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Zanskar Investigations
(with surrounding areas)

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This page contains a number of selected links to Zanskar and Ladakh internet resources. Apart from much smaller neighbouring regions of Lahaul and Spiti (and Sikkim), Ladakh and Zanskar are the only regions of predominantly Tibetan culture which happened to belong politically to India.

Zanskar and Ladakh have a long proud history as independent West-Tibetan kingdoms, owing their worldly wealth to the southern branch of the Silk Road. The slow decline started after the 5th Dalai Lama aggression in 1680 and following Kashmiri involvement, when Ladakhis were forced to assume the political influence of both Tibet and India.

After the Sikhs subdued Jammu and Kashmir, they attacked north. In 1834 a large Dogra army lead by Zorawar Singh was stopped by Ladakhis nearby Mulbekh. After a short truce, Dogras took Zanskar by surprise and then arrived directly by Leh, breaking all resistance. According to a british-influenced treaty from 1842 the conquest of Ladakh and Zanskar has been confirmed and both lands were included to the realm of maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Due to the Indian conflicts with Pakistan and China over Kashmir and its boundaries, Ladakh and Zanskar were off-limits for foreigners until 1974. Not surprisingly, this long isolation caused that the Tibetan tradition there is well-preserved and still vibrant.

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