Dha Hanu, Leh Ladakh Overview

The villages of Dha (also called as Dah) and Hanu are amongst the only few villages that are home to the Drogpa (Brokpa) tribe of Leh. These are located 163 km northwest of Leh in the Kargil region. The tribe, which is different from the Ladakhi tribe found in the rest of the area are quite hospitable people. Dah Hanu villages are a must visit for those who are interested in cultural diversity.

The Drogpa tribes are known for their distinct ornaments and headgears. They are culturally, racially and linguistically different from the rest and are said to be the only living descendants of the original Aryan (Indo European) race. The villages have been visited by countless photographers who absolutely enjoy clicking photographs of the people of this tribe.

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Best Time to Visit Dha Hanu

During summer, it is quite hot in the villages as temperature rises to 40 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit is between June to October.

Accommodation in Dah Hanu

Dah and Hanu don't have hotels or guesthouses. However, many tourism companies do offer tented accommodation.

Food At Dha Hanu

Given the fact that options for food are scarce and choices almost absent, apart from the tribe's food culture, there isn't any specific or much-known cuisine or specialities at the village. There aren't any restaurants in the area, hence it is crucial to make personal arrangements or carry your own food, and in good quantity, especially if you are here for more than a day.

Dah Hanu Itinerary

Landing at the Leh airport, the villages of Dha Hanu are 163 kms away. It is a beautiful route to travel to the valley and you can either hire a vehicle or go in your own. A permit is needed to enter Dha Hanu, which can be easily acquired from Leh. Spend the night here, amidst distinct and diverse livelihoods, cultures and values to remind you of the mystery India is. From here, you can head to nearby areas of Alchi and Likir. You may also travel to the Suru Valley and Zanskar.

Drokpa Community

Also known as the Brokpa community, the Drokpa tribe is said to be the last descendants of Alexander the Great. Continuing the rare legacy of the Indo-Aryan lineage, this community is found towards the north-western parts of Leh. Although the Drokpas have inhabited five villages in proximity, tourists are only permitted to two of them; Dha and Hanu. This tribe identifies itself as 'Minaro' but residents of other places, especially Ladakh call them 'Drokpas' or 'Brokpas'.

The Drokpa residents have distinctive facial and skin features that are much different from the other citizens of Leh. Adorning blue eyes and a fairer complexion, the Drokpas also own a different religious identity as compared to the rest of Leh. They are staunch believers in Animism and are followers of the Bon religion as well. They uphold the Ibex as their holy animal. This tribe follows horticulture as a primary source of livelihood, thus nurturing premium quality apple and apricot orchards. 

From dressing to marital approach, the Brokpas vary exponentially in their societal structure when compared to their neighbouring villages. The Drokpa community carries out a characteristic feature of wearing flowers on their hats. This tradition is mostly worn by women, thus earning them the name of the 'Flower women of Ladakh'. The people of Drokpa keep their generations intact, within the expanse of their villages by marrying within the community itself. Thus, having a small population of just about 2000 tribe members. Polyandry is an openly accepted and followed practice here. 

When visiting, it is vital to remember that this region in Ladakh does not site hotels, restaurants and other urbanised amenities. However, there are plenty of camping options and smaller snack stalls.

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