Kashmir & Ladakh
Kashmir and Ladakh are located in the Himalayas and although they form the northern provinces of India (Jammu & Kashmir), they do not resemble at all to the rest of the country.
The lush green, Islamic Karmir is permanently in a dispute regime between Pakistan and India, with armed conflicts and riots often occurring. At this point there is no officially recognized border but a cease-fire line of control, in a battlefield of highest altitude on the planet. The inhabitants do not feel they belong to either country and demand their independence.
The Buddhist Ladakh, also known as little Tibet, is characterized by enchanting mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks over 6000 meters, amazing monasteries with authentic Buddhist culture which unlike its Chinese part, is not spoiled.
In Kashmir, you will meet people whose conservative Islamic tradition makes them seemingly “closed”. However, as often in Islamic lands, hospitality and courtesy to the visitor who respects this culture is unparalleled.
In Ladakh, you will meet mountain tribes, originated from the times of Alexander the Great’s conquests, people living in the inhospitable cold deserts of this isolated -at least in winter- part of the world.
Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, is built on the shores of Lake Dal. In the lake there are scattered, anchored wooden luxury houseboats from the time of British colonialism, that host the visitor to an idyllic traditional experience. Around Srinagar, there are verdant landscapes such as Pahalgarm and Gulmarg with its ski resort.
The dangerous mountainous route from Kashmir to Ladakh, with a narrow, muddy road that makes vehicles acrobat on vast cliffs and dizzying altitudes, is an unforgettable experience. After two days and an interim stay in the town of Kargil, on the line of control with Pakistan, the traveler will finally arrive in Leh, the capital of Ladakh with the nine-storey royal palace dominating over the city. In the mountains that surround the area, crossing the highest altitude roads of the planet, you will encounter alpine lakes and valleys, glaciers and imposing Buddhist monasteries such as Thiksey, Hemis, Lamayuru, Diskit, Likir.