If its the peace, tranquility and ancient culture that attracts you the most, Ladakh is the place to head for. It has successfully retained its ancient cultural heritage and still untouched by the waves of modernism. The inhabitants are simple and always wear a charming smile on their faces despite the trying climatic conditions. As far as tourist facilities are concerned, Ladakh is as advanced as any other destination in the world.
Ladakh spreads across an area of 3,500 meter high plain, sloping down gently from the face of bare mountains and around terraced fields to the flood plains of the Indus river.
The century old culture of Ladakh can be viewed in its ancient monuments, monasteries, oral literature, art forms, fairs and festivals. It is a place where all occasions- marriage, birth, harvesting or even the flowering of plants are marked by feasting, dancing and the singing of folk songs.
- Shey Palace and Monastery
It crowns a knoll and reflected in a mirror-still lake located at its base. A two-storey high, gilded Maitreya Buddha image resides in the monastery.
- Thiksey Monastery
Exhibiting a fine example of the Ladakhi architecture, this Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and part of Gelukpa order. The 12 sline-height:21px;padding-left:10px;ey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings.
- Hemis Monastery
Hemis takes its name from the world famous Buddhist Gompa situated here. The combination of exotic wildlife, culture, art, and natural splendor makes Hemis a perfect travel destination.
- Stok Palace and Monastery
Stok Palace 10 kms from Leh has the only museum of Ladakh, which houses one of the most precious belongings of the earlier royal families. In its many halls, displays include rare precious stones, old Thanks, Queens jeweler, arms & armory and the Royal Crown of the King.
The monasteries are also the centers of Ladakh's cultural. Each monastery celebrates its annual festivals. One of the festivals which is famous and celebrated with zest is the Hemis festival.
People from all over Ladakh come to attend this two day long festival. The festival is preceded by seven days of prayers by the monks in the monastery. The most impressive part of the festival is the famous mask dance which lamas of the monastery perform continuously for two days. The masks represent various gods and demons.
The whole festival signifies the triumph of good over evil. The day marks the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of the red sect.
|Leh Gompa||End January-early February|
|Stok Gompa||Early-mid February|
|Matho Gompa||End February-early March|
|Lamayuru Gompa||End April-early May|
|Hemis Gompa||End June-early July|
|Phyang Gompa||Early to end July|
|Thikse Gompa||Mid July to early August|
|Spitak Gompa||Early to mid January|
|Festival of Ladakh||1st week of August|
Shey Palace and Monastery
Stok Palace and Monastery