Wildlife of Ladakh – a photo essay

By Neelima Twitter Facebook Pinterest
Posted: 08/12/2011 in Featured Story

Ladakh being one of the highest inhabited plateaus and situated amidst formidable mountain ranges makes it one of the preferred destinations to witness remoteness in its truest forms. The same remoteness allows for chance sightings of wildlife just by the roadside. Over the 12 days I was wandering in Ladakh I saw many kinds of birds and animals. Here are few that I managed to capture.

1. Kiang or the Tibetan Wild Ass

The largest of the wild asses, kiang is found in the Tibetan Plateau living between altitudes of 4000 to 7000 meters. These animals are surprisingly athletic and move with amazing grace. With its association to the ass family, I did not expect them to look any pretty but they do. Kiangs are frequently spotted in Changthang region of Ladakh.

I spotted these Kiangs while going through the little traversed route of Mahe -Chushul – Spangmik.


2. Ladakh Urial

First things first, do you spot them in the picture below? Their camouflage is freaking awesome. Well these are the Ladakh Urial I suppose, correct me if I am wrong. I spotted them on the way to Tso Moriri from Leh.


3. Wild Hare

Well again near the Chushul region, we noticed sudden movement on the land in front of us only to find these little creatures running away from us.


4. Bactrian Camel / Double Hump Camel

Well, as the name says these camels have two humps as opposed to the single hump camels found elsewhere. Only a small population of Bactrian Camels was left here in Ladakh long ago which continue till date but all of them have been domesticated. The only surviving wild counterparts of Bactrian camels exist in Mongolia which I hope to see someday. This was shot in Hunder of Nubra Valley.


5. Black Necked Crane

The Chushul marshes are apparently where the black necked cranes migrate every summer. Luckily we spotted few here and there. The marshes were looking amazing for sure.


6. Yak

I have nothing much to say about this. I spotted them between Loma and Nyoma after crossing Mahe that is. :)


7. Himalayan Marmot

These very cute looking creatures similar in appearance to the beavers live in the high mountains and can be found quite often by the roadside in the Changthang region or any place with some grass. I spotted these while returning from Pangong to Leh.


8. Sheep

Technically not wildlife but it is amazing how small they look in front of the grand landscape there! Cattle are one of the primary sources of livelihood in Ladakh from what I have seen.


9. Horses

The horses are left freely here and probably they return back to their owners by night fall. Spotted these at many places but this was shot on the farther end of Pangong towards China.


Most travellers heading to Ladakh start their journey from Manali, where Club Mahindra has a wonderful resort . Do refresh yourselves here before you begin your trip to the mountains

manali facade


Stories on a map

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