Conference update…

Travel grants: The IALS is offering 10 travel grants of Euro 100, and an additional two grants of Euro 500, funded by a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor. The review of abstracts associated with travel grants is now complete and successful applicants have been notified. We are not listing all recipients here but we are delighted to announce that Tsewang Rigzin and Kanchok Dorjey have received the Euro 500 Award. We would like to thank all applicants for their efforts, the review process was difficult and caused much deliberation in view of the number of high-quality abstracts from different disciplines. We look forward to seeing you in Bedlewo.

Call for Papers (CLOSED)

Current Western Himalayan Research

18th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) Bedlewo, Poland, 2nd-6th May 2017

⬇️Conference Call for Papers | ⬇️Conference Application Form (.doc) (.docx) | ☑︎IALS Committee Elections

The 18th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) will be jointly organized by the Board of Polish Academy of Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin, and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. It will be held at the Bedlewo Conference Centre near Poznan, Poland from Tuesday, 2nd to Saturday, 6th May 2017. Venue details and suggestions to assist with travel arrangements are detailed at the bottom of this page.

The conference theme will focus broadly on
Current Western Himalayan Research with the aim of gathering together senior and independent researchers, postgraduate students, and practitioners from across all academic disciplines. Whilst precedence is given to Ladakh-oriented research, we wish also to encourage studies that focus upon the wider Himalayan belt, including the neighboring high-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Pakistan. The conference will have an interdisciplinary character as is the tradition and trademark of IALS colloquia.

Proposed sessions’ structure:
We strongly encourage participants from various scientific disciplines to submit an abstract in the following sessions:
- Cultural and social change
- Religious transformations
- Art History
- Economic transformation in rural areas
- Heritage, conservation and restoration
- New data in Himalayan studies
- Climate change: resilience and adaptation
- Development practices
- Health and wellbeing
- Historical issues

Following the requests received from some of the participants we propose a few additional panels with hope they will find your interest:
- Conservation/restoration of cultural heritage of the Himalayas
- Zanskar as cultural phenomena
- Nubra (and its relations to neighboring regions?)
- Buddha life and its depictions in art

Please be so kind and state in your application in which panel you would prefer to be assigned. It will help us a lot in our organizational work and in addition let us avoid misunderstandings or faux pas.

In addition, we still invite suggestions and proposals for additional panel sessions, although please inform us swiftly of any such an intention, indicating with whom you would like to cooperate or convene such a panel.

Documentary films
We are also issuing a call for good documentary films for those with visual research related to the region and themes of the conference. The process for proposal is the same as for paper abstracts. However, please state the format you would like to present the documentary footage.

All paper proposals will be subject to review by the conference committee before final acceptance.
The most important consideration is that papers must represent the results of original research, and not simply a restatement of existing knowledge based on the work of well-known authors.

For details including conference fees, terms and deadlines and travel grants, please download and refer to the full Call for Papers.

Please direct all enquiries to the Conference Secretaries:

Rafal Beszterda, Poland
Email:; telephone: +48 61 810 46 22; mobile: +48 601 669 702

Diana Lange, Germany
Email:; telephone: +49 30 20 93 66 065; mobile: +49 171 75 25 498

Further conference details will be posted here and at the conference website as they are finalised.


Venue & Travel

About the venue:
Bedlewo Conference Centre is equipped with all modern facilities: single, double and triple rooms with private baths, and we even offer a sauna, small gym, billiards and table tennis for enthusiasts of evening sports. Maybe for the first time we can organise sporting competitions amongst Himalayan researchers! The conference centre really is a wonderful place; please take a look at pictures linked on conference homepage.

We look forward to welcoming you at Bedlewo in 2017, and to offering the unforgettable atmosphere of spring in Poland combined with probably the best international company of scholars united by a common interest in the Himalaya.

IMGP1720 2

Będlewo Palace and Conference Centre

Suggestions and recommendations for travel to Bedlewo (download pdf)

In response to enquiries we have been receiving regarding options for travelling to the IALS Bedlewo conference in May, here are some suggestions and recommendations. Please read carefully and contact us if you have any questions or concerns before finalizing your travel plans.

We appreciate it may be another month or two before you finalise your travel itineraries. However, if you require assistance booking cheaper group train tickets or hiring bus journeys please inform us of your planned journeys as soon as possible. Could those of you who have already booked tickets please inform us of your travel timeline.

Basic Timeline: Conference runs from 14:30 on 2nd May until 13:00 6th May 2017.
On 2nd May a bus to Bedlewo will leave from Poznan Główny (Railway Station Parking Area) at 14:00.
On 6th May a bus will leave from Bedlewo at approximately 13:00 and will reach Poznan Główny Railway Station at approximately 13.30.

For participants intending to fly it is advisable to check flight connections to Berlin rather than Poznan/Warsaw, as flights to Poland are usually more expensive. There are two airports in Berlin: Schoenefeld and Tegel.
We have checked the schedules of the main flight operators from Delhi to Berlin, and there are good connections arriving into Berlin in the early morning on 2nd May, and departing in the afternoon of 6th May. These align well with the timetable detailed above. The journey between Berlin and Poznan normally takes 3,5 hours. Please add a substantial time for immigration check and alike procedures at the airport.
We have managed to negotiate a bus connection between Berlin and Poznan that is substantially cheaper than the train. However, in order to reach Poznan by 14:00 the bus has to leave by 10:30 on 2nd May. On 6th May, the bus will reach Berlin at around 18:00-18:30 hrs.

Departure and arrival in Berlin: The bus will leave from Berlin Schoenefeld Airport. For those coming to Berlin Tegel Airport, please allow an extra hour to transfer from Tegel to Schoenefeld. Please note that the cost of the bus is extra, and not included in the conference fee.

In order to book the cheaper bus we need to confirm the number of people wishing to travel.
If you wish to take this option, please inform us of your travel plans at the earliest possible opportunity.

Departure and arrival in Warsaw (Warszawa):
for those flying into Warsaw, the best way to reach Poznan is by train. A direct shuttle bus takes you from Chopin Airport in Warsaw to Dworzec Centralny (Warsaw’s Main Railway Station). Alternatively, you can take local bus No. 175. Do not take a taxi; it could be extremely expensive. Tickets cost 3,40 PLN (about 80 cents) for approximately 20 minutes travel. Local bus tickets are purchased from the ticket machine.

Trains: the fastest (and the most expensive) train is EIC. The journey to Poznan takes 2,5 hrs and costs about 139 PLN (=32 Euro). The cheaper version is TLK. This journey takes usually 3,5 hrs and costs 61 PLN (=14 Euro). The prices given are for 2nd class.

The tickets are easily available for purchase on-line:

Trains from Warsaw arrive at Poznan Główny Railway Station, the same place where we meet to take the bus to Bedlewo on 2nd May. There are coffee shops and a shopping area at the railway Station if you need to wait some time.

Other options: If you are taking a flight on 1st May or departing later than 6th May, please consider staying overnight in Poznan, as hostels/hotels are much cheaper than in Berlin. In such cases contact us as soon as possible so we can make your reservation for bus and hostel. At present the cheapest return bus ticket Berlin-Poznan-Berlin costs about 10 Euro but their numbers are limited, so early booking is essential. The price for a hostel near the railway station in Poznan is: single room – approx. 20 Euro; double – approx. 28 Euro. Both come with breakfast. Again this is an additional cost, not included in the conference fee, but it is advisable to consider such an option in order to get cheaper flight tickets or to increase the comfort of your trip. If you wish to spend extra nights in Poznan, please advise us as soon as possible and we will book accommodation for you.

Train connection from Berlin: There are two morning trains to Poznań: one departing at 06:37 (arriving 09:23), with the most convenient connection departing at 09:37 (arriving at 12.23). In both cases the journey takes 2.46 hrs. Pre-booked tickets cost 19 euro (limited amount of tickets), going up to 29 Euro. Online purchases can only be made through German page Please note that your destination Poznan is usually called Posen in German. It is possible to buy tickets up to 60 days before the journey date.

Coming later or leaving earlier: There is no direct public transport between Poznan and Bedlewo. The best way is to take a pre-arranged taxi. Bedlewo Conference Centre has an agreement with certain taxi operators and it costs approx. 25 Euro one way Bedlewo either to/from Poznan Railway Station or Lawica Airport (up to 6 passengers). Please inform us if you plan to come by taxi rather than taking the bus, as we can arrange your journey in advance. Hiring a “normal” taxi may cost you double. In order to book a taxi in advance, we will need confirmation one week before the conference begins.

Coming by car: In most cases those travel by car will approach from the West by E30/A2 highway from Berlin, or from the south by S3 and then by E30/A2. When you reach highway exit Buk (30km before Poznan) take it onto local road 306 to Steszew, then 5, then 431 to Bedlewo.

Contact: Please note that direct address is the fastest option to reach us. However, our private addresses: or are at your disposal.