By Tonyot Dorjay
Ladakh, the region of mountain passes, a piece of broken moon land- a perfect place to witness the unmatched beauty of nature. Ladakh is the highest plateau of the Indian state of Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000m. It lies between 32 to 36 degree north latitude and 75 to 80 degree east longitude. The total area of 45110sq km makes Ladakh the largest district in India. Ladakh region is bifurcated in Kargil and Leh districts. Kargil lies at an altitude of 2750m and Leh at 3505m. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh.
Winter in Ladakh
The highway roads from (Srinagar to Leh) and(Manali to Leh) remains closed for almost 6 month, both of these highways connect Ladakh to the rest of the world and only the flight remains as one option to go out but 90% of the necessities were used to transport through road only, people only used flight to travel in emergency time because the normal flight fare is more then 10 thousand so 95% of the population in Ladakh is middle class family.
Still it doesn’t matter that it remains cut out from the rest of the world because in those 6 month people are getting more time to get relax spending more times with family, relatives, and friends.
The most beautiful moments is that when the whole family members or relative setting together around the heating system(typically wooden burning stove ) and holding mugs of coffee in hand: these kind of beautiful moments make the people more close and helpful to each other and also
celebrating the local festival, in which people or whole family used to visit their relative house for meals and to have friendly discussion.
Children, Young Men and Women
All institutions, schools, colleges and offices remain shut in winter session due to the extreme cold weather and snowfall, sometimes temperature goes down to -25, in extreme cases, -30 and the normal is -20 or 15.
Children and young adults usually become busy playing winter sports like ice hockey, ice-skating and traditional winter game. Very few people know that India too has an Ice-hockey team but still Indian government and Indian media ignore this yet somehow the team India has managed to collects funds from several NGOs to perform in international matches every year in Thailand, Canada and many parts of Asia.
The cultivated vegetables like carrot, potatoes, cabbage and dry green vegetables in the summer are always put in stock as usual. The most common cooked local dish Momos (dumpling) Thenthuk, Thukpa and Paba, which is very nutritious and healthy which helps to keep the body warm in the freezing weather.
When the summer arrives the people routinely go back to their businesses. The income of the locals is almost 60% from tourism and nearly 40% are from government services including military services. People do agriculture only for the family needs mostly every resident does share agricultural activity which is the traditional practice of the families who rarely considering agricultural business.
Tourists in Ladakh can try local Ladakhi food, which is nourishing and usually mildly flavored. Favorites include Thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables that provides a complete meal and delicious Momos or steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables, accompanied by a fiery chili sauce.
There are also many bakeries in Ladakh where you can buy freshly baked bread and enjoy eating it with locally made Apricot Jam. There are many restaurants in Leh, where you can have an international meal or choose from Tibetan or Ladakhi fare if you prefer.
A two-day traditional food festival is organized by an NGO. Women Alliance in Leh, where they serve all local dishes made hygienically and it is done mainly with an aim to popularize its rich traditional culture and boost tourism. Ladakhi people are celebrating this food festival for last 15 years. Every year the festival attracts a large number of tourists from across the world with its local delicious Ladakhi food.