The unique community of Dah and Hanu Villages, 163 kilometers Northwest of Leh, attracts a lot of tourists, especially the foreigners, due to its ancient roots, peculiar ways and a stand out dissimilarity with the other people and places of Ladakh. Amongst some of the interesting theories, one accounts that the People of Dah and Hanu are the ones who came with the army of Alexander two thousand three hundred years ago. Not only they settled here, but kept to themselves by mostly marrying inside the community, hence retaining the originality of their race and their ways. Followers of the customs similar to the ancient Bon religion, the people of Dah and Hanu, called as Drokpa, practice their own ways and are famous for their attractive dresses with excessive use of accessories.
The village of Dah is settled on a hill. You have to park your vehicle at the base and take a stone-built stairway that goes to the village. As you climb up for five to ten minutes, the slope becomes gentle and slowly the strange little houses of Dah start appearing. Built in plane, rough stones, the houses are small, short and have wooden doors. But as you move further into the town, the houses as well as the surroundings improve. Here, you see houses made in modern ways, but the ambience remains almost the same. As the people here do not use vehicles, the roads are narrow and they meander through cozy, homely homes, climbing up and down the slopes over the hill.
During day, it is hard to find anyone on the road. As much as heat is a reason behind this, it is also because men and women go to the farms to work. However, it is not hard to spot women wearing traditional clothes with handmade jewelry and ostentatious head gear. The people of Dah are camera shy and they mostly keep to themselves. However, an odd villager might not mind exchanging a few words and a smile. They might even invite you inside their home for a warm cup of salted tea. However, they usually charge a small amount of money before granting permission for a few photographs, which is one of the very few ways through which the local populace cashes in on the tourism in flow.
The people of Dah proudly call themselves the last of the pure Aryans. They have a fair complexion with faces differentiating from the Ladakhi people, who mostly spread out of Tibet. Though they speak in their own language amongst themselves, they know Ladakhi as well as a little bit of Hindi. The people of Dah use neither cows nor any of the cow milk products. Ibex is their sacred animal. There are nearly five villages in the nearby area inhabited by nearly two thousand natives. However, the visitors can visit only two of these villages.
Dah and Hanu can be visited in a day but the trip is bound to be hectic and the experience will be blemished by the rush to get to Leh before nightfall. Hence, it is a good idea to plan the night stay at one of the lodging facilities at Dah. This can be arranged through your travel agent in Leh. This region of Ladakh is considerably down the slope and hence not very cold. The temperature can touch 40 degree Celsius in summer. The road is mostly fine except for a short patch in between where you run along the Indus River. This being a military area you need a permit to enter the region, which your travel agent in Leh can acquire for you.
The villages of Dah and Hanu do not offer the scenic beauty matching some of the other places in Ladakh. However, if you have an interest in visiting unusual places, Dah is for you. The simple but shy people of Dah, their unique villages and their distinct culture do not fall short in making a strong mark in your memory.
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The village of Dha-Hanu is settled on a hill, 163 kilometers to the Northwest of Leh. This is a military region so you need a permit to enter Dah-Hanu, it can be acquired from a travel agent in Leh. You need to park your vehicles down the slope and climb towards the settlement. The inhabitants of Dah-Hanu are called Drokpa and are believed to have come to India with Alexander’s army some 2300 years ago. They are unlike the rest of the people of Ladakh in terms of looks and religious beliefs. It is recommended that you plan a night stay at Dah than rather rushing back to Leh in a day. This unusual place can surely impress you.
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|Nearest Major City(s):
|How to reach:
||By road from Leh, 163 kilometers.
|Major Tourist Attraction:
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