Nestled between the rugged mountains of the Himalayas, Leh exists overlooking the trade routes of India and China. To the modern traveller Leh resembles an old town land locked and time trapped, a mountain town of fables, a piece of the past untouched by the troubles of time.
For much of its history, Leh remained a small trading post that allowed passage between central Asia, Tibet and China. There are few places in the world that are picturesque and timeless yet inspire an overwhelming sense of awe like the imposing Leh palace that looms over the town. With the King of Ladakh moving into the Leh palace in the 17th century, Leh revived its place in history. The stupas that mushroomed across the city, the enchanting mud brick houses, the grand mosque that mixed Islamic and Tibetan architecture all stood testament to the town’s growing importance and stature.
The visitors to this mountain town have varied across time. The cut throat merchants and traders of the nearby provinces carrying salt and cashmere wool have been replaced by GPS guided tourists. The winding alley ways of the old city, the sublime view of overarching Himalayas on either side cater to a different audience today, an audience that demands to be inspired by beauty. As every year goes by, and Leh welcomes the world into its quarters, a new generation of travellers leave the town’s gate knowing all too well what it means to fall in love with a place that is oblivious to time.
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