Introduction and History
Ladakh shares many common connections with Tibet. Linguistic and spiritual characteristics are very close to one another. The Tibetan kingdom under Songtsen Gampo spread very near to Ladakh and an inscription near Alchi indicates the Tibetan army reached Ladakh in the 8th century. By the 13th century, Ladakh was considered a part of Tibet but it would not remain so. The Mongols, allied with the 5th Dalai Lama, tried to subjugate Ladakh but failed. History shows ties between Ladakh and Tibet that strengthened and loosened over the years. This came to an end in the 1950s.
Though political ties extended and receded multiple times over the years, religious connections are evident in many ways. Ladakh played an influential role in the diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet. Later on, as the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism developed, each had its influence in Ladakh as well.
Key Cultural Sites and Observances in Ladakh and Zanskar
Like most other Tibetan Buddhist regions, the spiritual calendar dominates the scene. Losar is the biggest festival of the year. Additionally, each monastery has smaller celebrations throughout the year. Being in India, Ladakh is known to host the Dalai Lama and other key spiritual teachers from time to time. These events draw large crowds to hear their teachings.
Adventure Opportunities in Ladakh and Zanskar
Adventure Access focuses on mountain biking as well as combined overland and trekking opportunities. The entire region is high altitude with many of the passes being in excess of 16,000ft in elevation.
We’ve searched out and tested excellent trails that have existed for generations, being used by villagers to move about the region. In addition to the trails, and in greater abundance, is the opportunity for free riding.
Zanskar also provides trekking routes and destinations that are unspoiled. Combined with excellent hosts in Zanskar’s villages, this makes for a rich Himalayan experience.
Best Time of Year to Visit
Ladakh is deep within the mountains. Flying between Delhi and Leh can take place year round but to experience the outdoor adventure of Ladakh one must visit in the summer. Our tours focus on the Zanskar Valley and this region is only accessible in the summer months as the roads are impassable in the fall, winter and spring months.
Our Story with Ladakh and Zanskar
Transformative experiences in regions as remote as Ladakh, and especially for Zanskar, take time to develop. We have been working with partners in the region for years to produce the right balance for an experience that will generate the opportunity for you to leave better than when you arrived. As we launch tours in the region in 2023, these are guaranteed to be well tested experiences utilizing over 20 years of experience on the Tibetan Plateau and throughout the greater Himalayan region.