Traveling in Ladakh, India

Sanker Gompa (Monastery) - Leh, Ladahk - India
Top of Stupa, Dome & Minaret of Mosque - Ley, Ladakh - Himalaya Mountains
Ladakhi Buddhist (Vajrayana) Ethnically Tibetan Stupa - Leh, Ladakh - India
Buddhist Stupa's Usually Hold Relics of Spiritual Lamas - Leh, Ladakh
Stupa Gompa (Monastery) on Mountain - a hotel below - Leh, Ladakh- India
View of Himalayas - Lah, Ladakh
Shanthi (Peace) Stupa - A Gift from the Japanese - Leh, Ladakh
Buddhist Gompa (Monastery) - Leh, Ladakh - India
Buddhist Prayer Wheel - Prayers are Printed Inside, Turning It brings Peace
Buddhist Ladahki Home with garden - Leh, Ladakh - India
Gaadan Temple & Stupa - Leh, Ladakh - India
Doors of Imam Bargha  (Islamic, Shi'ah) Especially for Remembrance of Hazrat Huzzain- Leh, Ladakh - India
Inside entrance of Imam Bargha  (Islamic, Shi'ah) Especially for keeping Remembrance of Hazrat Huzzain- Leh, Ladakh - India
Ceiling of Imam Bargha  (Islamic, Shi'ah) Especially for Remembrance of Hazrat Huzzain- Leh, Ladakh - India
Ceiling of Imam Bargha  (Islamic, Shi'ah) Especially for Remembrance of Hazrat Huzzain- Leh, Ladakh - India
Shrine of Imam Bargha  (Islamic, Shi'ah) Especially for Remembrance of Hazrat Huzzain- Leh, Ladakh - India
Foreground Dome of Sikh Gurdwara (not yet completed), Buddhist Stupa - Leh, Ladakh - India
Ajata Looking for an Old Friend, Lama Chomspal at Sanker Gompa (monastery)- Leh, Ladakh
Woodpecker, Leh, Ladakh
Buddhist Gompa (Monastery) - Leh, Ladakh - India
H.E. Kyabje Bakula Rinpoche
Pilgrims in Leh, Ladakh
Sikh Gurdwara (not yet completed), Buddhist Stupa - Leh, Ladakh - India
Moravian Church, Leh, Ladakh
View from Leh, Ladakh - Himalaya Mountains
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The Military, Lack of Cell Phone & Internet Access

Possibly the first thing any visitor to Leh should know is that Leh is militarized on it’s outskirts due not to internal strife but  
borders. Relations between China and India are on again off again. If you arrive by vehicle, you will pass through a military  
base to get into the city.  Other than that, there is very little contact between the military and town.  It is unlikely that any  
visitor will even see a soldier once they get settled in Leh.

However, it is due to the military that Leh pretty much has no cell phone access or internet except at a couple of internet  
cafes.  Internet chips/ numbers purchased in Srinagar will not work in Leh or anywhere else in India.

Locals of Leh with an ID. can get a government approved chip and phone number but they are incredibly slow and  
unreliable. Conversations are probably not guaranteed private.

This means that it is entirely possible when you book a room at an inn, guest house or hotel via the internet, that no one at  
the hospitality location you’ve selected has received your reservation. Also, booking any hikes, tours etc., generally need to  
be confirmed in person.

Cultural, Spiritual Demographics

The spiritual demographics of Leh are: Buddhists (Vajrayana) who were in Leh in the 3rd cen. It is generally recognized by  
historians that large numbers of Tibetan Buddhists came to Leh in the 7th century due to harsh political conditions. Ladahki  
Buddhists have their own language but his Holiness the Dalai Lama is their spiritual head like all Tibetans, Buddhists of  
Nepal, Mongolia, Southwestern Russia and Sikkim. Shi’ah Muslims are second in population and included in the Muslim  
population there is a smaller number of Sunni Muslims. Both Muslims are recent arrivals to Leh since 1982. There were  
almost no Muslims in Leh when the Embrace founders were there in 1982.

Refugees From Violence in Kashmir

Since the “troubles” in Kashmir, many Muslims have fled to other parts of India and no doubt a number of them found the  
tourist area of Leh much like that of Srinagar at the height of its beauty and successful tourist industry. They are refugees  
also. Most Kashmiris don’t want to have anything to do with violence.

Some Shi'ah may have arrived from Kargil which is part of the Ladakh District, as well as from  Kashmir. The tourist  
industry is a powerful incentive to relocate and try to improve one’s life with a better job, particularly for those who were  
involved with the tourist industry in Kashmir before the problems.

Lastly, there are smaller numbers of Christian’s originating from the Morovian Church which has been in Leh since 1885  
and Sikhs.

Downtown Leh

Downtown Leh has a well planned, very large, attractive outdoor “walking” mall (no vehicles). All the shops and restaurants  
along it are charming and well taken care of.  No doubt for those who have perused the shops in Srinagar along Dal Lake in  
earlier years, you will recognize some of the proprietors sitting outside ships offering antiques and handicrafts in Leh.  
Among the mall’s assets are at least two bookstores, a Buddhist Temple featuring Padmasambava and the Imam Bargah.   
Also there are several cafes and a couple of restaurants offering outdoor tables and stunning views of the Himalayas.   
There are many, many more shops, bakeries etc…

The mall would be the perfect place for a vibrant intercultural fair, with musicians, dancers, and demonstrations exhibiting  
the creating of arts and crafts … something that would bring people from all over to witness.

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