Ladakh , which means land of high passes, is a region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir. Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the Vale of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west, and the trans–Kunlun territory of Xinjiang to the far north.
Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called “Little Tibet” as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture.
In the past Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. The Indian military maintains a strong presence in the region.
The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. It is one of the few remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia.Some Ladakhi activists have in recent times called for Ladakh to be constituted as a union territory because of its religious and cultural differences with predominantly Muslim Kashmir.