From SikhiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Leh (34.17°N 77.58°E) is the capital of the Leh District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, northern India. Historically, it was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. The town is still dominated by the now ruined Leh Palace, former home of the royal family of Ladakh, which resembles a mini-Potala Palace.

Leh is at an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483ft). Average annual rainfall is 90 mm. The temperature can range from −28 °C in winter to 33 °C in summer. Principal roads include the 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway which connects Leh with Srinagar and the 473 km Leh-Manali Highway which connects Manali with Leh. Both roads are open only on a seasonal basis.

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion visited Leh during one of his missionary journeys to the North. While traveling back from Mansrovar (Kailash Parbat), Guru Nanak passed through Leh, capital of Ladakh and an important trading center, enroute to Central Asia as well as Kashmir and other parts of India. The caravans to Lahsa, central Asia and India passed through this town. About 20Km from Leh on the Leh-Srinagar highway, a Gurudwara called Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, to commemorate the Guru's visit to the place. This sacred Gurudwara was established in the year 1964 A.D. The local residents venerate this place as Lama Guru's place and for them a boulder, which they connect to Guru Nanak's visit, is still held sacred to the memory of Guruji's visit. Dry and arid with little vegitation the area calls to mind the landscape of the moon. It was in Leh that guru Nanak is said to have thrown away a neem twig from the Neem or Datun tree, long used in India to clean ones teeth, which took root and was the first tree to grow in the region. Today that same tree is an attraction in Leh.

See also