Meridian Tour & Travels


Ladakh


The peaks of snow mountains on bright mornings part the dense clouds and soar into the skies. Beneath the skies like a world submerged, lies a lost kingdom. Ladakh, the roof of the world opened to tourists only in the last decade. At an awesome altitude, this highland is the bridge between the earth and the sky!
Part fantasy, part reality... Ladakh, is where, the forces of nature conspired to render a magical unrealistic landscape... a landscape of extremes... desert and blue waters... burning sun and freezing winds... glaciers and sand dunes... a primeval battleground of the titanic forces which gave birth to the Himalayas.

Ladakh is a region in India totally isolated from the modern world. An authentic land, it is faithful to ancestral customs where life is characterized by intense spirituality. Even an Indian traveler will probably find no similarities in the land and people between the ones he leaves behind and those he encounters in Ladakh. Rich traditions of Mahayana Buddhism still flourish in the purest form in this region, which has often been referred to as Little Tibet.

 


Zanaskar Valley

Zanaskar Valley
Zanskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The administrative centre is Padum. Zanskar, together with the neighbouring region of Ladakh, was briefly a part of the kingdom of Guge in Western Tibet. The Zanskar Range is a mountain range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that separates Zanskar from Ladakh. The average height of the Zanskar Range is about 6,000 m (19,700 ft). Its eastern part is known as Rupshu. The Zanskar River is a north-flowing tributary of the Indus through the Zanskar Valley. In its upper reaches, the Zanskar has two main branches. This river then takes a north-eastern course through the dramatic Zanskar Gorge until it joins the Indus near Nimmu in Ladakh. Lower (northern) sections of that gorge are popular in summer with tourists making rafting trips, typically from Chiling to Nimmu. In winter when the road to Zanskar is closed by snow on the high passes, the only overland route to Padum is by walking along the frozen river, a multi-day hike that is now sold as an adventure activity called the Chadar ('ice sheet') Trek.


Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley is about 150 km north of Leh, the capital town of Ladakh, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachen River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La from Leh. Along the Nubra or Siachen River lie the villages of Sumur, Kyagar (called Tiger by the Indian Army), Tirith, Panamik and many others. Samstanling monastery is between Kyagar and Sumur villages, and Panamik is noted for its hot springs. Across the Nubra or Siachan River at Panamik, is the isolated Ensa Gompa.
On the Shyok River, the main village, Diskit, is home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Monastery. Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and (two-humped) bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring "forests" of seabuckthorn. Non-locals are not allowed below Hundar village into the Balti area, as it is a border area. The beautiful village of Baigdandu is also located in this area. Baigdandu is also known for the goats that give you the famous Pashmina shawls.


Padum Valley

Padum Valley
Padum is the largest town and administrative centre of Zanskar tehsil of Kargil district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is 240 km away from Kargil.
The Padum Valley is a valley of the Zanskar region in the state of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The Doda River flows through the valley from its source at the Drang Drung glacier of the Pensi La. The Zanskar River is located further downstream past the valley. A number of notable Buddhist monasteries are located near Padum including Bardan Monastery and Kursha Monastery.


Tsomoriri

Tsomoriri
Tsomoriri or Lake Moriri, in the Changthang area, is a High Altitude Lake with an altitude of 15, 075 ft (4,595 m) in Ladakh, India and is the largest of the High Altitude Lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region, entirely within India. It is hemmed between Ladakh in the North and Tibet in the east and Zanskar in the west. The Changthang plateau is the geographical setting with snow peaks that provides the source of water for the Lake. Accessibility to the lake is limited to summer season only. Tsokar means salty lake in local language and salt was extracted from this lake in earlier times, till the end of 1959, for consumption by the local people.


Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 14,270 ft (4,350 m). It is 134 km (83 miles) long and extends from India to Tibet. 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet, which is today under China's rule. The lake is 5 km (3.1 miles) wide at its broadest point. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
The brackish water of the lake is devoid of any micro-vegetation. Tourists can see numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface. There are some species of scrubs and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake.

The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly seen here. The region around the lake supports a number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot.