Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh’s Best-Kept Secret

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh’s Best-Kept Secret

 

Nestled amidst the formidable Himalayas, Ladakh boasts breathtaking landscapes that leave travelers in awe. While many are drawn to its renowned destinations, there’s a hidden gem that deserves to step into the spotlight: the enigmatic Aryan Valley. The Brokpa people, who consider themselves to be descendants (and so Aryans) of the army of Alexander the Great, live in the Aryan valley in northern Ladakh. What is the connection between the Brokpa people and Europe, who are different from the Ladakhis in terms of appearance, manners, and culture?In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover this untouched wonder, exploring its unique culture, pristine landscapes, and the reasons why it’s Ladakh’s best-kept secret.

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

A Glimpse into Aryan Valley

Aryan Valley, also known as the ‘Land of the Brokpas,’ is a remote and untouched paradise situated in the heart of Ladakh, India. Hidden from the bustle of conventional tourism, this immaculate valley is nestled among towering mountains on the banks of the Indus River. The valley comprises several charming villages, including Da, Hanu, and Darchik , where the indigenous Brokpa people have preserved their traditions for centuries.

 

A Journey Back in Time

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Visiting Aryan Valley feels like stepping back in time. As you meander through the quaint villages, you’ll witness mud-brick houses adorned with intricate woodwork and meet the friendly Brokpa villagers, who warmly welcome visitors. It’s a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture that remains untouched by the modern world.

The Brokpa Culture

One of the most compelling aspects of Aryan Valley is its unique culture, which sets it apart from the rest of Ladakh. The Brokpa people, with their distinct traditions and lifestyle, have inhabited this region for generations. Their rich heritage is characterized by vibrant festivals, colorful attire, and a close-knit community that cherishes age-old customs.

The Ancient Aryan Legacy: From the Caucasus to Ladakh’s Aryan Valley

Fair-skinned Aryan people lived in the Caucasus Mountains of Central Asia, which areUntouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, approximately 2,000 BC.
Alexander the Great (Sikandar), a 22-year-old Macedonian general who set out to conquer the whole world in 334 BC, and his army belonged to the Aryan race.

Alexander, who dominated Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, etc. from Macedonia, reached the Indus region of India. Here, some of his soldiers contracted smallpox and died of that deadly disease. Some of the soldiers were so exhausted by hard work that they settled down in Indus instead of returning to Macedonia. Historians believe that over time, these soldiers of Alexander came to Gilgit-Baltistan in Jammu and Kashmir and established their colonies there.Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Today, the descendants of those (originally Aryan caste) soldiers are said to live in villages in the Aryan Valley of Ladakh. According to anthropologists, Alexander’s Macedonian soldiers belonged to the Aryan race, so the (alleged) approximately 2,000 descendants living in Ladakh today refer to themselves as Aryans and their village as the Aryan Valley. Another name for this people is ‘Drokpa’ or ‘Brokpa’, which means ‘Banjara’ or ‘Khanabdosh’.

Who knows how much truth there is in the above theory? But when you see the natives of one of the villages of Da, Hanu, Bema, Garko, Darchik in person, looking at their physical features like height, white complexion, sharp nose, and broad forehead, it seems certain that they have neither close nor distant kinship with the Mongol-Tibetan people.

From Germany to India: In search of Aryan ‘Seed’…

 

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

The Brokpa people living in the AryanValley consider themselves descendants of the army of Alexander the Great. Although their claim (or belief) has not yet been fully confirmed, a section of people in Germany strongly believe that the Brokpa community of Ladakh are pure Aryans. Significantly, Germans consider themselves Aryans. According to Western historians, the Aryan people originated on the banks of the Rhine River in Germany. In other words, Germany is the original homeland of the Aryan people.Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Today, many people from various European countries (non-Aryans) have come and settled in Germany. Hence, many German girls with a strong desire to have children visit the Aryan Valley of Ladakh, wander around for a few days, select a suitable (tall and good-looking) Brokpa ‘Hunk’, spend a few days with him, become pregnant, and, in return, give a good amount of money and gifts as a reward and depart.

Here, the relationship of marriage is not established between the German girl and the Brokpa male. After some years, the same German girl comes again with her child to the same village in the Aryan valley and presents the child to her Aryan father. It often happens that the woman becomes pregnant again by a Brokpa youth before returning home.

The Unconventional Aryan Connection: German Visitors to Ladakh’s Aryan Valley

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

All this seems strange to us. It may not be believed, but there is strong evidence that German girls visited the Aryan Valley in search of ‘seed’. For example, in 2006, a filmmaker in his documentary called ‘The Aryan Saga’ mentioned a German girl who came from Germany to Darchik village in the Aryan Valley to get pregnant by a Brokpa man (name: Tsewang Lhundup). In the interview, the girl said that before her, many other German girls had visited one of the villages of Da, Hanu, Bema, Garko, Darchik, etc. for pure Aryan-breed children. Major Ahluwalia, the first Indian to climb Mount Everest, recorded in his book ‘Hermit Kingdom Ladakh’ that he found 3 German girls in the Aryan Valley who came here in search of ‘seeds’.Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

As per a report by a local Aryan man, ‘One or two German girls come here every year. The Brokpa male who is selected by them understands that his luck has opened because he gets such a large amount of money as a reward that the financial crisis goes away in a flash. It is not required that the Brokata male be single or unmarried. Polyandry and polygamy are acceptable among Brokpa people.’

Aryan Valley’s Festive Splendor: New Year and Wedding CelebrationsUntouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

New Year and weddings starting on 23rd December are great occasions for merriment and celebration for about 2,000 Brokpa people living a lonely life in the Aryan Valley, completely cut off from the world. Celebrating a wedding, both men and women of the village are dressed in traditional clothes. Brownish-maroon cloak called ‘Goncha’, woolen sheepskin over it, various kinds of ornaments around the neck, giant-size earrings in the ears, bird feathers, and flowers on the head.

In order to maintain the ‘purity’ of Arya blood, the Brokyas do not intermarry. At the time of marriage, the groom goes to the bride’s house, knocks on the door and says, ‘Open the door!’Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

The Bride side asks from inside: ‘Who are you? What is the matter?’ The groom’s reply: ‘I am a descendant of Galo, Melo and Dulo. I am Aryan, like you. I have come here for the sake of kinship.’

Hearing this, the bride asks, ‘Where do you live? How do you look? What are you doing?’

As the questions and answers are exchanged, banter goes on between the two parties, and then the bridegroom enters by opening the door. A swastika symbol should be drawn next to where the bride and groom are seated. In the ancient culture of the Aryans, the swastika was considered a symbol of well-being and success. This is why Germany’s Adolf Hitler, who considered himself an Aryan, used the swastika symbol for his Nazi party. According to Arya culture, Swastik equals welfare!

Nature’s Splendor

Aryan Valley’s natural beauty is nothing short of mesmerizing. The Zanskar Range and the Great Himalayas, which cradle the valley, offer a backdrop of snow-capped peaks that reflect in the pure waters of the Indus River. This region is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering stunning trekking trails, crystal-clear streams, and lush meadows.

Breathtaking Landscapes

The landscapes of Aryan Valley are awe-inspiring, offering ample opportunities for photographers and nature lovers. With every turn, you’ll be captivated by the contrast of the azure skies against the arid mountains and the vivid greenery of the valley floor. It’s a scene that’s begging to be captured, and yet, it remains an untouched canvas for those who venture here.

The Aryan Valley Trek

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

For adventurers, the Aryan Valley trek is an experience of a lifetime. This challenging yet rewarding trek takes you through picturesque trails, offering panoramic views of the Himalayas. Along the way, you’ll pass through serene villages, interact with the locals, and witness their agrarian way of life.

Preservation of Nature

One of the remarkable aspects of Aryan Valley is its commitment to eco-tourism. The Brokpa people and local authorities have taken measures to preserve the natural environment. With a limited number of visitors allowed, the valley remains unspoiled, making it an ecotourism haven where the fragile ecosystem is protected.

The Best-Kept Secret

Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Despite its unparalleled beauty, the Aryan Valley has managed to remain a secret hidden from the masses. The valley’s remoteness, the limited number of tourists, and the dedication of the Brokpa people to preserve their culture have all contributed to this secrecy. While many flock to popular Ladakh destinations, those in the know have uncovered this hidden paradise.

Who would have taught the Brokya people of Ladakh the Aryan tradition of using the swastika symbol on auspicious occasions like marriage?

Who knows!

Could that tradition have really reached here with their ancestors (Galo, Melo and Phulo)?

Who knows!

Along with today’s Brokpa people, are the descendants of Alexander’s Aryan soldiers who stopped in the Indus region two and a half thousand years ago? Do they really have Aryan blood in their veins?

Again, the same answer: who knows?

Points to Know Before Visiting Aryan ValleyUntouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

When planning a visit to Aryan Valley, there are some key considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential points to keep in mind:

Transportation: Direct flights are available from Delhi and Mumbai to reach Leh by air. Leh can be reached by road from Srinagar or Manali. However, the Manali-Leh route remains open for traffic only during summer.

Permit Requirements: Aryan Valley falls within a protected region, so ensure you have the necessary permits to enter the area. These permits can be obtained from the Leh District Magistrate’s office.

Limited Accommodation: Accommodation options in Aryan Valley are limited. It’sUntouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret advisable to book your stay in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Aryan Valley can be visited by taxi from Leh. Da, Hanu, Bema, Darchik etc. villages do not have hotel guesthouse facilities for overnight stay. But there are many options for homestays. A real experience staying with the Brokpa family in their home.

Pack Warm Clothing: Due to its high altitude, Aryan Valley can get quite cold, even during the summer. Pack warm clothing, including jackets and layers, to stay comfortable.

Cash and Connectivity: There are no ATMs in Aryan Valley, so carry enough cash for your expenses. Mobile connectivity can also be unreliable, so inform your contacts in advanceUntouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Respect Local Customs: The Brokpa people have their own customs and traditions. Always respect their way of life, ask for permission before taking photographs, and be mindful of local etiquette.

Eco-Friendly Practices: Aryan Valley is dedicated to eco-tourism. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace, and dispose of your waste responsibly. Contribute to the preservation of this pristine environment.Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

Trekking Preparations: If you plan to go trekking, make sure you’re physically prepared for the challenging terrain. Hire a local guide for a safe and informative trekking experience.

Local Cuisine: Taste the local cuisine, which includes delicious traditional dishes. Try butter tea and apricot-based delicacies for a unique culinary experience.

Shop Responsibly: If you shop for local handicrafts, ensure they are authentic and not mass-produced souvenirs. Support the local economy by buying directly from artisans.

Travel Light: Aryan Valley is a remote area with limited resources. Travel light, bring essentials, and minimize your environmental impact.Untouched Wonders: Aryan Valley, Ladakh's Best-Kept Secret

  • Be careful not to lose the etiquette of asking people for permission before taking their pictures.
  • Some Brokpas don’t like to discuss girls coming here from Germany to get pregnant. So don’t put them in dilemma by asking questions. Apricots from Aryan Valley are popular. Apricots can be bought from the villagers.
  • Leh-Ladakh currently has no mobile networks except BSNL and Airtel. These two companies also offer only post-paid connections. Not prepaid.

By keeping these points in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Aryan Valley while respecting the culture and environment of this pristine destination.

In Conclusion

Aryan Valley, Ladakh’s best-kept secret, is a testament to the beauty and charm of untouched destinations. Its unique culture, breathtaking landscapes, and commitment to preserving nature make it a jewel in the crown of Ladakh’s tourism. As you embark on your travel adventures, consider delving into the mysteries of Aryan Valley and becoming one of the privileged few who have had the honor of discovering this hidden wonder.


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