Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nomadic travel in ladakh

Ladakh has been home to nomads & traders coming from central Asia. the barren scenery and grasslands keeps the life going for the nomads who reside in the valleys of ladakh. I discovered on my last visit how nomads survive in the Ladakh's high interiors raising their cattle.  These nomads are very tough and sober. They like to live in their community and aren't much concerned about the world.  After my usual stay  in leh i went into the depths of changthang region, a home to changpa nomads. who stay out most of the time looking for pastures and green lands. at an average elevation of 4,700 m, the Changthang (meaning Northern Plateau in Tibetan language), is a high altitude desert. castled in an alluring landscape, along with vast beauty and starkness, unforgiving terrain with high bare mountains.
changpa woman tending the goats during winter season  in ladakh..


Due to the snowfall the nomads get trapped in some of the places for months. Doing  "yakze" or grazing their yaks on whom they rely a lot in winters they have to take them away in the mountains and keep an eye on them so the pack of Tibetan wolves won't eat them up. In this hard work some strong men of the community take turns to guard the yaks and sleep under the starry sky without shelter. It is a usual sight for them to wake up in morning and see their sleeping bags covered with snow. Changpa tribal's heavily depend on their livestock. They do barter for meat, pashmina, etc their fuel is yak dung. They make the most use of yak for transportation, it's  the ultimate source of meat, milk, wool the tents are made from it's wool & hide.

a household duty of a housewife to take care of their cattle

 Things haven't changed for these nomads they are as difficult as they used to be hundred years ago, how technology & globalization will help them as they live in the sea of isolation and posses their own world were each day  begins with a new adventure for the survival.  
young changpa boy learning the skills of survival amid the harsh climate






Their children don't go to school because there are no schools to go to, clinging to their age old traditions, doing what their ancestors were used to do. living the same life and sharing the stories of wolves & snow leopards with their children and the isolation and the surreal beauty around them of which they form an  essential part. They don't want to cease away with their life and give up roaming in the mountains of changthang.

portrait of old changpa, after years of hard work & toil in this deserted land
The remoteness is their biggest enemy a big hindrance and they don't want to accept new ways of life, They believe in nomadic life, a life without settlements, a urge to seek new pastures for their cattle and new homes for them, there in the mountains where there is a blue turquoise lake dotted with white fluffy cranes and other birds who come their for migration. The changpa's are brave & strong enough to withstand any harsh climates they love freedom & the way they live.  Our ladakh tour packages will provide you an incredible opportunity to visit & spent time with these Nomads. for more information about kashmir ladakh do visit ladakh this year with your family for ladakh family tour