Zorawar Fort

Situated perhaps deliberately above the Leh Palace and Monastery of Namgyal Tsemo (Vistory Fort of the first Namgyal king, Tashi Namgyal) is the fort built by General Zorawar Singh, a fiersome warrior general from Kashmir who brought the king of Ladakh to his knees in 1835. In the employ of Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, General Zorawar Singh is noted for his conquests in Ladakh, Baltistan and as far afield as Tibet. Constructed in 1836, the fort is rather nondescript – it was built from sun-dried bricks and white clay – for a general so brave.

Spread across 30 acres, the fort once housed 300 soldiers and 30 artillery specialists. It was also where the Dogra rulers stored their treasure. The museum inside now displays the Dogra rulers’ stunning collection of coins, stamps and remnants of their treasure. In another gallery, visitors can view other mementoes of the Dogra dynasty. There is also a mosque, a temple and a natural spring on the premises. Visitors can either drive up to the fort or walk across the hill from the Leh bazaar, which is not fat from the fort.