Religion & Culture

Religion and Culture in Leh Ladakh

Buddhism is a main religion in Ladakh which started in 618 – 649 AD. In 12th century, when Buddha acquired the nirvana, the Tibetan king Songstsen married Nepalese princess Wen Chen. Under their rule, the Buddhism starts spreading in the region of Tibet, Spiti, Lahul and Ladakh. Slowly and gradually it becomes the main religion of the Ladakh. The whole Ladakh region has engraving of Buddhism on rocks even in Drass and lower Suru valley, where Muslim population resides.

Buddhism religion

The main religion in Ladakh is Buddhism. Even in some places, Mahayana Buddhism is also followed which is also known as Lamaism. Tibetan Buddhism is a merged culture with the Bon religion, which was celebrated in the starting. This Buddhism is a mixture of Bon and Hindu Tantrism. It is must for families to send at least one son to Gompa’s or monasteries for the Buddhism studies to become monk. In monasteries, they learn the religious teachings of Buddhism. Monks are one of the most respected figures in the Ladakh. They are the one who do all the religious ceremony in the Ladakh villages. Now a day, Tibetan buddhism head is the Avalokiteshvara manifestation i.e. Dalai Lama who is living in exile in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

Buddhism culture is divided into the four main sects in the Ladakh. The oldest sect is Nyingmapa (red hat sect) followed by the Sakyapa sect. But the latest sect in the religion is Gelugpa, yellow hat sect. All the sects are well known by everyone in the Ladakh but the most known two sects are of Kagyupa (red hat sect) and Gelugpa (yellow hat sect).

The other religions which are known in Ladakh are Christianity and Islam. Leh, in Ladakh inhabit some Muslim population, whereas Kargil area, inhabit 85% of population. The Muslims in Leh are from the Sunni religion that is migrated from the Kashmir and central Asia. Even the Christians in Leh are also in small amount. These people are from the higher society which converts themselves into the Christianity. There are two churches for them, one in Leh and the other one in Leh.

Culture of Ladakh

The culture of Ladakh is rich with the Buddhism culture. The main culture of Ladakh is Buddhism with other bit part of religion of Hindu, Muslims and Christians. The land has many rocks engraving of Buddhist speaking even in areas like Drss and lower Suru valley. Most of the Muslim residents will be found at the Padum, Nubra valley and nearby places of Leh. The monasteries in Leh Ladakh display the culture of Buddhism.

Even the women in Ladakh are fully affected by the religion of the place. Here, women of Buddhist and Muslim culture, works not only at home but also works outside the home. Some families also run their business in which women take the full participation. They are totally free to interact with the men outside their home.