Ladakhi Histories

confproc08 John Bray (ed.). 2005. Ladakhi Histories: local and regional perspectives. Selected papers presented at the 9th, 10th and 11th IALS Colloquia. Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library. Brill, Leiden. ISBN 90 04 14551 6. 402 pp.
This volume contains a selection of papers given at the 9th, 10th and 11th IALS colloquia held in 1999, 2001 and 2003.

Ladakh’s geographic location between the Himalaya and Karakoram mountains has exposed it to competing political and cultural influences from India, Central Asia and Tibet. This book points to Ladakh’s distinct local identity, but argues that its historical development can best be understood in a wider regional perspective. It contains twenty-five research papers from the international association of Ladakh studies (IALS), and draws on contributions from historians, art historians, linguists and anthropologists. Their sources include Ladakhi historical documents, comparative linguistic research, visual evidence from temple architecture and inscriptions, Mughal biographies, European travel accounts, government records, trade receipts, and local oral tradition. Taken together, the volume provides a much richer view of Ladakhi history than was previously available, and makes a significant contribution to the study of the wider Himalayan region.


  • John Bray: “Introduction: Locating Ladakhi History”
  • Philip Denwood: “Early connections between Ladakh/Baltistan and Amdo/Kham”
  • Bettina Zeisler: “On the position of Ladakhi and Balti in the Tibetan language family”
  • Christian Luczanits: “The early Buddhist heritage of Ladakh reconsidered”
  • Roberto Vitali: “Some conjectures on change and instability during the one hundred years of darkness in the history of la dwags (1280s-1380s)”
  • Neil Howard: “Sultan zain-ul abidin’s raid into Ladakh”
  • Jigar mohammed: “Mughal sources on medieval Ladakh”
  • Peter Schwieger: “Documents on the early history of he-na-ku, a petty chiefdom in Ladakh”
  • Nicola Grist: “The history of Islam in Suru”
  • Tashi Stobdan: “Gyajung nagpo”
  • Peter Marczell: “Dr. James G. Gerard’s unfulfilled ambition to visit Ladakh”
  • Peter Marczell: “Csoma Kőršsi’s pseudonym”
  • Neil Howard: “The development of the boundary between the state of Jammu & Kashmir and British India, and its representation on maps of the Lingti Plain”
  • K. Warikoo: “Political linkages between Ladakh and eastern Turkestan under the Dogras during the 19th century”
  • John Bray: “Early protestant missionary engagement with the Himalayan region and Tibet”
  • Christian Heyde: “The early history of the Moravian mission in the Western Himalayas: the life and work of Wilhelm and Maria Heyde”
  • A. H. Francke: “Schools in Leh. Translated, with an introduction by Gabriele Reifenberg”
  • Poul Pedersen: “Prince Peter, polyandry and psychoanalysis”
  • Janet Rizvi: “Trade and migrant labour: inflow of resources at the grassroots”
  • Jacqueline Fewkes & Abdul Nasir Khan: “ Social networks and transnational trade in early 20th century Ladakh”
  • Nawang Tsering Shakspo: “The life and times of geshe ye-shes-don-grup”
  • Erberto lo Bue: “Lives and works of traditional Buddhist artists in 20th century Ladakh. A preliminary account”
  • Fernanda Pirie: “The impermanence of power: village politics in Ladakh, Tibet and Nepal”