Dede Pickering Photography | Editorial Photographer
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 Kashmir to Ladakh Overland 2015


Ladakh is a  rugged corner of north India's Himalayas. It is inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. And is often referred to as little Tibet because of its historical connection to Lhasa. The Ladakhi share the beliefs of their Tibetan neighbors. The people of Ladakh are conservative and traditional and their lifestyle is much the same as it was two thousand years ago.

Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. For the last 20 years Kashmir has been largely off limits to tourism.

Despite the high altitudes, rugged conditions and ever changing weather the mountain vistas between Kashmir and Ladakh are spectacular. The road, bordering Pakistan to the North, closes frequently due to snow and poor conditions and is impassible for most of the year. It is the highest motorable road in the world and was a thrill to travel on it!

Along this road and 163 kilometers south-west of Leh in the Dha-Hanu valley of Ladakh live the Drokpas. The Drokpa people are the only authentic descendants of the Aryans left in India. The Drokpa are nominally Buddhist, although animist and pre-Buddhist Bon rituals still survive.

 
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