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Built in 1600, the royal family were forced to leave in the mid-19th century when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh.


"Leh, although only a small town was full of interest. Its one main street of small shops, cafes, a post office and a bank, was dominated by the crumbling ruins of the old palace built on a large rock at one end. Most of the people were still dressed iin local costume and the ladies wore their fancy hats, and walking in the narrow side streets of two and three story buildings, built mainly of sun baked mud brick, was almost like a step back in time.

To just walk around Leh, in about 10 minutes one could be following tracks between fields in the countryside to other small villages a few miles away, or, one could climb the mountain at the back of the town, with its small monastery at the top and a view of the whole valley, and the Indus River in the distance, making the hard climb worthwhile.

We found that for only £20 we could fly back to Srinagar, and for another £10 we could carry on to Amristar. It seemed too good too miss, especially as neither of us were looking forward to repeating the journey up, even though we had enjoyed the experience. It was also starting to turn very cold, so when the time came we were quite happy to make our way out to the small airport, consisting of what looked like 3 large mission huts, for the 9am flight. We were very surprised to see the Dalai Lama and his party on our flight and sitting in the 6 seats in front of us, so we got the chance to wish him well in the end, as he left the plane. As for the flight, it was most spectacular flying over some of the highest mountains in the world, and giving us the chance to look down on the route which we had travelled during the previous two weeks.-MH

The Leh Palace, now a ruin, at Leh, Ladakh, 1980

  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints: Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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