Leh - Capital of Ladakh|
Leh, the capital of Ladakh is situated at a height of 3505 meters and is towards the eastern partsof Jammu and
Kashmir. The region is watered by the Zanskar River, which flows into the Indus River just below. Spilling out of
a side valley that tapers north towards eroded snow-capped peaks, the Ladakhi capital sprawls from the foot of a
ruined Tibetan style palace - a maze of mud-brick and concrete flanked on one side by cream-coloured desert, and
on the other by a swathe of lush irrigated farmland. As one approaches Leh India for the first time, via the
sloping seep of dust and pebbles that divide if from the floor of the Indus Valley, one will have little
difficulty imagining how the old trans -Himalayan traders must have felt as they plodded in on the caravan
routes from Yarkhand and Tibet: a mixture of relief at having crossed the mountains in one piece, and anticipation
of a relaxing spell in one of central Asia's most scenic and atmospheric towns.
Leh in India is a beautiful
destination with so many attractions and is the center of Tibeto-Buddhist Culture for ages. Its colorful gompas
have attracted the devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Besides, it is also a favorite hiking locale and
is known for some of the best hikes in the country. Travel to leh this vacation to enjoy its mystic beauty,
nut before that acquaint yourself a little bit about the past and present of Leh India.
History of Leh India
King Sengge Namgyal who ruled Ladakh during 17th century and during whose rule Ladakh was at its greatest shifted
his court from Shey to Leh. Leh in India became the regional capital and very soon the town blossomed into one of
the busiest markets on the Silk Route. During the 1920s and 1930s, the broad bazaar that still forms its heart
received more than a dozen pony- and camel-trains each day.
Leh's prosperity, managed mainly by the Sunni Muslim merchants whose descendants live in its labyrinthine old
quarter, came to an abrupt end with the closure ofthe
Chinese border in the 1950's. However its fortunes begin
to look up after India rediscovered the hitherto forgotten capital's strategic value after two wars in quick
succession with Pakistan . Today, Khaki-clad Jawans (soldiers) and their families from the nearby military and
air force bases are the mainstay of the local economy in winter, when foreign visitors are few and far between.