Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Historically, Ladakh was a Buddhist kingdom which included Baltistan and Aksai Chin which are now administered by Pakistan and China respectively. It had a strategic location at the crossroads of major trade routes, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia
in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. Since 1974 the Indian Government has successfully encouraged tourism in Ladakh. Ladakh has been a focal point of numerous wars between India and Pakistan and the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The Saltoro ridge in the Siachen glacier region is an active military zone even today.