Part of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is the third division. Each of the divisions, Jammu , Kashmir and Ladakh, has distinct cultures geographical terrain, religion and life style. It is often called Little Tibet. Ladakh derives its name from Tibetan “La Tags’ the land of high pass. Ladakh in the western Himalayas form the vast Tibetan plateau, a high altitude desert, Karakoram Ladakh and Zanaskar range. Ladakh is divided administratively into 2 districts Kargil and Leh.
The Landscape of Ladakh is adventurous, barren mountain. The altitude ranges from 9000ft to 24,000ft from Sea level. Atmosphere is generally dry.
Ladakh is one of the most exotic destinations; Buddhism in central Ladakh has shaped the whole culture. Every few villages have their own monasteries with prayer flags It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in India. Historically, the region included the Indus Valley, the remote Zanskar to the south, and Nubra valleys to the north over Khardung La in the Ladakh mountain range. Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahul and Spiti to the south, Kashmir to the west, and Central Asia to the north. Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture which was established as early as the 2nd century. This has given rise to the appellation "Little Tibet", as it has strongly been influenced by the culture of Tibet.
Despite its rugged terrain and remoteness explorers, preachers, spies, soldiers and tourists have traversed the region for centuries. Many of them have written books based on their observations and experiences which provide wealth of information about social , cultural and political life of the region for different periods.
During its long history, Ladakh was exposed to the cultures of its neighboring regions and its centuries of composite culture has found expression in its monuments, monasteries, folklore, oral literature, art forms and festivals. With the passage of time, it evolved its own unique culture and it possesses a vigorous cultural identity. The monasteries of Ladakh are treasure-house of rare statues exquisite wall paintings, ancient thankas (Painting on cloth) , precious antique pieces and artifacts.

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