The word Ladakh means ‘land of high passes’. Ladakh is a region situated in Jammu and Kashmir that extends from Kunlun mountains in the north to Great Himalayas in the south. Spread over 92,000 sq Km, it is the highest inhabited plateau in India. Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet in the east, the Lahaul and Spiti regions in the south, the Vale of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions in the west, and the southwest corner of Xinjiang across the Karakoram Pass in the far north. The largest town in the region is Leh followed by Kargil. The region is a major tourist attraction due to its unique culture and biodiversity.
Since the region lies in the rain shadow area of the Himalayas, it receives meagre rainfall. The main source of precipitation is the winter snowfall in the region. The region on the northern flank of the Himalayas receives heavy snowfall and remains virtually cut off for several months of the year. Summers are short and pleasant but winters are severe.
The region has sparse vegetation except on wetlands and irrigated slopes. Natural vegetation commonly seen along water courses includes seabuckthorn, wild roses of pink or yellow varieties, tamarisk, caraway, stinging nettles, mint, and various grasses. The region is a home unique flora and fauna. Over 225 species of birds are found here like finches, robins, redstarts, hoopoe brown-headed gull brahminy duck, ruddy sheldrake, bar-headed goose, black-necked crane, raven, Eurasian magpie, red-billed chough, Tibetan snowcock, chukar, lammergeier and golden eagle. Mammals found here include bharal, Asiatic ibex, Ladakh urial, Tibetan antelope, Tibetan gazelle, Tibetan wild ass, Eurasian lynx,brown bears, Tibetan wolf, Tibetan sand fox, marmots, hare, pika and vole. We also offer dedicated landscape trips in Ladakh, or you can club wildlife and landscape to make it a trip of lifetime.
When to go
The best time to visit it is from May to October when the climate is comparatively milder than other parts of the year.
Amongst all places in India, it is an unique experience to do birding in Ladakh. The altitude at most of the places is over 12,000 metres, the species we target are nowhere found in plains of India and often we find ourselves running out of breath while chasing the birds, but then the wildlife here does take our breath away!
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