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Ladakh India

Ladakh is the highest plateau in the Indian state of Kashmir between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area and is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called Little Tibet as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads between Central Asia and South Asia when the Silk Road was in use, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. A majority of people are Tibetan Buddhists and the rest are mainly Shia Muslims. Vegetation is extremely sparse in Ladakh except along streambeds and wetlands, on high slopes, and in irrigated places. The architecture of Ladakh contains Tibetan and Indian influences, and monastic architecture reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, is a common feature in monasteries. Many houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing south, and in the past were made of rocks, earth and wood, but are now more often concrete frames filled in with stones or adobes. A feature of Ladakhi society that distinguishes it from the rest of the state is the high status and relative emancipation enjoyed by women compared to other rural parts of India. The music of Ladakhi Buddhist monastic festivals, like Tibetan music, often involves religious chanting in Tibetan or Sanskrit, as an integral part of the religion.

This article is based on work found at Wikipedia. A list of contributors is available a the original article. This article is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 license.


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