Ladakh is positioned between two vast mountain ranges, the Karakoram to the north and the Himalaya to the south, running along is the Indus river. It is the largest and highest district in India, covering an area of about 60,000 sq km and ranging in elevation from 2600m to 7070 m.

The Indus valley has a series of valleys and mountain ranges. North of the Indus valley is the Ladakh range, on the other side of which is the Shayok, and Nubra valleys. South of the Indus is the Stok range, clearly visible from Leh.


On the other side is the Markha valley, a popular trekking destination. Farther south-west is a series of minor ranges and then uninhabited valleys there is Zanskar, with the Kargyak and the Stod rivers joining at Padum, to form the Zangskar river which flows north through a narrow gorge to join the Indus. To the south of Zanskar is the Grand Himalayan range marking the southern limit of Ladakh. To the east of this series of ranges is the Changthang, a high plateau home to nomads.


It is known as Kharnak in the west, SamadRokchen in the north east and Korzok in the south east. It has a chaotic assortment of minor mountains ranges not much higher than the wide valleys between them and there are a number of beautiful salt water lakes - Pangong, Tsomorir and Tsokar lakes- that make popular destinations for tourists.