Ladakh’s geographic location between the Himalaya and Karakoram mountains has exposed it to competing political and cultural influences from India, Central Asia and Tibet. This book points to Ladakh’s distinct local identity, but argues that its historical development can best be understood in a wider regional perspective. It contains twenty-five research papers from the International Association of Ladakh Studies (IALS), and draws on contributions from historians, art historians, linguists and anthropologists. Their sources include Ladakhi historical documents, comparative linguistic research, visual evidence from temple architecture and inscriptions, Mughal biographies, European travel accounts, government records, trade receipts, and local oral tradition. Taken together, the volume provides a much richer view of Ladakhi history than was previously available, and makes a significant contribution to the study of the wider Himalayan region.
John Bray is Honorary Secretary of the International Association of Ladakh Studies (IALS). His publications include
A Bibliography of Ladakh (Warminister, 1988). His published research has focused on the history of European political and missionary encounters in Tibet and the Himalayan border regions.
All those interested in the history of India’s Himalayan border regions and their political, culural and economic relationships with Tibet and Central Asia.