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Regions of Ladakh

Parched and stark but wildly beautiful Ladakh remains one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions on earth. The high altitude deserts surrounded by giant mountains of the Indian Himalayas are also the last refuge of pure Tibetan Buddhism. This ‘Land of the High Passes’ once extended its influence far across the Indus Valley, into Baltistan, across the Tibetan plateau, amidst Himalaya and Karakorum mountain ranges, its importance coming from its strategic location at the crossroads of trade routes on a branch of the Silk Road. Ladakh is cut off from the rest of India by road for 6 months a year and the little villages seem almost untouched by modern progress. Families work collectively and precious water is carefully diverted from mountain streams into ancient irrigation channels to persuade the high altitude deserts into green.

Rural Ladakh

These villages are many, scattered all over the high landscapes, each being a small cluster of people belonging to a like-minded community and sharing common customs and beliefs. Most of the villages date back to medieval or even earlier periods. Some are well-connected, yet others are isolated from the rest of the world, tucked away in the folds of the Himalayan terrain. Yet each village is a thriving hub of activity and life, with its own unique vibrancy. It is this zeal for living against odds, finding joy in small things amidst nature's harshness and adversity that keeps the spirits high and blood flowing through the veins of the local Ladakhis.

Rural Ladakh

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Festivals of Ladakh

Ladakh is a land of festivals with each season bringing a different story and celebrations. The world is yet to realize the true complexity of Ladakh and it's rich heritage. Stok Palace has been the epicenter of Ladakhi culture for centuries bringing the best of Ladakh to the world and vice versa, adding and reinvigorating the living heritage of Ladakh.

Plan your journey around a festival

The different festivals of Ladakh offer a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural and traditional landscape of the region. There are various festivals that happen through the year starting in February-March with the Guru Tsechu festival as Stok and the Matho Nagrang festival at Matho. Some of the biggest festivals are the Hemis festival in June and the Naropa festival in September. As guests of the royal family you may be granted special access and get the chance to have a more intimate experience at these festivals.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us for help in planning out your holiday in Ladakh around some of the festivals.

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Wildlife of Ladakh

The flora and fauna of Ladakh was first studied by Ferdinand Stoliczka, an Austrian-Czech palaeontologist, who carried out a massive expedition in the region in the 1870s. The fauna of Ladakh have much in common with that of Central Asia generally, and especially those of the Tibetan Plateau. An exception to this are the birds, many of which migrate from the warmer parts of India to spend the summer in Ladakh. For such an arid area, Ladakh has a great diversity of birds — a total of 318 species have been recorded (Including 30 species not seen since 1960). Many of these birds reside or breed at high-altitude wetlands such as Tso Moriri.

The snow leopard (shan) once ranged throughout the Himalaya, Tibet, and as far as the Sayan Mountains on the Mongolian-Russian border; and in elevation from 1800 m to 5400 m. They are extremely shy and hard to spot, and as such not well known. It is believed there are about 200 in Ladakh. Other cats in Ladakh are even rarer than the snow leopard: the lynx (ee), numbering only a few individuals, and the Pallas's cat, which looks somewhat like a house cat. The Tibetan wolf (shangku) is the greatest threat to the livestock of the Ladakhis and as such is the most persecuted. There are only about 300 wolves left in Ladakh. There are also a very few brown bears (drenmo / tret) in the Suru valley and the area around Dras. The red fox (watse) is common, and Tibetan sand fox (watse) has recently been discovered in this region.

Snow Leopard

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