Zanskar

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History of Zanskar

The famous Hungarian explorer Coso de Koros spent nearly a year, in 1826-27, at the monastery of Phugthal translating Buddhist texts from Ladakhi into English. He was one of the first European travelers to visit the region. An inscription of his name can be still found in the monastery.

A few years later, the Dogra general Zorawar Singh led his army over the Umasi La during the conquest of Ladakh and the Zanskar. In 1834 he reduced the powers of the royal families in both Padum and Zangla to a nominal status and established the fort at the village of Pipiting just north of Padum. He is also said to have paid a small fortune to hire a local guide to lead his army directly across the passes of the Zanskar Range to the Indus Valley in Order to mount a surprise attack on the king of Ladakh.

The Dogra conquest was recorded by Thomas Thomson, a member of the East India Company's Boundary Commission crossing the Umasi La in June 1848 en route through the Zanskar and Indus Valleys to the Korakoram Pass.


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