Ladakh is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area. Historically, the region included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys, the Indus Valley, the remote Zangskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the south, Ngari including the Rudok region and Guge in the east, Aksai Chin in the east, and Nubra valleys to the north over Khardung La in the Ladakh mountain range.
Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. In the past Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. Since 1974 the Indian Government has successfully encouraged tourism in Ladakh although the strong Indian military presence shows that it still remains a disputed territory, between India and Pakistan and India and China.
The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. A majority of Ladakhis are Tibetan Buddhists and the rest are mostly Shia Muslims.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh, now the Leh District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Leh is at an altitude of 3,500 meters. Leh has for centuries been an important stopover on trade r…