Ladakh, India - Stein Travel
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Ladakh

Situated in India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is a mountainous region of extreme natural beauty. Ringed by rugged mountains, Ladakh is inaccessible by road between November and May - although hair-raising flights, that weave between icy mountain peaks, still operate during this time between Delhi and Leh. Known as 'little Tibet', Ladakh's primary draw-card - that is, over and above its outstanding scenery - is its strong Buddhist culture, which (due to its isolation) has remained largely unaffected by the ravages of Colonialism and modernity. Popular tourist destinations in Ladakh include Leh and Kargil, a town known for its ancient Buddhist statues and bright apricot orchards. Although Jammu and Kashmir has a reputation for being a 'dangerous' state, Ladakh is in fact a very peaceful place - a veritable 'Shangri-La', having seen virtually no violence since India gained her independence in 1947. For experienced, well-conditioned hikers, Ladakh is the perfect place from which to plan a trek into neighbouring Tibet.

Information & Facts

Language

Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official languages

Money

The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs are not generally available.

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