Why Ladakh is called a Cold Desert?
Ladakh is the cold desert in India which lies in the Great Himalayas, on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also known as ‘Khapa-chan’ which means snow land. Due to high altitude, air is very thin and heat of the sun is felt intensely, in other words, it can be explained that freezing wind and intense heat of the sun can be felt at the same time. In summer, the temperature is above zero degree and at night it is below -30 degree approximately. In winter, the temperature remains as low as -40 degree most of the time. The rainfall in this region is as low as 10 cm annually because it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas. Due to extreme dryness, the vegetation is scarce.
Why Ladakh is called Little Tibet?
Ladakh is predominantly a Buddhist district, where due to strong influence of Tibetan culture, Ladakh is sometimes called as ‘Little Tibet’. Monasteries including Thikse, Alchi, Hemis and Lamayuru displays the Tibetan archaeological features. Even clothes of the common people in Ladakh are more close to that of Tibet and Central Asia than that of Indian. As per old history, Tibetan Buddhist culture was flourished in Ladakh since 20th centuries. Tibetans began migrating from western Tibet in the 7th century when the Buddhist texts were being carried across the Himalayas. Today, Mahayana Buddhism is the main religion of eastern and central Ladakh.