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History of Leh & Ladakh - Every 100 Meters The Story Changes

By Anubha Das

Updated - May 9, 20246 min read

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For all those people who are adventurous spirits and love nature, Leh & Ladakh is the best place to be at. Having more than 2000 visitors Leh & Ladakh is one of the most popular global tourist spots in India. They are the oasis of nature and serenity where Leh features a unique Buddhist lifestyle. Though sometimes absorbed in the beauty of the place people ignore to acknowledge the rich history of Leh & Ladakh. Apart from the sightseeing options, the culture and lifestyle of Leh Ladakh are one of the reasons why tourists love to flock here. history-leh-ladhak


History Of Ladakh

The culture, economy, and history of Ladakh has been shaped due to many factors. One of the main factor being surrounded by Tibet to the east, Kashmir in the west, Pakistan in the northwest, China in the north and Lahaul and Spiti valleys in the south. Being surrounded by these places and even their history is an important factor have influenced and shaped what Ladakh is in today's time.history-leh-ladhak



How Buddhism was Brought to Ladakh

It is not 100% confirmed as to when the first Buddhist community was established in Ladakh. Though historians state that when Dards made West Tibet their home in the 4th and 5th centuries, Buddhism began to grow and spread outside India, adjusting to local cultures and the varying conditions of different countries. History books concede that after the eastward propagation of Buddhism in the 7th century, Ladakh and its neighbors were overrun by those fleeing westwards from the early Tibetan Tubo Kings.history-leh-ladakh


Under the patronage of King Triton Detsen, Khenpo Shantarakshita from India established a monastic order in Tibet by ordaining the first seven monks at Samye Monastery in the year 791. He called Guru Rinpoche to vanquish all deterrents hindering the development and to help set up Buddhism on the Tibetan Plateau. Ladakh should without a doubt have been liable to him, and in this way, it is to the eighth and ensuing hundreds of years that we may characteristic the Buddhist shake reliefs, which speak to the most imperative hints of pre-Tibetan, i.e., coordinate Indian Buddhist impact in Ladakh.history-leh-ladakh


Golden Era of 17th Century

The golden time of Ladakh came in the mid-seventeenth century when its trade thrived under the shrewd management of the well-known ruler Sengge Namgyal. His domain extended crosswise over Spiti and western Tibet the distance to the Mayumla arranged past Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. It was amid this period that Ladakh picked up acclaim as the most well known and best exchange course among Punjab and Central Asia. The merchants traveling through these routes every now and again managed in materials, flavors, crude silks, rugs, narcotics, and Leh, filled in as the midway rest house for them. The well-known methods for transport were by walking or on horsebacks. The cutting-edge vehicles were being used since the 1960s when the Srinagar-Leh engine street was at last done with construction. This shaped the history of leh and Ladakh in being what at present they are.history-leh-ladakh


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History of Leh

Leh was a vital point on trade routes between Tibet, India, and China, alongside the Indus Valley. The kingdom was found amid the tenth century, by a Tibetan sovereign named Skyid lde Nyima gon. He vanquished western Tibet and set up a few towns and mansions alongside the fundamental models at Shey, which stayed as a seat of Ladakhi rulers. Before this, little was known about the kingdom.history-leh-ladakh


The Building Of ‘Lhachen Palkhar’

Leh Palace also referred as the ‘Lhachen Palkhar’ is a yesteryear royal palace located in the picturesque Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Founder of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh, Tsewang Namgyal embarked on building the Leh Palace on the Tsemo Hill in 1553. history-leh-ladakh

The rooftop of the palace provides spectacular views of the mountain of Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain range as also panoramic views of the entire town and its surroundings.  The royal family had to desert the palace and shift to Stok Palace in the mid 19th century as the Dongra forces invaded and took over Ladakh. history-leh-ladakh

However, the majestic building with a museum holding over 450 years old artifacts in the midst of the mountains that provide breathtaking views of the snow-clad mountain ranges attracts tourists to this palace. history-leh-ladakh


Trade Routes Along Indus Valley 

The history of Leh speaks about the trade routes along the Indus Valley which was majorly in between Tibet, Kashmir, India, and China. Several trade routes have traditionally converged on Leh, from all four directions in the history of Leh. Leh has been a significant place to stop for centuries and the goods that were traded were salt, cashmere wool, cannabis raisin, indigo, silk yarn, pashm, and more.


These are the factors that shaped and influenced the history of Leh and Ladakh.


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Q. What are the unusual facts about Leh-Ladakh?

A. To know more about the unusual facts read: 15 Fascinating Facts About Leh Ladakh That Makes The Place Even More Captivating


Q. Why is Ladakh a Desert?

A. Desert lands with extremely low temperatures are called cold deserts like Antarctica, which is the largest cold desert in the world. Ladakh in India is a cold desert that lies in the Great Himalayas on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also known as Khapa-chan, which means snow land.