LADAKH IN THE NEWS

LADAKH IN THE NEWS

Until my son went to Ladakh I had no idea where it was.
 
Ladakh is part of northern and eastern Kashmir, northwestern India, and administratively is divided between Pakistan and India. It lies between the Kunlun mountains in the north and the Himalayas to the south. It is often called “little Tibet” because it is strongly influenced by Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism.  My son went to Leh a few years ago which is the largest town in Ladakh. 
 
THE CENTRAL ASIAN MUSEUM IN LEH
 
held a preview opening on August 23rd, 2011, and is scheduled to open officially in July 2012. It came about through major international cooperation, with major help from  Saleem Beg, Director of J & K tourism, the Ladakhi historian Abdul Ghani, was designed by  Andre Alexander, co-director of the Tibetan Heritage Fund, and was constructed with the help of Habitat Unit, School of Architecture, Berlin University of Technology, and with the help of local artisans and volunteers. 
 
 The October 2011 Orientation magazine has a detailed article about this museum.   You can also read more at  http://tibetheritagefund.org/pages/projects/ladakh/central-asian-museum.php
 
The museum is situated in the Tsas Soma gardens, at the former crossroads of Central Asian caravan routes. Ladakh was an important place during the caravan trade- until the occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. 
 
The building resembles a Tibetan-Ladakhi fortress tower but inside it displays cultural objects from  Tibetan, Hindu, Muslim and Ladakhi  culture. The ground floor ( first floor for Americans)  serves to put Ladakh into its geographical, historical and cultural context. The first floor (or second floor)  houses textiles and trade items from  Central Asia illustrating  Muslim culture from Kashmir, Xinjiang and Uzbekistan. The second floor (or third floor)  focuses on Tibet and Ladakh’s Buddhist past. The third floor is built as an example of Baltistani architecture. I assume this refers to the Balti, an ethnic group with Tibetan roots in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, Kashmir. 
 
 
HEAVENLY HIMALAYAS:THE MURALS OF MANGYU AND OTHER DISCOVERIES IN LADAKH
A book by Peter van Ham

Published by  Prestel, Munich, Berlin, London, New York, 12010
Manguy is a small village in western Ladakh. The book is extensively illustrated and focuses on Buddhist iconography in connection with wall paintings and painted surfaces of main statues found in temples, towers and stupas in this village.  My favorite book store – paragonbook.com  has the book.
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