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Ladakh - Most Thrilling Place for Volunteering in India

April 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 229

Located in the mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh with its divine monasteries and rich cultural traditions is an exceptional place for volunteering. The volunteering opportunities available in Ladakh can give you a great sense of self satisfaction and a volunteering experience that will last for a lifetime.

The preserved Buddhist culture and the arid Himalayan landscape along with the pleasant summer weather make Ladakh one of the most preferred destinations for volunteering in India. Opened for travelers in the last decade, the volunteering opportunities available here cater to wide range of interests.

Ladakh means "land of high passes" and as such it lies at an altitude from 9000 ft. to 25170 ft. As one of the highest inhabited areas in the world, it is a region in India that is totally away from the glare of the modern world. Often referred as little Tibet, one can easily find villages carved out of mountainside, stupas pointing towards the sky, monasteries nearly hanging from the cliffs and crags.

Geographically, Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the valley of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west and the trans-Kunlun territory of Xinjiang to the far north. With a population of around 260,000, it is a mixture of many different ethnic groups, predominantly the Tibetans, Mons, Dards, Shia and Sunni Muslims. Praised for its remote mountain beauty and culture, Ladakh has many famous attractions.

Some of the famous sites where the volunteers can revisit the history are:

Leh Palace: It is one of the most famous historical sites of the region that attracts a number of volunteers. Built in the 17th century, this nine story palace has served as the residence of King Singge Namgyal. Featuring colossal inclined buttressed walls and protruding wooden balconies, this captivating palace is a fine example of medieval Tibetan architecture. Built in the memory of brave Ladakhi soldiers who led the victory against the armies of Balti Kashmiris in the 16th century, a victory tower can be seen above the palace. Now this palace serves as the office of the Archeological Survey of India.

Shanti Stupa: It is an elegant white-domed structure that was built in 1985 to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. Located on the hilltop of Changspa, it can be easily reached by taking the fort road. The views of the sunrise and sunset from the stupa are truly wonderful. At night, when it is illuminated with lights, it looks beautiful and is worth watching.

Apart from local sightseeing, the volunteering projects running in Ladakh include teaching and working with Monks and Nuns. The volunteers in collaboration with the local organization are required to help with general management of the monastery or nunnery, English conversational skills, computers, games, painting, music, etc. The female volunteers discuss topics like personal hygiene, sanitation, importance of education, etc. with the nuns. The volunteering work is usually done in the evening from 5 PM to 9 PM. Sometimes activities like teaching, setting up library, etc. are also scheduled in the morning hours. In the innovative and comprehensive training programs offered to monks and nuns, the volunteers are asked to work without any supervision. They are expected to be spirited and sensitive towards the Ladakhi way of life.

For summer volunteer abroad, Ladakh is a perfect place to experience the Buddhist culture and traditions. It also offers ample opportunities for taking part in meditation camps, yoga course, Tibetan cooking, Ayurveda, etc.

The author of this article is an expert associated with Volunteer in India that offers affordable, unique and fun-filled volunteer placements to international travelers. Travelers looking for volunteer opportunities in India can surely rely on Volunteer in India.

Source: EzineArticles
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