Ladakh is one of the most exhilarating places on the planet, bound by some of the

world's biggest mountain ranges such as Himalayas, Karakoram and Zanskar. Ladakh

is a high altitude desert ranging from 2750 m (9,000 ft) to 7637 m (25,170 ft). It

consists of some of the world’s highest mountain passes, extremely elevated snow

capped peaks and is home to some of the largest glaciers in the world. This makes

Ladakh one of the most extreme inhabited regions in the world.

Ladakh is sparsely populated and most of the villages are restricted to narrow strips

of valleys next to the fl owing rivers coming down from the mountain glaciers. The

culture of Ladakh contrasts greatly with the rest of India, since it is largely infl uenced

by Tibetan Buddhism and home to many nomadic mountain tribes and their culture.

Ladakh is dotted with many ancient Buddhist monasteries called gompas, where

Buddhist monks and nuns live, study and practice their beliefs and way of life. These

gompas belong to different sects of Buddhism. Annually one can witness many fairs

and festivals performed at these monasteries which depict the culture of the Ladakhi

people.

The River Indus, which was originally known as "Sindhu" (one of the 7 holy rivers

mentioned in the Vedas), fl ows through Ladakh alongside monasteries and village

settlements.

From times immemorial, Ladakh has attracted many intrepid travelers, explorers,

pilgrims, tradesmen, mountaineers, adventurists and in the recent times, photography

enthusiasts. Here is how Ram Mohan saw Ladakh thru the lens.