The Himalayas have long been associated with spirituality – and when watching this one can’t help thinking that it might be because the devout are closer to the heavens there than they are elsewhere in the world.
With incredible mountain vistas dominating the horizons, it’s difficult not to feel inspired when visiting the Himalayas. Ancient traditions, prayer flags stretching between the peaks, temples and prayer rituals add to the sense that one is somewhere sacred.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh – a vast highland desert between the Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain range. Inaccessible by road during the winter, Ladakh’s moonlike landscape is due to the surrounding mountain ranges which keep rainclouds out.
Open to tourists since the 70s, Ladakh’s Tibetan traditions have continued almost unimpeded – even though it has officially been part of China since the 1950s. Leh’s palaces and gompas (monasteries) offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside, but just outside Leh you’ll find Shey, Hemis and Tikse monasteries.
Every year at the end of the brief summer months, Leh comes to life to the rhythm of drumbeats and dance. The people of the mountains flock to the cities wearing their finest gold and silver ornaments and exotic turquoise headgear. Probably one of the main cultural events in the region during the year, the Ladakh festival is the region’s cultural showcase, with processions, dances, concerts, archery, polo and performances from various local cultural troupes throughout the 15 day festival.
Visit our website for more on the Leh and Ladakh regions.