Watch | All about Ladakh

Ladakh became a part of India when Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the union in 1947.

Updated - August 18, 2019 09:44 am IST

Published - August 18, 2019 07:40 am IST

On August 5, the Central Government announced that a Union Territory of Ladakh is to be created by carving out the region from the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This new Union Territory is set to come into existence on October 31.

The Ladakh region is ecologically and culturally unique. It has a topography that is very different from the rest of India, and is home to enormous mineral reserves. The extremely fragile cold desert ecosystem of the regions has meant that its inhabitants have a very adaptive lifestyle.The population of around 3 lakh is spread sparsely over an area of about 60 thousand square kilometers.

The people are primarily Buddhists, and their culture is closely tied to the Tibetan region. And like the Tibetans, the Ladakhi cuisine is know for momos and thukpa. The primary language of the region is Bhoti, and Ladakhi culture has a rich oral tradition of of songs and poems.

The region was settled by tribes and races like the Mons and the Dards and historical mentions of the region go back as early as the third century BC and the puranas.

In the 1830s the Dogra army of Jammu laid siege on Ladakh and brought it under Maharaja Gulab Singh’s rule. Ladakh became a part of India when Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the union in 1947.

During the 1962 war, China took control of a part of the region that is known as Aksai Chin. Since then, India and China have signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control that separates Aksai Chin from Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2002, all the political parties in Ladakh had merged to form the Ladakh Union Territory Front in demand of Union Territory status because of its religious and cultural differences with Jammu and Kashmir.

Ladakh’s Member of Parliament, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP, said that Ladakh felt stifled by J&K’s decision-making apparatus, which was centred in Srinagar.

Ladakh celebrated Independence Day, 2019, with fervour with Mr. Namgyal saying the region has got “independence from Kashmir”.

The parliamentarian, whose speech in the Lok Sabha after the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir drew praises, was seen dancing and playing the drums along with locals.

Mr. Namgyal hoisted the national flag at the local BJP office along with party national general secretary Ram Madhav.

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