North India’s Ladakh is a hilly region known as the “country of high mountain passes.” The major city of Leh is located 3500 meters above sea level, tucked away in the Ladakh, Karakoram, and Zanskar mountain ranges. Ladakh is renowned for its secluded mountain beauty, which is dotted with stupas and monasteries. Ladakh is frequently referred to as “Little Tibet” because of its proximity to Tibet and its close ties to Tibetan culture.
Neolithic nomads who arrived with their yaks were the first people to live in Ladakh. Later, Buddhist pilgrims from India who were en route to Mount Kailash in Tibet made permanent settlements in the Indus valley, bringing Buddhism, which eventually became the dominant religion in the area.
In the sixteenth century, Tibetan troops and Muslim armies frequently attacked Ladakh from the west and the east, respectively (17th century). The Namgyal dynasty, which established a new capital in Leh and expanded the realm as far as Nepal, brought the country back to life. Ladakh was occupied by the Dogra army from Jammu during the 19th century, and it afterward joined the state of Jammu and Kashmir.