The geographical backbone of
Ladakh, the Inuds Valley, particularly from Upshi down to Khalatse, is also
the region's histocric heartland. All the major sites connected with the former
kingdom's dynastic history are here, starting with Leh, the capital city since
the early 17th century when Sengge Namgyal built its nine-storey palace.
Arts & Crafts
There is little tradition of
artistic craftsmanship in Ladakh, most luxury articles inthe past having been
obtained through imports. The exception isthe village of Chiling, about 19km
up the Zanskar river from Nima.
The traveller from India will
look in vain for similarities between the land and people he has left and those
he encounters inLadakh. The faces and physique of the Ladakhis, and the clothes
they wear, are more akin to those of Tibet and Central Asia than of India.
Its political fortunes ebbed
and flowed over the centuries, and the kingdom, was at its greatest in the early
17th century under the famous king Sengge Namgyal, whose rule extended across
Spiti and western Tibet up to the Mayumla beyond the sacred sites of Mount Kailash
and Lake Mansarovar.
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