If you happen to travel to Ladakh anytime, try to hear out stories of all the below mentioned from a wise local. Well, these are some secrets of Ladakh which we, the mainstream world are completely unaware of:
1. Kung Fu Nuns of Ladakh
|Kung Fu Nuns of Ladakh Dress up in Pyjamas and Yellow sashes.|
Surprising fact is, these disciples are no martial art aspirants, but Buddhist nuns. Watching the Buddhist nuns, who are usually known for their peace loving nature and relentless towards any sort of violence, getting involved in an act of physical combat is certainly a rare sight in Ladakh.
2. In 1971, The War with Pakistan was Paused to Celebrate Losar
|India-Pakistan 1971 war was paused to celebrate Losar|
It was the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. Gunfires, grenades, continuous bombardments from the tanks were dismantling the Turtok village (in possession of Indian army) in Ladakh. Then suddenly, the then Commanding officer of that post, Colonel Chewang Rinchen got a conscious call, felt sentimental, and paused the war for some time. Reason being, Losar festival celebrations were about to start. I wonder how the other side fell for it and also stood at peace. The Losar festival continued for some days and so the ceasefire. Later on, the Colonel was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his noble act.
3. Magnetic Hills
|Magnetic Hill of Ladakh|
Locals of Ladakh have a superficial explanation about the hill. They believe that there was once a pathway (the highway connecting to the hill), which used to lead straight to heaven. Those who deserve heavenly pleasures are pulled right away by the hill, whereas who does not deserve are not.
However, modern minds take it as a nature’s phenomenon and believe magnetism of earth is the root cause of this attraction. Leh resides at one of the highest altitudes on Earth and receive the maximum radiation of the sun. This causes the magnetic pull, and fluctuations in the presence and absence of sun are bound to happen. That’s why, at the day time the magnetism is more intense than the night time.
4. Shrine of OP Baba
|Enterance Gate to Shrine of OP Baba|
Today, soldiers posted there have a firm belief that the spirit of that martyr, commonly known as the ‘OP Baba’, protects the Siachen past against all odds, nature or enemy. Owing to this belief, they also made a sacred shrine of him, right at the basecamp of Siachen.
5. The Myth of Tso Kar Lake
|Mysterious Tso Kar Lake of Ladakh|
The myth goes like this, millions of years back, Tso Kar used to be gigantic. There was a devil, who started with the task of drinking the whole of the lake. After a point, when he got totally full and couldn’t hold any longer, he ended up spraying all of it on earth. Some amount of it spluttered towards Korzok, which formed Tso Moriri, while the rest of the water gave rise to Starspapukh and Regul Tso.
6. Rocks of Viagra
|Rocks of Viagra|
Just like rubber, this antioxidant oozes out from the rocks and is found in great abundance. However, if you come across such rocks, don’t just start scraping it off from the rocks because it requires proper processing to get the desired drug.
7. Indian Army Training People to Build Homestay
Environmental conditions at Ladakh are highly unpredictable and hostile. Thus, for the rural population to be independent, the men in uniform have started this endeavor. They also contribute in the local economy by supplying fruits and vegetable at the time of shortage.
8. Road Across Khardungla
|World's Highest Motorable Road|
It was around the year 1982, when troops of the army started with the construction of a bridge that would run over, what was a glaciated patch of hard frozen rice, right ahead the Khardungla pass. Known as the Baily Bridge, it is located between the Dras and the Suru River at Khardungla pass and is the highest bridge in the world.
It was built to facilitate travel to the other high altitudes of Ladakh, and today it still stands strong, bearing the load of hundreds of army trucks and tourist vehicles on its shoulders. Unfortunately, 18 men lost their lives in the construction of the bridge.
9. The Tradition of The Order
|The Tradition of Ladakh|
This practice was very much in common in the years of the past, but now it rarely happens. Although the region is not short of teens willing to voluntarily join the monasteries as per the order.
10 Blow a Conch to Call 120 Lamas for Lunch
|Blow a conch to call for lunch|
For that, the monastery makes use a conch shell. Every afternoon and evening, this conch shell is blown, and it resonates the whole of the monastery. The lamas or the Buddhist monks call it the call for food.
11. Druk White Lotus School
|Druk White Lotus School|
Considering various possibilities of extreme weather conditions that Ladakh faces, an environmental design has been chosen for the school. This sustainable design has also won the school an international reputation.