Marked by the boundary of the western Himalayan peaks and the vast Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is one of the most remote regions of India and has been variously described as “The Moonland”, “Little Tibet” and even as “The Last Shangri La”. Whatsoever are the descriptions the rugged and arid landscape of Ladakh has been favorite destination for holiday seekers, trekkers and even an important subject to many photographers. With its many whitewashed monasteries and forts perched on the top of sugarloaf mountains and cultural richness mostly Buddhism, Ladakh is a land like on other.
Most of Ladakh falls above 2,500 meters. The winters are very cold and the summers are very hot. In peak winters the temperature in Ladakh goes down to -30 Degree Celsius in Leh and Kargil, and -50 Degree Celsius in Dras. Temperatures remain in minus for almost three months from December to the month of February. But on clear sunny days it can become very hot and one can get sun burnt since the temperature can rise up to 30 Degree Celsius. Rainfall is very less due to the geographical location of Ladakh. The rainfall is around 50 mm annually. It is the melting snow which makes the survival of human and animals possible.
Although, there is huge dissimilarity in temperature during winter and summer it is always wise to carry lighten woolen and cotton cloths for summer and heavy woolen and similar outfits for winter. In addition to this, windcheater will also be hand at times. If Trekking to altitude than proper trekking outfits that can handle minus degress are useful.
The people of Ladakh are predominantly Buddhist and practice Mahayana Buddhism influenced with the old Bon animistic faith and Tantric Hinduism. However, the four main groups of people inhabiting Ladakh are the Mons of Aryan background, Dards many converted to Islam, Baltis believed to have migrated from Central Asia and Tibetan. Ladakhi is the most common language spoken by the people. Likewise, Purik and Tibetan are also spoken by the communities. Apart from these languages english and hindi are also spoken by many.
The culture of the people is greatly influenced by religion. With the tourism flourishing in Ladakh throughout the year, Ladakhis are involved in monastic festivals. Hemis Festival, Yuru Kabgyat, Losar, Ladakh Harvest Festival, Phyang Tsedup are some of the popular festivals of the region