Brokpa Tribal Areas of Batalik, Darchiks and Garkone.
The whole valley is inhabited by the Brokpa tribal an isolated and confined ethnic group of Dard origin. They are believed to be decedents of army of Alexander of Macedonia. They have a hitherto well preserved and unique culture entity. Their dress food habits, Socio- economic and day to day life is quite different from other parts of Ladakh. Most of their social customs are peculiar. There are festivals with elaborate ceremonies on every special occasion whether at birth, death, sowing or harvesting. In a weeklong festival called BONONA, they recite hymnals depicting the exodus of their ancestors from Brushal-Gilgit area and history of colonization of present villages. It is believed to be an important oral text of their history.
Broka Tribals: Location and Topography
- These villages are situated on banks along the a gorgeous valley of river Indus. The Ladakh range of mountain run parallel to its eastern bank while last stretches of Zanskar mountain chain separates this valley with Suru river basin and Kargil proper. The valley is comparatively moderate and warm to bear a variety of fruit trees like apricot, grape, apples etc.
- The whole of lower Indus valley is inhabited by the Brokpa tribals an isolated and confined ethnic group of Dard origin. They have a hitherto well preserved and unique cultural identity. Their dress, food habits socio-economic and day to day life is quite different from other parts of Ladakh. Most of their social customs are peculiar. Use of Cow milk and butter is not allowed, use of cow dung for fuel is also a taboo hence cow is not reared. Likewise use of fowl and eggs are probated, washing of oneself is a serious taboo. Fames of ‘Shukpa’ (pencil cedar) is used to purify one’s body, soul and households.
- There are festivals with ceremonies on every social occasion whether at birth, death, sowing or harvesting. In a weeklong festival called BONONA they recite hymnals depicting their incestors exodus from Brushel-Gilgit area and history of colonization of the present villages. It is believed to be an important oral text of their history.
- A spectrum of social traditional and ceremonies as they celebrate during the year. Most famous of them being the ‘Strupla’ fertility dances when they depict an era when the deities, ferries and men lived together. Other folk dances include fun and celebrations on the occasion of community hunting expeditions of early Brokpas known as “Sharonata’
- By belief the tribe used to follow a form of ancestor worshiping along with ferries and super natural things. Presently most of them have opted Buddhism and some villages profess Islam.
- These tribal are very fond of flowers. Besides ornating their dresses with corals, beads, needles and coins, they essentially decorate their dresses particularly the cap with flower and colourful ribbons.
- Approach The entire valley remained as a restricted area for entry of tourists now stands derestricted for conducted tours(through a local travel agent)on defined Circuits. There is well laid motor road connecting the valley with Kargil and Khalsi (Leh). From Kargil the road crosses over a 3800 Mtrs pass Hambutingla.