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- a land of broken Moon
Ladakh known as small Tibet in India or Roof Top of the world. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies in the far north of India. Ladakh is the highest, most remote and least populated region in the whole country. The name is derived from Ladags, which means 'the land of high passes'. Its corrugated, arid landscape is often described as a mountain desert which does not do justice to the inherent beauty of its chaotic ridges, twisted and exposed geological strata, snow-shrouded peaks, dark gorges and wide valleys.
Culturally and geographically it is closer to Tibet; it is one of the last remaining enclaves of Tibetan Buddhism. Shrouded in a mist of myth and mystery, this land of monks and monasteries rises gracefully from the upper half of the Indus basin. Buddhism was brought to Ladakh around 250 BC. Probably under the order of The Great Emperor Ashok, through the missionary Madhyatika and his disciples. The first proven works of art originating from Ladakh belong to the Gupta Period of North India .
The life line of this region of monks and monasteries, which is still a mystery, is the river Indus stretching over 450 Kms. In the north is the Ladakh chain of mountains with summits between 6000 to 7500 metres and in the south, the mountains of Zanskar which rise upto a height of 6000 metres. Besides the main districts of Leh and Kargil, Ladakh consists of the Nubra Valley in the north, upland region of Rupshu over 4500 metres in the east and Zanskar in the south.
The Indus valley, Shoyok Valley and the side valleys, which form the main living space , lie at a medium altitude of 3500 metres. Leh is the chief town of Ladakh district. The land is, with the exception of a few river oasis at the Indus, barren and dry and yet to be explored.