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Ladakh is a mountainous region in northeast Jammu and Kashmir in north India and in the area known as the Trans-Himalaya (the lands beyond the Himalaya: Tibet, Xinjiang and northern Pakistan). It's slightly smaller than Scotland, and is the largest, but least populated, region of Jammu and Kashmir. The settled population lives between 2,700 m and 4,500 m, and in nomadic encampments even higher.
The people are a roughly 50-50 mixture of Buddhist and Muslim. Buddhists are the majority in the east, Muslims in the north and west. Visitors are likely to see more of the Buddhists as most of the tourist attractions are in the east and directly related to Tibetan Buddhist culture.
The largest town is Leh, followed by Kargil. Ladakh is subdivided into two districts, which are named after the two towns. Kargil District is in the west and consists of Drass, famed as the second-coldest inhabited place on the earth with recorded temperatures of -56 °C or -69 °F, Suru, Chiktan and Batalik-Garkon. Leh District (Urdu:ضلع لہ) is the eastern part of Ladakh.
One branch of the ancient Silk Road ran through Ladakh and was a fairly important trade route at one time, for example when Marco Polo crossed it. A pass leads north from Leh to Khotan in what is now Xinjiang. From Leh there are several routes south; the main one involved following the Indus down to Srinagar, and in antiquity to Taxila.


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