Leh is a town in the Leh district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, the seat of, in the Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace in Tibet - the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamshala, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Leh is at an altitude of 3,524 metres, is connected via National Highway 1 to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway. In 2010, Leh was damaged by the sudden floods caused by a cloud burst. Leh was an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and between India and China for centuries; the main goods carried were salt, pashm or cashmere wool, charas or cannabis resin from the Tarim Basin, silk yarn and Banaras brocade. Although there are a few indications that the Chinese knew of a trade route through Ladakh to India as early as the Kushan period, by Tang dynasty, little is known of the history of the region before the formation of the kingdom towards the end of the 10th century by the Tibetan prince, Skyid lde nyima gon, a grandson of the anti-Buddhist Tibetan king, Langdarma.
He conquered Western Tibet although his army numbered only 300 men. Several towns and castles are said to have been founded by Nyima gon and he ordered the construction of the main sculptures at Shey. "In an inscription he says he had them made for the religious benefit of the Tsanpo, of all the people of Ngaris. This shows that in this generation Langdarma's opposition to Buddhism had disappeared." Shey, just 15 km east of modern Leh, was the ancient seat of the Ladakhi kings. During the reign of Delegs Namgyal, the Nawab of Kashmir, a province in the Mughal Empire, arranged for the Mongol army to leave Ladakh; as payment for assisting Delegs Namgyal in the Tibet-Ladakh-Mughal war of 1679–1684, the Nawab made a number of onerous demands. One of the least was to build a large Sunni Muslim mosque in Leh at the upper end of the bazaar in Leh, below the Leh Palace; the mosque reflects a mixture of Islamic and Tibetan architecture and can accommodate more than 500 people. This was not the first mosque in Leh.
Several trade routes have traditionally converged from all four directions. The most direct route was the one the modern highway follows from the Punjab via Mandi, the Kulu valley, over the Rohtang Pass, through Lahaul and on to the Indus Valley, down river to Leh; the route from Srinigar was the same as the road that today crosses the Zoji La to Kargil, up the Indus Valley to Leh. From Baltistan there were two difficult routes: the main on ran up the Shyok Valley from the Indus, over a pass and down the Hanu River to the Indus again below Khalsi; the other ran from Skardu straight up the Indus on to Leh. There were both the summer and winter routes from Leh to Yarkand via the Karakoram Pass and Xaidulla. There were a couple of possible routes from Leh to Lhasa; the first recorded royal residence in Ladakh, built at the top of the high Namgyal Peak overlooking the present palace and town, is the now-ruined fort and the gon-khang built by King Tashi Namgyal. Tashi Namgyal is known to have ruled during the final quarter of the 16th century CE.
The Namgyal, a temple, is the main Buddhist centre in Leh. There are some older walls of fortifications behind it which Francke reported used to be known as the "Dard Castle." If it was indeed built by Dards, it must pre-date the establishment of Tibetan rulers in Ladakh over a thousand years ago. Below this are the Chenresi monasteries which are of uncertain date; the royal palace, known as Leh Palace, was built by King Sengge Namgyal between the period when the Portuguese Jesuit priest, Francisco de Azevedo, visited Leh in 1631, made no mention of it, Sengge Namgyal's death in 1642. The Leh Palace is nine storeys high; the palace was abandoned. The royal family moved their premises south to their current home in Stok Palace on the southern bank of the Indus. "As has been mentioned, the original name of the town is not sLel, as it is now-a-days spelt, but sLes, which signifies an encampment of nomads. These nomads were in the habit of visiting the Leh valley at a time when it had begun to be irrigated by Dard colonisers.
Thus, the most ancient part of the ruins on the top of rNam-rgyal-rtse-mo hill at Leh are called'aBrog-pal-mkhar.... " Unlike other districts of the State, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council is in charge of governance in Leh. The'Deputy Commissioner, Leh' holds the power of'Chief Executive Officern LAHDC'; the Current Deputy Commissioner of Leh is Avny Lavasa, IAS. LAHDC was constituted in 1995; the conception of the council was conceived so as to provide a transparent development in the area. It has 4 nominated and 26 elected; the Chief Executive Councillo
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India denoted by its acronym, J&K. It is located in the Himalayan mountains, shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south; the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north and a Line of Actual Control separates it from the Chinese-administered territory of Aksai Chin in the east. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. A part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the region is the subject of a territorial conflict among India and China; the western districts of the former princely state known as Azad Kashmir and the northern territories known as Gilgit-Baltistan have been under Pakistani control since 1947. The Aksai Chin region in the east, bordering Tibet, has been under Chinese control since 1962. Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, Jammu is the winter capital.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim-majority population. The Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year, while Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Maharaja Hari Singh became the ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1925, he was the reigning monarch at the conclusion of the British rule in the subcontinent in 1947. With the impending independence of India, the British announced that the British Paramountcy over the princely states would end, the states were free to choose between the new Dominions of India and Pakistan or to remain independent, it was emphasized that independence was only a ‘theoretical possibility’ because, during the long rule of the British in India, the states had come to depend on British Indian government for a variety of their needs including their internal and external security. Jammu and Kashmir had a Muslim majority.
Following the logic of Partition, many people in Pakistan expected. However, the predominant political movement in the Valley of Kashmir was secular and was allied with the Indian National Congress since the 1930s. So many in India too had expectations; the Maharaja was faced with indecision. On 22 October 1947, rebellious citizens from the western districts of the State and Pushtoon tribesmen from the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan invaded the State, backed by Pakistan; the Maharaja fought back but appealed for assistance to India, who agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26 October 1947 in return for military aid and assistance, accepted by the Governor General the next day. While the Government of India accepted the accession, it added the proviso that it would be submitted to a "reference to the people" after the state is cleared of the invaders, since "only the people, not the Maharaja, could decide where the people of J&K wanted to live."
It was a provisional accession. Once the Instrument of Accession was signed, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir with orders to evict the raiders; the resulting Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 lasted till the end of 1948. At the beginning of 1948, India took the matter to the United Nations Security Council; the Security Council passed a resolution asking Pakistan to withdraw its forces as well as the Pakistani nationals from the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India to withdraw the majority of its forces leaving only a sufficient number to maintain law and order, following which a plebiscite would be held. A ceasefire was agreed on 1 January supervised by UN observers. A special United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan was set up to negotiate the withdrawal arrangements as per the Security Council resolution; the UNCIP made three visits to the subcontinent between 1948 and 1949, trying to find a solution agreeable to both India and Pakistan. It passed a resolution in August 1948 proposing a three-part process.
It was accepted by India but rejected by Pakistan. In the end, no withdrawal was carried out, India insisting that Pakistan had to withdraw first, Pakistan contending that there was no guarantee that India would withdraw afterward. No agreement could be reached between the two countries on the process of demilitarization. India and Pakistan fought two further wars in 1965 and 1971. Following the latter war, the countries reached the Simla Agreement, agreeing on a Line of Control between their respective regions and committing to a peaceful resolution of the dispute through bilateral negotiations; the primary argument for the continuing debate over the ownership of Kashmir is that India did not hold the promised plebiscite. In fact, neither side has adhered to the UN resolution of 13 August 1948. India gives the following reasons for not holding the plebiscite: United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 on Kashmir was passed by UNSC under chapter VI of UN Charter, which are non-binding and have no mandatory enforceability.
In March 2001, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan during his visit to India and Pakistan, remarked that Kashmir resolutions are only advisory recommendations and comparing with those on East Timor and Iraq was like comparing apples and oranges, since those resolutions were passed under chapter VII, which make it enforceable by UNSC. In 2003 Paki
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which does not constitute a recognized international boundary, but is the de facto border. Known as the Cease-fire Line, it was redesignated as the "Line of Control" following the Simla Agreement, signed on 3 July 1972; the part of the former princely state, under Indian control is known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Kashmir and Gilgit -- Baltistan; the northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842. The India–Pakistan border continues from the southernmost point on the LoC. Another ceasefire line separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin. Lying further to the east, it is known as the Line of Actual Control. Former US President Bill Clinton has referred to the Indian subcontinent and the Kashmir Line of Control, in particular, as one of the most dangerous places in the world.
The Line of Control divided Kashmir into two parts and closed the Jehlum valley route, the only entrance and exit of the Kashmir Valley at that time. This territorial division, which to this day still exists, severed many villages and separated family members from each other; the Pakistan Declaration of 1933 had envisioned the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as one of the "five Northern units of India" that were to form the new nation of Pakistan, on the basis of its Muslim majority. Pakistan still claims the whole of Kashmir as its own territory, including Indian-controlled Kashmir. India has a different perspective on this interpretation. Maharaja Hari Singh, King of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, agreed to Governor-General Mountbatten's suggestion to sign the Instrument of Accession. India demanded accession in return for assistance. India claimed that the whole territory of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had become Indian territory due to the accession; the Indian Line of Control fencing is a 550 km barrier along the 740 km disputed 1972 Line of Control.
The fence, constructed by India remains about 150 yards on the Indian-controlled side. Its stated purpose is to exclude arms smuggling and infiltration by Pakistani-based separatist militants; the barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet in height, is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as "fast alert signals" to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in; the small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines. The construction of the barrier was begun in the 1990s, but slowed in the early 2000s as hostilities between India and Pakistan increased. After a November 2003 ceasefire agreement, building resumed and was completed in late 2004. LoC fencing was completed in Kashmir Valley and Jammu region on 30 September 2004. According to Indian military sources, the fence has reduced the numbers of militants who cross into the Indian side of the disputed state to attack soldiers by 80%.
Pakistan has criticised the construction of the barrier, saying it violates both bilateral accords and relevant United Nations resolutions on the region. The European Union has supported India's stand calling the fencing as "improvement in technical means to control terrorists infiltration" and pointing that the "Line of Control has been delineated in accordance with the 1972 Shimla agreement". There are three main crossing points on the LoC operational; these are, from north to south: The Teelwal frossing is located on the road between Muzaffarabad and Baramulla. It is usally only open during the summer months and in contrast to the other two crossing is only open for people movement, not for trade. Salamabad crossing point is located on the road between Chakothi and Uri in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Indo-Pak LoC, it is a major route for cross LoC travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side; the name in English translates to "bridge of peace" is located in Uri.
The bridge was rebuilt by Indian army after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake when a mountain on the Pakistani side had caved in. This route was opened for trade in 2008 after a period of 61 years; the Srinagar–Muzaffarabad Bus passes through this bridge on the LoC. A road connects Kotli and Tatrinote in Pakistan side of the LoC to Indian Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir through Chakan Da Bagh crossing point, it is a major route for cross LoC travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side for the benefit of traders; the flag meetings between Indian and Pakistani security forces are held here. These meetings are held at the border or on the Line of Control by commanders of the armys of both sides. A flag meeting can be held at the brigadier level on smaller issues. If the meeting is on a larger context, it could be held at the general level. Two further crossings are at Haji Pir pass and one near Tattapani, but these are not operational. Wagah, an international border crossing between India and Pakistan Indo-Bangladeshi barrier Kashmir conflict Actual Ground Position Line Wakhan Siachen conflict Ranjan Kumar Singh, Sarhad: Zero Mile, Parijat Prakashan, ISBN 81-903561-0-0
Gilgit, is the capital city of the Gilgit-Baltistan region, an administrative territory of Pakistan. The city is located in a broad valley near the confluence of the Gilgit River and Hunza River. Gilgit is a major tourist destination in Pakistan, serves as a hub for mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram Range, it was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road, today serves as a major junction along the Karakoram Highway with road connections to China, Chitral and Islamabad. The city's ancient name was Sargin to be known as Gilit, it is still referred to as Gilit or Sargin-Gilit by local people. In Brushaski, it is named Geelt and in Wakhi and Khowar it is called Gilt. Brogpas trace their settlement from Gilgit into the fertile villages of Ladakh through a rich corpus of hymns and folklore that have been passed down through generations; the Dards and Shinas appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of people who lived in the region, with the former mentioned in Ptolemy's accounts of the region.
Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road, along which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of Asia. It is considered as a Buddhism corridor from which many Chinese monks came to Kashmir to learn and preach Buddhism. Two famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrims and Xuanzang, traversed Gilgit according to their accounts. According to Chinese records, between the 600s and the 700s, the city was governed by a Buddhist dynasty referred to as Little Balur or Lesser Bolü, they are believed to be the Patola Sahi dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription, are devout adherents of Vajrayana Buddhism. In mid-600s, Gilgit came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising Tibetan Empire wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate to the west, the Tibetans were forced to ally themselves with the Islamic caliphates.
The region was contested by Chinese and Tibetan forces, their respective vassal states, until the mid-700s. Chinese record of the region last until late-700s at which time the Tang's western military campaign was weakened due to the An Lushan Rebellion; the control of the region was left to the Tibetan Empire. They referred to the region as Bruzha, a toponym, consistent with the ethnonym "Burusho" used today. Tibetan control of the region lasted until late-800s CE; this corpus of manuscripts was discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, containing many Buddhist texts such as four sutras from the Buddhist canon, including the famous Lotus Sutra. The manuscripts were written on birch bark in the Buddhist form of Sanskrit in the Sharada script, they cover a wide range of themes such as iconometry, folk tales, philosophy and several related areas of life and general knowledge. The Gilgit manuscripts are included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register, they are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan, having major significance in the areas of Buddhist studies and the evolution of Asian and Sanskrit literature.
The manuscripts are believed to have been written in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, though some more manuscripts were discovered in the succeeding centuries, which were classified as Gilgit manuscripts. As of 6 October 2014, one source claims that the part of the collection deposited at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar was irrecoverably destroyed during the 2014 India–Pakistan floods. Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty, which ended about 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja; the rulers of Hunza and Nager claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia, Azur Jamshid, who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat, she conspired with him to overthrow her cannibal father. Sri Badat's faith is theorised as Hindu by Buddhist by others. However, considering the region's Buddhist heritage, with the most recent influence being Islam, the most preceding influence of the region is Buddhism. Prince Azur Jamshid succeeded in overthrowing King Badat, known as the Adam Khor demanding a child a day from his subjects, his demise is still celebrated to this day by locals in traditional annual celebrations.
In the beginning of the new year, where a Juniper procession walks along the river, in memory of chasing the cannibal king Sri Badat away. Azur Jamshid abdicated after 16 years of rule in favour of his wife Nur Bakht Khatùn until their son and heir Garg, grew of age and assumed the title of Raja and ruled, for 55 years; the dynasty flourished under the name of the Kayani dynasty until 1421 when Raja Torra Khan assumed rulership. He ruled as a memorable king until 1475, he distinguished his family line from his stepbrother Shah Rais Khan, as the now-known dynastic name of Trakhàn. The descendants of Shah Rais Khan were known as the Ra'issiya Dynasty; the area had been a flourishing tract but prosperity was destroyed by warfare over the next fifty years, by the great flood of 1841 in which the river Indus was blocked by a landslip below the Hatu Pir and the valley was turned into a lake. After the death of Abas, Sulaiman Shah, Raja of Yasin, conquered Gilgit. Azad Khan the cheater, Raja of Punial, killed Sulaiman Shah, taking Gilgit.
Tair Shah's son Shah Sakandar inherited, only to be killed by Gohar Aman, Raja of Yasin of the Khushwakhte Dynasty when he took
Gilgit-Baltistan known as the Northern Areas, is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan. It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. Gilgit-Baltistan is part of the greater Kashmir region, the subject of a long-running conflict between Pakistan and India; the territory shares a border with Azad Kashmir, together with which it is referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as "Pakistan administered Kashmir". Gilgit-Baltistan is six times the size of Azad Kashmir; the territory borders Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state to the south and is separated from it by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan. The territory of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas".
It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district and several small former princely states, the larger of which being Hunza and Nagar. In 2009, it was granted limited autonomy and renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan via the Self-Governance Order signed by Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, which aimed to empower the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, scholars state that the real power rests with the governor and not with chief minister or elected assembly; the population of Gilgit-Baltistan wants to be merged into Pakistan as a separate fifth province and opposes integration with Kashmir. The Pakistani government has rejected Gilgit-Baltistani calls for integration with Pakistan on the grounds that it would jeopardise its demands for the whole Kashmir issue to be resolved according to UN resolutions. Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of over 72,971 km² and is mountainous, it had an estimated population of 1,800,000 in 2015. Its capital city is Gilgit. Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five of the "eight-thousanders" and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres.
Three of the world's longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan. The main tourism activities are trekking and mountaineering, this industry is growing in importance; the rock carvings found in various places in Gilgit-Baltistan those found in the Passu village of Hunza, suggest a human presence since 2000 BC. Within the next few centuries after human settlement in the Tibetan plateau, this region became inhabited by Tibetans, who preceded the Balti people of Baltistan. Today Baltistan bears similarity to culturally. Dards are found in the western areas; these people are the Shina-speaking peoples of Gilgit, Chilas and Diamir while in Hunza and in the upper regions Burushaski and Khowar speakers dominate. The Dards find mention in the works of Herodotus, Megasthenes, Pliny and the geographical lists of the Puranas. In the 1st century the people of these regions were followers of the Bon religion while in the 2nd century they followed Buddhism. Between 399 and 414, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Faxian visited Gilgit-Baltistan, while in the 6th century Somana Palola was ruled by an unknown king.
Between 627 and 645, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang travelled through this region on his pilgrimage to India. According to Chinese records from the Tang dynasty, between the 600s and the 700s, the region was governed by a Buddhist dynasty referred to as Bolü transliterated as Palola, Balur, they are believed to be the Palola Sāhi dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription, are devout adherents of Vajrayana Buddhism. At the time, Little Palola was used to refer to Gilgit, while Great Palola was used to refer to Baltistan. However, the records do not disambiguate the two. In mid-600s, Gilgit came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising Tibetan Empire wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate to the west, the Tibetans were forced to ally themselves with the Islamic caliphates; the region was contested by Chinese and Tibetan forces, their respective vassal states, until the mid-700s.
Rulers of Gilgit held back the Arabs with their help. Between 644 and 655, Navasurendrāditya-nandin became king of Palola Sāhi dynasty in Gilgit. Numerous Sanskrit inscriptions, including the Danyor Rock Inscriptions, were discovered to be from his reign. In late 600s and early 700s, Jayamaṅgalavikramāditya-nandin was king of Gilgit. According to Chinese court records, in 717 and 719 delegations of a ruler of Great Palola named Su-fu-she-li-ji-li-ni reached the Chinese imperial court. By at least 719/720, Ladakh became part of the Tibetan Empire. By that time, Buddhism was practiced in Baltistan, Sanskrit was the written language. In 720, the delegation of Surendrāditya reached the Chinese imperial court, he was referred to by the Chinese records as the king of Great Palola. The Chinese emperor granted the ruler of Cashmere, Chandrāpīḍa, the title of "King of Cashmere". By 721/722, Baltistan had came under the influence of the Tibetan Empire. In 721–722, Tibetan army attempted but failed to capture Gilgit or Bru
Batalik is a town in Ladakh and Kashmir, located on the upper reaches of the Indus river. It has been a focal point in all Indo-Pakistani wars because of its strategic location between Kargil and Baltistan. Operation Safed Sagar, 1971 and the Kargil war, 1999 were both fought in this region. Batalik is 56 km from Kargil and is known for its four Brokpa villages: Dah, Hanu, [ Chulichan Sharchay and Darchak; the Brokpa tribe is believed to be directly descended from the soldiers of Alexander the Great. Most of the valley is made up of nominally Buddhist Brokpas, but a few communities have converted to Shia Islam and intermarried with other Muslim ethnic groups as a result. Manoj Kumar Pandey