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Ladakh - An Attractive Territory with Picturesque Appeal
Getting Familiar with Ladakh
The hill station of Ladakh, which is also the highest place in India having civilized population, is one of the three major regions of Jammu And Kashmir State. Located at a height of nearly 2750m, Ladakh is renowned for its unparalleled beauty and picturesque landscape. The region is inhabited mostly by people of Indo-Aryan or Tibetan descent and is known by various names which include, ‘The Last Shangri-la’, ‘The Broken Moon’, ‘The Land of Numerous Passes’ and ‘The Land of Mystic Lamas’, etc. Due to its strategic location on the crossroads of major trade routes, the region held great significance, which ceased to exist after the routes were abandoned. Today, it is known primarily for being a major tourist destination of not only Jammu and Kashmir but of India as well.

Prominent Places of Tourist Interest
Ladakh is famous for its picturesque beauty, which attracts thousands of visitors to this remote mountain area. The calm blue lakes, chilly winds, desert like landscape and mountains reflecting different colors, present a mesmerizing view and a great sight to behold. Given below are some of the major tourist destinations of Ladakh, which are a must see for every visitor.

Shanti Stupa: Also known as the pillar of peace, the Shanti Stupa is located at a distance of nearly 5 kms form the city of Leh. The stupa was set up in 1983, by a sect of Japanese Buddhists, known as “peace Sect”, and its construction was initiated by His Holiness Dalai Lama, himself and was completed in 1991, when it was inaugurated by the Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. The pillar, which faces the famous Leh Palace, was constructed with the aim of spreading the teachings and principals of Bhudda.

Hemis Gompa: This monastery was established in 1630, during the time of King Sengge Namgyal and is currently managed and operated by the Drukpa, a sect of Buddhists. The monastery is divided into two main sections, known as Tshongkhang and Dukhang. The monastery also features beautiful paintings representing the 'Kalachakra' and the 'Lords of the Four Quarters', which are displayed on the walls of its veranda. In addition, the monastery also features a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The gompa is also renowned for the grand celebrations held on the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava that falls anywhere between ending June and early July, during which time the monastery remains extremely crowded. 

Alchi Choskor: This magnificent temple shares its name with the village in which it is situated. Located at a distance of nearly 70 kms from Leh, the temple is placed on the shores of River Indus and is also famous by the name of Alchi Gompa. Currently, the management of the temple rests in the hands of the monks of Likir and is revered by the people of both Hindu and Buddhist communities, who regularly offer prayers here. There is also another ancient temple, dating back to the 11th century, located in the vicinity of this Gompa.

Stok Palace: This is the home of the royal family of King Sengge Namgyal and his descendants. The palace, which was built in 1825 by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal, represents a perfect amalgamation of the traditional and contemporary styles of architecture. It features several beautiful gardens which provide a magnificent view of the rising and setting sun. In addition, it also houses a rare collection of royal artifacts, including royal outfits, crowns and other similar objects.

Famous Things to Buy In Ladakh
Ladakh is famous for shawls, stoles and other garments made from the extremely delicate pashmina yarn. Tourists also like to purchase the magnificent Tibetan handicrafts such as prayer wheels, Thangka paintings and Buddhist masks.

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