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Ladakh is a barren plateau, high in the Tibetan Himalayas. The major town in the area is Leh. There are numerous old palaces in the area, of which the most important one is the Hemis Gompa, 45 km from Leh. In June or July the 2-day Hemis Festival is held there. During the festival, devotees wearing masks perform ceremonial dances.

Tikse Gompa is 17 km from Leh. It sits on a hilltop overlooking the Indus River and houses a collection of Tibetan-style books and artwork. Every know and then religious ceremonies are held there.

White water rafting on the Indus River, as well as treks in the Markha and Indus valleys can be arranged in Leh. Because of its barren landscape, Ladakh is often referred to as 'Little Tibet', 'the Moonland' or 'the last Shangri-la'.


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