Ladakh is popularly known as the moon land. The name has been given to this place because of its dramatic landscape resembling the lunar surface. In a number of places if a picture of an astronaut standing on a rock is taken, no one can say that it is not on the moon! There have been many other names given to this northern most region of the Indian sub-continent. In local language it is called the land of many passes. Some others have called it the Shangri La and still others have given it the name of land beyond the Himalaya. The land is so barren and desolate that according to a saying that only a dear friend or a serious enemy can come here! Population density is as low as one person in one square kilometre. It had remained a forbidden land for ages and for the first time it was opened not only for Indians to travel freely there but also for all foreigners. Till that time even Kashmiris needed a special permit to cross the Sonamarg Bridge! A lot has changed since Ladakh was thrown open for tourists about three decades back but the basic spirit and the magnetic attraction of the land and its people are still there.