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Chapter Summary

Ladakh's particular interest to scholars lies in its status as a region with close religious and cultural affinities with Tibet that at the same time looks west to Kashmir, south to the Indian plains and north to Turkestan/Xinjiang. This chapter is largely drawn from contributions to the 13th, 14th and 15th International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) conferences in 2007, 2009 and 2011, and celebrates the region's artistic and architectural inheritance. In 1947 and 1948 Ladakh was caught up in the India/Pakistan conflict over Kashmir. From the mid-1950s until 1974, Ladakh was closed to foreigners because of its status as a sensitive border area. Poor road communications and limited flight connections meant that it was scarcely accessible even to scholars from other parts of India. Ladakh was incorporated into the Yarlung dynasty's Tibetan empire in the late seventh or early eighth century CE.

Keywords: India; International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS); Ladakh; Tibetan empire



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