About Ladakh History

About Ladakh history, the earliest inhabitants of Ladakh were the Khampa nomads, who domesticated yaks. The first settlement along the Indus river was established by Mons from the region of Kullu and another tribe called the Brokpas

About Ladakh history, the earliest inhabitants of Ladakh were the Khampa nomads, who domesticated yaks. The first settlement along the Indus River was established by Mons from the region of Kullu and another tribe called the Brokpas, toward the west of Ladakh, originating from Giglit. Gya became the first seat of government of a Mon ruler who was known by the name of Gyapacho. Around 10th century AD in ladakh history, nomads from Khotan launched a series of bloody invasions in Ladakh. Gyapacho succeeded in repelling the attack of the Khotan nomads with the help of Skilde Nimagon, the decendant Kin Tibet. Gyapocho ceded to him the uninhabited Shey and Thiksey village in return of his help. Nimagon became the first king of Ladakh in ladakh history and chose Shey as the headquarter, and built a fort at Shey. Later he became the king of entire Ladakh region. Skilde Namagon ruled from 975 to 1000 AD. Between 1000 and 1500 AD Ladakh was ruled by succession of kings, who were great patrons of art and architecture. They were responsible for building palaces and promoting religious activities amongst other things. By the beginning of the 19th century in Ladakh history, the Mughal empire had misshapen, and Sikh rule had been established in Punjab and Kashmir. However the Dogra region of Jammu remained under its Rajput rulers, the greatest of whom was Maharaja Gulab Singh whose General Zorawar Singh entered Ladakh in 1834. King Tshespal Namgyal was deposed and exiled to Stok. Ladakh came under Dogra rule and was integrated into the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846. It still upheld substantial independence and connections with Tibet. Throughout the Sino-Sikh war from 1841 to 1842 in history of Ladakh, the Qing Empire attacked on Ladakh and the Sino-Tibetan army was crushed.

The Dogras led by Zorawar Singh invaded Ladakh in 1834. King Dorjay Namgyal of Ladakh managed to hold the Dogra army at Mulbek for a few months. Eventually, they had to surrender. Ladakh was placed under the control of Gulab Singh and his Governer. This followed a constant strife by the Ladakhis to regain their freedom in Ladakh history. This bloody period ended with the advent of the British as the paramount power in North India. Ladakh was incorporated in the newly created state of Jammu and Kashmir.


Leh Palace was built during the 17th century by the ruler King Sengge Namgyal. Its construction is on the same lines as the construction of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. This palace had to be deserted by the royal family in the middle of the 19th century, because of the taking over of Ladakh by Dogra forces. After this the royal family is living in-exile in the popular Stok Palace. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is restoring some of the ruined portions of this nine-storey palace. While the store rooms were on the lower floors, the royalty resided on the upper floors. The roof of this palace offers an excellent view of the valley.


Stok Palace, built by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in 1825, in the present times is the residential palace of the royal descendants of King Sengge Namgyal. The architecture of this palace is a perfect mix of the traditional and the contemporary architectural styles. This palatial property consists of a number of beautiful gardens as well as a library that has around 108 volumes of the Kangyur (a collection of teachings of Lord Buddha). The palace is located around 15 kms away from the main city of Leh. This palace hosts an annual dance-mask festival in which there is a huge participation by the locals. There is also a collection of royal clothing, crowns and other important things which you can see while on the excursion of the palace.


The Hall of Fame, located near the Leh Airfiled, is a museum constructed as well as maintained by the Indian Army in the memory of the soldiers who had lost their lives during the Indo-Pak wars. It is also termed as a memorial for the war heros. This building consists of two floors. While on the ground floor, there is information about the brave soldiers as and a souvenir shop but on the first floor, there are artifacts of various wars (mainly Kargil war) such as the weapons used during the war and some important documents, related to the same. There is another section dedicated to the Siachen glacier.


The Shanti Stupa is white-colored domed-shaped structure, located in Chandspa which looks extremely beautiful during night when it is illuminated. This peace pillar was built a ‘peace sect’ of Japanese Buddhist organization to celebrate the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and for the promotion of world peace. It was inaugurated by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in 1985. This pillar is known for its gilt panels depicting the life stories of Lord Buddha. It is just 5 kms away from the main city of Leh and is surrounded the traditionally built houses of the locals and snow-covered mountains. Take the steep slights to reach the Stupa that offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views.


Located in the heart of Leh town is the Jama Masjid, which is one of the major historical mosques in Ladakh. This mosque is considered to be the biggest mosques in the Ladkah region and consists of a memorial which is known as Shahi Hamdan. This memorial is made in dedication to Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, a Muslim Sufi Saint. It was built in 1666-67 A.D. as a result of an agreement between Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor and the then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal. Since the time of its construction, the mosque has been dismantled and re-constructed using new techniques.