Sandwiched between the vast ranges of the Karakoram and the Himalaya in the far north of India, Ladakh is the highest, most remote and least populated region in the whole country. The name is derived from Ladags, which means ‘the land of high passes’. Its corrugated, arid landscape is often described as a mountain desert which does not do justice to the inherent beauty of its chaotic ridges, twisted and exposed geological strata, snow-shrouded peaks, dark gorges and wide valleys.
Ladakh lies in the far north of India although culturally and geographically it is closer to Tibet; it is one of the last remaining enclaves of Tibetan Buddhism. Shrouded in a mist of myth and mystery, this land of monks and monasteries rises gracefully from the upper half of the Indus basin.
Startling patches of greenery break the bleak landscape – wherever there is water at the base of a glacier or in a river valley. Here one is likely to find Ladakh’s famous apricot orchards or giant cabbage heads; as also radish, potatoes and turnips growing to giant sizes because of longer daylight and strong intensity of ultra violet rays.