The fiber of Pashmina has its origins in the Indian CHANGTHANG region.
The latter occupies the southern part of the Union Territory of LADAKH and is located south-east of its capital LEH.
The Indian region of Changthang represents the western extension of the Tibetan plateau of the same name. Covering an area of about 98,000 km2, Ladakh has about 135,000 inhabitants.
Over the centuries, many Tibetans have settled here (especially in the central and eastern parts). They are basically divided into two groups, the Changpa herders and the sedentary Tibetans.
The former, whose tents can be seen in the middle of large arid expanses, are nomads. They have been breeding the famous Pashmina goats since at least the 8th century. The latter are settled in villages along the rivers.
Also known as "Little Tibet", Ladakh is a vast cold semi-desert region of the Indian Peninsula. One of the highest inhabited plateaus in the world. This remote region is the repository of a myriad of cultural, religious and linguistic influences from mainland India, Tibet and Central Asia.
It is dominated to the north by the Karakorum Mountains and to the south by the Himalayas.
A majestic region where, among other things, grandiose mountains and cold deserts, snowy peaks and sky-blue lakes rub shoulders, huge valleys and glaciers among the largest in the world, after those of the polar region.
In short, a region where the impressive landscapes teach us humility and invite us to contemplate.
AN UNREACHABLE REGION...
Located at an average altitude of 5,300 metres, the winters are long and harsh and consequently record negative temperatures three months a year, from December to February (up to -30° in Kargil and -50° in Dras).
In this arid region, swept by icy winds, rainfall is relatively scarce (about 50 mm per year). Rivers, waterfalls and lakes freeze over and the icy, crystalline water vapour transforms into a multitude of elaborate shapes.
Polar temperatures, layers of ice and frequent snowfall make this part of the world particularly inhospitable and inaccessible from October to May. On clear, sunny days, when temperatures rise above 20°, the sun is scorching. In addition, the aridity and lack of rainfall result in sparse vegetation and a desert landscape that is regularly hit by sandstorms.
... BUT NEVER ISOLATED
The main waterway in Ladakh is the Indus River, one of the seven sacred rivers of India, which gave the river its name, and whose source is at Mount Kailas in Tibet.
Ladakh also has the country's largest natural lake, Pangong Tso. With its 150 km long and 4 km wide, crystal clear water, and a thousand shades of blue, the lake is a natural treasure at an altitude of 4,250 metres.
Despite its geographical position and inaccessibility, Ladakh has never been isolated, notably thanks to the commercial links established over the centuries with the neighbouring regions of Kashmir, Himachal, Tibet, Central Asia and Sinkiang.
With its secluded monasteries, picturesque hamlets, clean air and serene atmosphere Ladakh possesses an immaculate beauty that inspires respect.