Ladakh is a crossroad of civilizations since hundreds of years; located at the high Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir, India. The twin cities of Leh and Kargil are epicenter of trade between Ladakh and central Asia. An offshoot of the silk route; rich amalgamation of people belonging of different religion and traditional setup has blessed the land with delicate cultural landscapes. Delicate cultural landscapes in turn gave rise to a complex order of built and unbuilt heritage, which is deep, rooted in the essence of the place. More often than not; vernacular art and architecture is viewed as an isolated artifact against a picturesque setup; degrading its value to mere external “beauty”. The summer program aims at documenting tangible and intangible heritage in Leh and Kargil, exposing the anatomy of its cultural assets. Such an approach will help us decode the language of “beauty” in these properties, thus holistic approach towards understanding the house forms and settlement patterns in Himalayas is initiated. The summer program will help in developing a heritage walk in old town of Kargil and exhibitions at Leh, Kargil and Ahmedabad are planned. It will be followed by a publication on drawings, essays and other student works from IDEA Research cell.

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