India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. India has a coastline of over seven thousand kilometres, and borders Pakistan to the west, Nepal, the People's Republic of China and Bhutan to the north-east, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, it is adjacent to the island nations of Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia.
Home to the Indus Valley Civilization, a centre of important trade routes and vast empires, India has long played a major role in human history. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism all have their origins in India, while Islam and Christianity enjoy a strong cultural heritage having arrived through trade even before foreign invasions. Colonised as part of the British Empire in the nineteenth century, India gained independence in 1947 as a unified nation after an intense war for independence. The country's population, wildlife, geographical terrain and climate system are among the most diverse in the world.
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It lies in the eastern half of Jammu & Kashmir State in the far noth of India. It shares its north-western border with Pakistan and to the north lies the Chinese province and to the east, Tibet (China). Ladakh is divided into several geographic regions :
* Central Ladakh, Nubra, The Rupshu, Zanskar and Western Ladakh.
Religion: Tibetan Buddhism is wide spread in Ladakh and they practice branch of Mahayana Buddhism which some times also called lamaism.
Lamas: It is usual for most families to have at least one son who is a lama (monk). At an early age he will be sent to the gompa (monastery) to which his village is attached where he will be educated in the religious teachings. Monks are highly respected in the community and spend a lot of their time away from the gompa performing religious ceremonies in the villages.
The lamas of Tibetan Buddhism are divided into four main sects. The oldest is the Nyingmapa (the Ancient Order or red hat sect) founded by Padmasambhava in the 8 century. The next is Sakyapa sect and the third is Kagyupa. The fourth and the recent order is the Gelukpa, more commonly known as the Yellow Hat sect. All of these sects are represented in Ladakh, but most common are the Kagyupa and Gelukpa.
Along the eastern frontier of Nepal is Sikkim, a Himalayan fairyland of hidden valleys, lofty mountains and rich coverage of alpine vegetation, sheltered within which are some most interesting destination and unique trekking trails.
A former Kingdom, now a part of India, Sikkim still retains its stately personality in its architecture, interactive culture and hospitality. During winter, Sikkim remains widely snow covered and cold. The most attractive season for visiting Sikkim is September-December and March-May. Sikkim has some very elegant and colorful festival during this time. An entirely mountainous country, most of the habitated area are accessible by road, while Gangtok, the state capital is also accessible by helicopter fights.
Darjeeling lies to the south of the state of Sikkim and is the renowned hill station in the state of West Bengal. Known as the Queen of the Hills in India, the hill town was the favorite summer retreat for the earstwhiled Colonial rulers in India. The place still retains largely its British flavour.The surrrounding areas also offer spectacular location worth visits as well as for trekking.