The kingdom of Ladakh has developed on the banks of Upper Indus, between Himalayas and Karakorum. Of tibetan culture, it is in fact the geographic extension of Tibetan plateau, the Chanthang, few days’ walk from the famous Mount Kailash.
Ladakh has built its wealth from its strategic situation on the Southern itinerary of the Silk Road, which linked the Indus valley and the oasis of the Taklamakan, the gateway to China. Upon returning from long and dangerous trading trips, Ladakhis and people from the neighboring valleys of Zanskar or Spiti, invested part of their profits in the edification of monasteries and temples along these trading routes. They supported artists and craftsmen who created masterpieces, like the world famous Alchi or Lamayuru for example.
Today, Ladakh, Markha and Zanskar valleys offer the best possible Himalayan treks, with a variety of mineral landscapes, snow peaks and cosy villages surounded by barley fields. These treks range from the easiest to the most demanding, but altitude should always be a concern and it is therefore advisable not to trek alone.