History of Heritage Museums in Ladakh

Ankita | Updated on May 27, 2022

Experience the authentic and rich culture and heritage of Ladakh. Watch out for the beautiful museums of Ladakh, each with interesting artefacts, paintings, pictures that tell their own story. 

Museums of Ladakh:

Museums, all over the world, are the existence proof of our past. The ancient sculptures, paintings, books, clothes, utensils, arts, etc; are preserved in these museums. While visiting the museums a person travels through various stages of ancient times as well as pays a visit to the belongings of some great philosophers, leaders, artists, etc. 

Amongst the various Ladakh tourist places, museums have the beauty and importance of their own. Residing in the hills, museums in Ladakh display a whole different culture and set a unique vibe for the tourists and visitors. Several museums in Ladakh preserve the heritage and have become one of the significant Ladakh tourist places. 

If you are on a tight budget trip then there are the cheapest Ladakh tour packages available for you. The cheapest Ladakh tour packages that you choose, also depend upon how you want to travel, whether a bike trip or reaching by air then renting the vehicle. 

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame museum lies on the Leh-Kargil road, it is about 4 kilometres away from Leh city. This museum is built in memory of our brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Indo-Pak war. This museum is one of the must-visit in Ladakh tourist places.

The Hall of Fame museum is divided into various sections, each section has a different story to tell, about the brave soldiers’ belongings, pictures, etc. One section has all the pictures of the Kargil war, another has the apparel and amenities and yet another section displays the pictures of the army posts on the Siachen glacier. On the ground floor, there is a projection also where one can watch the documentary named ‘Operation Vijay’. There is a section where the history, culture of Ladakh, is displayed. Also there is a souvenir shop where one can get coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. You can also get a photoshoot in the Ladakhi attire there. 

From the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, the Hall of Fame museum is 2.1 kilometres away, so one can reach by local transport. The entry fee is Rs. 25 and if someone wants to click pictures then an additional price of Rs. 50 can be given at the entry. The cheapest Ladakh tour package extends to a maximum of 7  days and a minimum of 5 days, one cannot just visit Ladakh for just a day or three

Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum

Munshi Aziz Bhat museums of Central Asian and Kargil trade artifacts are located in the Kargil city. It is operated by a family and is a public museum. This museum mostly has the objects that were traded between the routes of Ladakh and Yarkand. The museum has been operated by two brothers, Gulzar Hussain Munshi and Ajaz Hussain Munshi along with the help of their family. 

The museums consist of all the traded artifacts as in the tapestries, coins, utensils, horse-saddles, old manuscripts, pictures, jewellery, costumes, etc. Some other artifacts included rugs of Kashgar, hookah pipes of Yarkand, ancient fabrics, coins, jewellery, natural dyes, costumes, etc. Recently, the museum has acquired 600-700 years old Quran and manuscripts. A glimpse of Kargil Silk Trade route heritage can be seen here in the museum. 

To reach this hilltop museum, one has to go through the beautiful valley in Kargil and reach the residence of Gulzar Hussain and Ajaz Hussain Munshi, addressed- 147, Munshi Enclave, Lankore.  

Central Asian Museum in Leh 

The Central Asian museum is located in the middle of Leh, the main bazaar is nearby. There is the oldest mosque in Leh, the Masjid Sharif. This museum is based on it. The antiquities of Leh and central Asia can be seen in this museum. All the artifacts in the museum are the result of the trades from China, Baltistan, Tibet, Yarkand, etc. Photography is not allowed inside the museum but people can take pictures of the courtyard. It is one of the remarkable four-storey buildings of Leh and is a must-visit to witness the heritage. 

The route to this museum is easy because it lies near to the main bazaar. 


Stock Museum and Library:

The Stock museum and library contain artifacts dated back to 200 years old. This museum gives a tour to the Namgyal dynasty to the visitors. In the library,  there are 108 volumes of Kangyus, a collection of teachings of Lord Buddha. These are different from others because they are written from the ink made out of the precious stone on papyrus. 

It takes 30 minutes to reach Stok palace from Leh, which is 14 kilometres. Local transport or taxis can be hired to reach the palace.

Balti Heritage House and Museum Leh:

Balti heritage house can be described by its name only. The museum has objects that depict the life of Balti. The fading away Balti is preserved in the Balti Heritage house.  The treasures of Balti are preserved in a two-storey traditional house made of wood and stone. This house is 200 years old. The owner of this house is Mr Mohammad Ali Mansoor, he and his family live here. 

The heritage house consists of antiques many years old and a tour to this house is like living through all the stages of the early years. 

The Balti Heritage house resides deep in the village of Turtuk. Turtuk is situated in the Nubra valley, it is the northernmost village. It is 205 kilometres from let and 90 kilometres from Diskit.  A permit is needed to visit Turtuk from the DC office for foreigners and Indians as well. One can hire a taxi from Leh to reach Turtuk. There are many cheapest Ladakh tour packages to choose from which include this place in their itinerary.

Textile Museum of Ladakh

The textile museum of Ladakh as suggested by its name has the most precious and beautiful collections of the handloom. The Kashmiri cardigans and pashminas are a great attraction there. All the handloom artifacts here are handwoven by the nomads. And the weaving is done in the traditional way to keep the cultural tradition going.

The museum is situated near the polo ground in Leh. To soak in the beauty the stay has to be longer than that. Any of the cheapest Ladakh tour packages you choose, if a bike trip then it starts from Rs. 35,000/each for at least 4-5 days. Ladakh tourist places offer much more than the eyes can see.

Each museum in Ladakh tells a different story, each story has an importance of its own. The stories combine and there you have the big picture of Ladakh’s past and present combined and adds up to the elegance of Ladakh tourist places.

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