Home
 

Drok-Pa Area Circuit

 
Khalaste-Domkhar-Skurbuchan-Achinathang-Hanudo-Bhima-dah and return.
Down the Indus, between khalaste and the Shayok-Indus confluence, live a people, known as Drok-pa, Buddhists in name, but racially and culturally distinct from the rest of the ladakhis.Two of the five villages inhabited by them may now be visited, dah and Biama.

The special interest of this region is less the landscape than its Drok-pa inhabitants. A minuscule community of perhaps no more than a couple of thousand, their features are pure Indo-Aryan, and they appear to have preserved their racial purity down the centuries. Their culture and religious practices are more akin to the ancient pre-Buddhist animist religion known as Bon-chos than to Buddhism as practised in the rest of ladakh.One curious feature is their abhorrence of the cow, or any of its products. They have preserved their ancient traditions and way of life partly through the celebration of the harvest, and partly through their songs and hymns. One of these is a description of an ibex-hunt, for the ibex is specially sacred to them. Another recalls their migration from Gilgit - an event which must have occurred well before Gilgit came under the influence of Islam. Their language is said to be akin to that spoken in Gilgit, and by immigrants from Gilgit settled in Dras.