Ladakh, known as ‘Little Tibet’, is a bastion of Buddhist calm in a wild and remote region. Sarah Barrell gets a taste of village life in the Himalayas.
The Indus River was the first sign of life, making wild snaking curves through the mountains from Tibet, an icy lifeline for the few who inhabit the arid Ladakh plateau.
We’d been flying over a choppy sea of Himalayan peaks for an hour, a mass of violent geology that stretched as far as the eye could see. The pilot waited, making dizzying circles around the edge of the Indus Valley, until the dust cleared and he could put down. The landing gear was barely extended before we abruptly bumped into Ladakh’s capital, Leh, “rooftop of the world”.