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History of Ladakh

The district of Ladakh (Fig. 2) lies at the border with Tibet at the most eastern corner of the State of Kashmir. Placed at very high altitude this is a region with very low population. It's surrounded by the great mountain chain of Karakoram and Himalaya. It's also called "little Tibet" or "the last Shangri-la". This land shelters a millennial culture where the monasteries and the medieval temples (gompas) which keep invaluable artistical treasures. The true repositories of an ancient knowledge, this land is one of the few places where tradition has been manteined alive until present days.

 

Fig. 1. Map of the India and location.

 

Leh, the capital, has the highest airport in the world. It's almost the only way to access the area since november until may, because mountain passes are closed.

 

Fig. 2. Map of the state and location of Ladakh.

 

During V to XV centuries, Ladakh was an independent kingdom assigned to Tibet. Little by little, due to tensions among local kings and the pressure of China over the Tibet, the relationship got worse. The dependence of Kashmir was greater and greater until Ladakh became a part of the independent India in 1948. In the present days comprises the 60% of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, but has an independent and own culture assured by the mountainous borders that separate Ladakh from the rest of India. In 1995, the ladakhians created in its region the Autonomous Development Council. This way, Ladakh has an autonomous organization that will try to improve the economical and social development of the region, marked by climate and tradition.

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