This shop signage written in English and Tibetan draws a number of tourists into the shop upstairs, for those interested in ancient and vintage products
Staircases have been used well by the shop owner for effective and free advertising
One can almost get an old town feeling by looking at this image. Its looks like it's taken out of a fantasy book. Did you notice how 'Objets d'art' is written with 'Useless Wali'?
Local names used for cafes and restaurants, shoe and clothes shops can be seen everywhere in the Leh market
Julley - the traditional way of greeting in Ladakh, also means 'Joy Le' or take happiness according to the locals. This one painted near the highway, works as a visual cue for drivers on their way to Changthang
Army tailors are common in the market, owning to the widespread presence of regiments in J & K
After every few shops you can notice a Salon or hairdresser. People coming from this region have good features and are naturally stylish owing to their influences
These are the most common signages in the Leh market. All signages are hand painted due to the absence of any good digital printing services in Ladakh
Om Mani Padme Hum chants are painted for auspicious reasons. And BRO the 'Border Roads Organization has done a good, quirky and effective job of painting highway milestones with messages
A signage in Khar-dung-la explains why nothing but Maggie would be available in the most remotest places of Ladakh
And now we know why hot, black tea remains the preferred drink amongst Ladakhi's
Educating tourists about some words from the local languages is another signage in Khar-dung-la
Ladakh shares an average literacy rate of about 68%, paired with statistics showing that about 100,000 tourists visit it every year. Most of these tourists come from abroad; hence one can fairly assume that apart from the local dialects like Ladakhi, Bodhi and Urdu - Hindi and English are being spoken popularly. Clearly a region, whose main economic pillar remains tourism; it provides messages, signage, and information primarily in English. Don't be surprised if you also find tourism pamphlets printed in German, French, Swedish and Italian languages in the markets and on café tables. It is not uncommon for the locals to even learn a foreign language and work as a part-time guide and translator as it fetches a generous pay during the tourist season, in summers. These images give us a peek into the typography, names, and graphics seen in various places at Ladakh. Local names, the traditional way of greeting, highway milestones, army tailors, tour and travel offices, share-a-cab information, group tours, money exchangers, café's and craft shops give an idea of the undercurrent flowing through the city. Explaining why nothing but Maggie would be available in the most remotest places of Ladakh, and why hot, black tea remains the preferred drink, also throwing in some words from the local languages which a lot of tourists are enthusiastic about learning; are some crazy signs on the worlds-most-highest-motor-able-road at Khardungla in Ladakh.