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The land of snow capped peaks translucent lakes and stretches of barren terrain is often known as the Hermit Kingdom. Nestled between the magnificent Himalayas and the Karakoram mountains and traversed by the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, Ladakh lies in the easternmost corner of Jammu and Kashmir and forms Indiaís highest plateau with much of it being over 9800 ft.It is also one of the most sparsely populated regions in the country.

Shielded by lofty mountain ranges, rain bearing clouds rarely blow up to Ladakh keeping the area relatively dry at a time when the rest of India is soaking in the rains. However the breathtaking beauty of the snow-capped mountains the sparkling clear water of the snow-fed rivers and stretches of almost fewer fields tend to soothe your senses. If you are looking for some adventure the regionís rolling mountains and rivers provide ample opportunities for an action packed holiday here. White water rafting is a popular sport on the gushing Indus and its tributaries. You can either take the professionally guided run between Spituk and Saspol or simply float along the relatively calm waters of the river up to Karu an option recommended for amateurs and leisure-seekers.

If you prefer the mountains the lofty ranges around are excellent for treks. The nun-Kun massif in the Himalayas, Stok-Khangri massif in the Zanskar range, the peaks of Gulap Khangri,Matho West and Kantaka are popular trekking destinations despite the rather inhospitable terrain.

Among the must visits is the 17th century Leh Palace, the capital of the ruling royal family. A few kilometres up the Indus is the Shey Palace, the ancient capital of Ladakh.After a tiring day, packed with sight seeing tours and adventure activities, lie back and gaze at the sky.

How to reach
Air: The nearest airport is Leh
Road: The 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway is open to traffic between July and early November. Another route is the Manali-Leh road stretching across 473 km.

Where to stay
Hotel Bijou
Hotel Caravan Centre
Hotel Sun-n-Sand