© Nutthavood Punpeng/500px
Glacial runoff and human-crafted irrigation in the deep valleys of Ladakh, India, are crucial to survival in this high-elevation region in northern India. The plateau that links the Kunlun and Himalayan mountain ranges is technically a desert. But indigenous peoples have been farming barley and wheat here for centuries. Travelers from around the globe have discovered Ladakh, and now 50 percent of the region’s GNP comes from tourism.