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India's newest union territory eyes visitor boom

Ladakh will benefit from split with Kashmir, but tourism must be sustainable

Riding camels on the sand dunes of Hunder in the Nubra Valley is a tourist cliche -- but also a very scenic experience. (Photo by Kit Yeng Chan)

LEH, India -- For the people of Ladakh, a former Buddhist Himalayan kingdom wedged between Pakistan and China in India's remote far north, Halloween from now on has taken on a whole new meaning.

On Oct. 31, India split the disputed former state of Jammu and Kashmir in half, with Ladakh becoming one of two new union territories administered by the federal government. Ladakh, which has been generally peaceful since Indian independence in 1947, is the subject of territorial claims from both Pakistan and China, which occupied the Aksai Chin plains, formerly part of eastern Ladakh, in 1962.

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