The religious beliefs and practices in Ladakh region are completely different to those of the mainland India. The reason is not far to seek as most of the people in the Ladakh region have a distinct cultural descent. Buddhism is the dominant religion in the Ladakh region. However, some other religions are also present in this beautiful valley. Before you plan your trip to Ladakh its important to know the culture, lifestyle and religion of the people inhabiting the area.
The dominant religion of Ladakh, India is Buddhism, especially in the central and eastern areas. Infact, it is one of the few places where Mahayana Buddhism, also known as Lamaism, is still practiced. This religion is a mixture of the animistic Bon faith and ancient Hindu tantric practices. Buddhism has very deep roots in Ladakh as this region was introduced to the faith as far back as the 7th century AD. One of the major features of Buddhism in Ladakh is the numerous monasteries or gompas.
After Buddhism the second most dominant in the Ladakh religions is Islam. Especially in the western Ladakh area, Shia Muslims are found in a majority. Sunni Muslims are also found in Ladakh, however they have a very small population.
Ladakh also has a Christian population, mainly in the town of Leh. They constitute a minority in this area, but belong to the top rungs of the Ladakhi society. There are also two churches in Ladakh, one in Leh and the other in the Shey area.