>> Friday, March 5, 2010

Leh, currently is a district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and was once the capital city of Ladakh, the famed Himalayan Kingdom. The whole of this town is still ruled by the inhabitants of the Leh Palace which has become ruined with age. Leh is one of the most exciting towns in India for its discreetness yet a presence on the global front. Located at an altitude of 3,500 metres, Leh in the past was a very critical stopover in the trade routes established between India and China as it linked the Indus Valley from Tibet to the East.

Leh has always had a significant say in matters on international trade between India and its neighbours. India and China have been indulging in trade for as long as the 3rd century AD when the route was discovered. The governing body in the town is the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council that looks after the infrastructure of this place. And also takes care of the transportation. There are two religions practiced at this place. Islam and Buddhism happen to be those religions with the Tibetian natives in Leh being devout Buddhists and the Kashmiri Muslims being ardent practitioners of Islam. Both the traditions co-exit well and are well embraced by people from the other religion.

The main attraction of Leh is the geographical landscape of the place. The dominance of the mountains is visible all over the place where the altitude goes up to 3,500 metres. The Srinagar-Leh expressway that stretches up to 434 kilometres is the main centre of attention that connects Leh with Srinagar and the 473 kilometre long highway connecting Leh with Manali is also a very famous place to drive and have fun. Snow does block the roads during winters but the place remains a pleasure to drive during summers.

There are many ancient temples that one gets to visit in Leh along with the Mosques or the Dargahs where the Muslims offer prayers. These sites are visited by most people who come to Leh as a part of the unforgettable experience they go through. The hills have been used as a perfect alibi by many mountaineers to set up training schools and camps where people are trained to climb mountains and other peaks.

Leh is indeed one of those few places that might be secluded from the rest of India but becomes an idyllic vacation spot for those who wish to go far away from home and also wish to have some time for them self. The place is right up there near the border and is often used by the military to set up training camps for countering cross border insurgency. The place is a safe haven for those who wish to indulge in activities like rock climbing and para-gliding as there are a lot of certified instructors available to guide enthusiastic people.

Go to Leh and indulge in all this and have the time of your life. You will remember this trip forever.


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