Ladakh “The land of high passes” holds special attraction for its tourist’s .Its dramatic mountains and beautiful landscapes makes an unforgettable experience to its travelers. It’s a Paradise on earth. This beautiful region in state of Jammu and Kashmir always surprises its visitors with its amazing towering peaks, snow capped Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and lush green valleys.
The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. Leh is the land of pure atmosphere, popularly known as snow desert. Leh,the capital of kingdom of Ladakh is the dream destination of many. Leh is at an altitude of 3,524 meters (11,562 ft), and is connected via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh- Manali Highway. Leh is heaven for adventure lovers with numerous trekking trails,valleys and picturesque lakes. Leh is also known as land of Monks and Monasteries. It is one of the largest districts in the country. In this article we will discuss about various interesting and amazing facts about Leh and Ladakh which nobody knows!
1. Leh Palace
Image source – Ladakh By Banjara
One of the major attractions of Leh is its former Royal palace .The Place was built by King Senegge Namgyal in the 17th century AD. It was modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa ,Tibet. It is nine storeys high,the upper floor accommodated the royal family while the lower floor held stables and store rooms. This beautifully constructed palace was abandoned when the Dogra foces took control of Ladakh in the mid 19th century and forced the royal family to move to Stoke palace. Later the palace was restored by the Archaeological survey of India. The palace museum has huge collection of Jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. The palace is now open to the public. The roof of palace provides stunning views of Leh and its nearby surroundings.
2. Highest Residential point
Image source- Drok Azeez
It is the most highest Residential point in India, with Indus river nearby. Ladakh is also highest plateau of Kashmir valley; it’s more than 3ooo meters above sea level. And this is among the most interesting facts about Leh- Ladakh.
3. Twin Humped camel
Ladakh is the only place in India where twin Humped camel can be found. The Bactrian camel ( twin humped camel) is a large even toed unregulated native to the steeps of central Asia. This camel has two humps on its back in contrast to the single humped camel. This camel has great toleration for cold, droughts and high altitudes. You can enjoy the ride in this camel in Nubra valley. It forms one of the main attraction in Nubra valley. I came to know about these camels last year and I was really shocked so what do you guys think are you ready to take ride on these Bactrian camel.
4. Jama Masjid
Located in the heart of Leh town is the Jama Masjid, which is one of the major historical mosques in Ladakh. This mosque is considered to be the biggest mosques in the Ladakh region and consists of a memorial which is known as Shahi Hamdan. This memorial is made in dedication to Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, a Muslim Sufi Saint. It was built in 1666-67 A.D. as a result of an agreement between Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor and the then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal. Since the time of its construction, the mosque has been dismantled and re-constructed using new techniques.
5. Land of colorful festivals
Ladakhi festivals are all about traditional dancing, singing and colorful masks. The strong influence of Buddhism can be seen in its fairs and festivals. People who are curious about Ladakh’s culture and way of life, it is great opportunity to be part of these festivals and experience the rich and unique culture of Ladakh. Most of these festivals take place in winters. They usually take place in forms of dance and drama. Lamas robed in colorful garments and wearing masks performs Mimes representing various aspects of Buddhist Religion. Some of its famous festivals are Losar festival, Ladakh festival, Hemis Tsechu festival, Sindhu Darshan festival.
6.Magnetic Hills of Ladakh
Magnet Hill is a “gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes creates an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road. Objects and cars on the hill may appear to roll “uphill” in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill.
The other two such magnetic hills are in Gujarat One is near Bhuj (Kalo dungar- the black hills) and other at Tulsi Shyam.
7.Breathtaking Scenic beauty
Ladakh is known for its breathtaking scenic beauty and stunning views Nestled between Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges ,its beauty lies in its snow-capped mountains ,serene lakes with crystal clear water ,green patches of land ,bright blue skies and unimaginable terrains .It’s a place that can make you forget the rest of the world. The entire landscape of Ladakh presents the feeling of being part of another world. It shows how colorful a rocky mountain surface could be and how fascinating an arid valley could look. It mesmerizes its visitors by its panoramic views.
8. Pangong lake ,the highest Salt lake in India
Pangong lake is the highest salt lake in India. Pangong Tso lake is situated at a height of about 14,270 feet from sea level .It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet.60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. Despite being salt water lake ,in winter it freezes completely. The lake acts as breeding ground for variety of birds including many migratory birds. This fact about the pangong lake is the most amazing fact about Leh – Ladakh region.
9. Highest Astronomical Observatory
The Indian Astronomical center (I.A.O) located near Leh in Ladakh ,India, has one of the world’s highest sites for optical, in framed and Gamma ray Telescopes The Indian Astronomical Observatory stands on Mt. Saraswati, Digpa-ratsa Ri, Hanle, in south-eastern Ladakh. It is operated by Indian institute of Astrophysics ,Bangalore .It is currently the third highest Optical telescope in the world ,situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters. It is a must visit place for science enthusiasts. During the daytime you can visit inside the observatory.
10. Home of great diversity of birds both residential and migratory
Ladakh has great diversity of birds, both resident and migratory birds. Some 225 different species of birds have been recorded in Ladakh . Here one can find Chukor Patridge,Kestrel,Himalayan Griffin Vultures,Golden Eagle and Himalayan Snow cock. Many birds migrate from warmer parts of India to spend the summer in Ladakh. The black necked Crane is rare species found nesting in summer in parts of Ladakh. So do you liked this fact it is one of my personal favorite facts about the place
11.Highest Motor able road
The Khardung La Pass in Ladakh is known as highest motor able road in the world. This pass on the Ladakh range lies north of Leh and is gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 meters. One can enjoy the stunning views of Ladakh surroundings while going through this road.It makes a memorable experience. It also makes a challenge able ride indeed.
12.Yummy and tasty Food
Ladakh along with its scenic beauty also offers delicious and mouth watering food. The lifestyle and food culture of this place is heavily inspired by Tibetan culture .The Ladakhi cuisine has its own unique taste and flavor. Thupka is the most favorite dish of Ladakhi people. This delicious dish is a noodle soup with boiled vegetables, chunks of chicken, pork etc. Butter tea was one of the signature dish of Ladakh. This pink color tea has unique taste and fragrance. It is made up of tea leaves, butter, salt and water. Momos are yummiest food of Ladakh. Momos are made with a simple flour and water dough. Minced meat, vegetables or cheese are stuffed in flour dough’s and dumplings are made. In Momos we can stuff any ingredients of our choice. Momos can be veg or non veg .depending on our preference. After stuffing Momos can be steamed or fried.
So these are some amazing and interesting facts about Leh- Ladakh.There are many more surprises that Ladakh offers which you will know when you will come here and experience its wonders.