey time between Srinagar and Leh. This route, however, remains closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall. Project to keep this road functional throughout the year through tunnels is being considered.
Ladakh is the largest province within the North Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, covering approximately 60,000 square miles (100,000 sq. km). It is surrounded and bisected by some of the highest mountain ranges in the world.
Running in a generally northwest to southeast direction through Ladakh, the great Himalayan Range separates the Vale of Kashmir from Ladakh. Further east, and running in the same direction, the Zanskar Mountains enclose the Zanskar River Valley. Still further east is the Ladakh Range, forming the Indus River Valley, while to the northeast the Karakorum Mountains for the eastern boundary of Nubra Valley. The height of these ranges prevents rain clouds from crossing into Ladakh and as a result, Ladakh receives only about 2 inches (5 cm) of rain per year. The aridity of the area is immediately apparent to the visitor, with Ladakh's long vistas of mountains without vegetation and valleys with only a few oases of green. The Indus River runs through Ladakh and the 30-mile (50 km) stretch of the Indus River Valley between Spitok gompa (near Leh airport) and Hemis gompa is the heartland of Ladakh. Here are scattered some of the finest gompas in the region and here also is the town of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. The valley lies at an altitude of about 11,350 feet (3,500 m) and some of the surrounding peaks reach heights of 22,500 feet (7,000 m).
The predominant religion in Ladakh is the Tibetan form of Buddhism, although Islamic influences are found from the Kashmir Valley as far as Kargil, and there are some Christian families in Leh.
The Tibetan influence in Ladakh is manifest: all religious books and prayers are in the Tibetan language, the monastic orders in the gompas are those developed in Tibet and the gompa artwork is clearly Tibetan in origin. Even the architectural design of Leh Palace is very similar to that of Lhasa's Potala Palace. Tibetan Buddhism is built on an earlier Tibetan religion - Bon or Bon-Shamanism - and it incorporated many of Bon's demons and gods. It similarly incorporated many of the gods in the Hindu pantheon, transforming them into Bodhisattavas or different incarnations or manifestations of various personalities. The walls of Ladakh's gompas are covered with illustrations of the Lord Buddha, his manifestations and followers, and the incorporated Bon and Hindu guardian deities in their various incarnations. It all makes for colourful and varied wall murals in every Ladakh gompa. The monasteries follow each of the two main sects of Buddhism that developed in Tibet: the Karyu pa or red-hat sect and the Gelug pa or yellow-hat sect. The Dalai Lama, believed to be a reincarnation of the Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara, is the head of the Gelug-pa sect. The gompas represent the monastic side of Buddhism, or lamaism. The lamaist side of Buddhism, requiring lon tation, contrasts with the everyday practice of Buddhism by Ladakhi lay people. For Ladakhis, religion is a daily affair with visible rituals that are frequently observed. These include spinning prayer wheels, making pilgrimages to gompas, chortens, mani walls and holy tombs, chanting mantras and reciting prayers in the area of the home set aside as a chapel.
The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.
Shanti Stupa is situated on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Shanti Stupa as know Buddhist white-domed stupa. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura .The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. Shanti stupa has provides beautiful and panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. This has become a primary reason for Shanti Stupa to become a popular tourist attraction, apart from its religious significance.
Picturesquely located in secluded, breathtakingly beautiful Rupshu Valley, the high-altitude Tso Moriri Lake is less than 250 kilometers southeast of Leh. Flanked by lofty mountains, this serene lake is about 4,000 meters above sea level. Tso Moriri is approximately 29 kilometers long and up to 8 kilometers wide. Tso Moriri attracts a range of wildlife, including migratory birds, marmots and rarely the Tibetan wolves.
Tso Moriri lake in Changthang region of Ladakh is a beautiful high altitude lake in Leh Ladakh which infact is the largest high altitude lake in India that is entirely in Indian Territory. One cannot pitch tents near the banks of Tso Moriri as it is part of the wetland conservation reserve.
A huge statue of Buddha on top of it, the Diskit monastery is situated in the Nubra valley of Ladakh. Also known as Diskit Gompa, the Buddhist center is one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Leh Ladakh. The Diskit monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century, and at present stands atop a hill above the plains of Shayok river. The prime attraction of the Diskit monastery is 100 foot high Maitreya Buddha statue, which was inaugurated by the holy Dalai Lama. From the top of the Gompa, where the divine statue is settled, one can have a panoramic view of the Nubra valley
Besides the Buddha statue, other attractions to ponder over in the Diskit monastery are the ancient murals and frescoes. In order to see the monastery blossoming to its zenith, one must visit Diskit Gompa during the months of December and January. It is during this time, the renowned Dosmoche festival is celebrated in the courtyards of Diskit monastery.
Thank you Prem and our trekking team: guide Sherab, Cook - Ravi, helper - Phurba and pony man Disu. We trekked in 1999 from Darcha to Lamayuru (with Potala Adventurers) and now in 2016 with our 3 children, aged 7,11 and 13. We enjoyed trekking in Zanskar/Ladakh from Kelang Sarai to Photoksar. Sherab and ...
"Trekking crew supported us in every way. We had great luck to have Mr Gyaltson as a guide. Have a wonderful cook Mr Ravi and his helper and the strong and hard working horseman. Thank you for a great experience we will remember this for a long time ! For sure ...
“Mission accomplished. The first two days of trekking we did with Tenzing. The trek was very nice and very good to acclimatize. The trek the guide and others went with the carrier for back and passed us to set up camp. In the trek there was a mountain Yalung Nong 6080...
Our experience has been truly a memorable one. The scenery has been an incredible, the interactions with other travelers most enjoyable, and the service provided by our guide, cook and pony men were exceptional. Our guide, has been without a doubt, the most accommodating and helpful in every way; our ...
Good support on all various aspects. 4 season tent to keep me warm all night. Provide sleeping bag and thick mattress; provide rope carabiner for Umasi La glacier travel. Morning bed tea and hot water for washing. Gas stove are in good condition. Its play an important role to prepare a ...
Salut Prem - Nous avons tardé à te répondre, enfin nous te donnons des nouvelles. Pour nous tout va bien, le retour s’était bien passé et nous avons encore pleins de souvenirs dans nos têtes. Encore mille mercis pour ce beau trek! C’était formidable, plein de magnifiques ...