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  • Modernization and Tradition in the Himalayas

    The Renewal of Ladakh

    Text: Borbála Bagi
    Photos: Borbála Bagi, Szilvia Ódry

    Ladakh is one of the last regions where traditional Tibetan culture and architecture has been preserved in its original form. A common opinion is that this is where ancient Tibetan civilization genuinely survived, and fostering religious traditions is also stronger here than in Tibet which is under strong Chinese influence. The site was opened to tourists in 1974. Since then, enormous and large-scale developments were started. The changes brought along the flood of non-degradable products of the modern world, customs alien to the region, new construction technologies, the cheap but environmentally harmful materials. The villages and town of Ladakh were unprepared for this. Waste treatment did not evolve gradually either, and the approach to protect heritage is still missing too. Foundations and voluntary organisations make attempts to preserve the architectural heritage of Ladakh and introduce the technologies of sustainable contemporary architecture there.