The people of Ladakh are predominantly Buddhist and practice Mahayana Buddhism influenced with the old Bon animistic faith and Tantric Hinduism. However, the four main groups of people inhabiting Ladakh are the Mons of Aryan background, Dards many converted to Islam, Baltis believed to have migrated from Central Asia and Tibetans.
The architecture in Ladakh draw heavy influences from Tibet and India. The monastic architecture reflects a deeply rooted Buddhist approach. Ladakhi Buddhist festival music is much like its Tibetan counterpart and often involves religious chanting. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts in celebration of various festivals.
Archery is a traditional sport and many villages still conduct archery festivals, which also include drinking, dancing and gambling as a medium of celebrating the sport. Polo is another traditional sport of Ladakh.
Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa (noodle soup) and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as ngampe (roasted barley flour).
It is especially very handy to learn this local word “Julley“ which is an ancient greetings Ladakhi form which involves a simple hand gesture too.