Remote & isolated. Forbidding & enchanting. Timeless and magical. Ethereal and awesome. Words that inadequately describe this remote Himalayan Shangri La which is India's highest inhabited region with a very sparse population which is predominantly Buddhist. With altitudes ranging from about 9,000-ft (2750m) at Kargil to 25,000-ft (7672m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram, Ladakh is a high altitude desert, which receives very little rainfall. Bounded by two of the mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two others, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range.
For centuries this Himalayan region remained safe from marauding dynasties protected by the formidable Himalayan range, accessible only by high mountain passes and narrow mountain paths. Now you can either take a flight into Leh or choose to go over breathtaking high mountain passes from Manali (via Jispa, Sarchu) or Srinagar (via Kargil) on a high altitude Jeep Safari, once the passes open around June. A number of spectacular high altitude mountain passes fall en-route to Leh from Manali among which the highest one, Tanglang-la, is the world's second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 ft.
When to go
The best time to visit Ladakh is from June to early October. While the rest of India comes under the onslaught of the monsoons, Ladakh being in the rain shadow area experiences little or no rainfall and with the passes on the Manali-Leh highway opening up, this is the right time to visit Ladakh.