Located around 163 km north-west of the town of Leh, the village settlements of Dha and Hanu are placed on the meeting points of Indus and Shyok Rivers in the Kargil region. Famed as the ‘Land of Aryans’, these villages are home to Brokpa or Drokpa community of Ladakh. The Brokpas have made around 5 villages their home but the tourists are permitted to visit only villages- Dha and Hanu. Apart from tourists, these villages are an attraction for anthropologists also.
It is a belief that the residents of these villages were a part of Alexander the Great’s army and came here more than 2000 years ago. Brokpas have a custom of marrying only in their own community and this has helped them in keeping their unique features intact. They are known for their blue-colored eyes, fair complexion and an Ind-Aryan look. But because of the very same reason, their population has also remained limited, around 2000.
The people of Drokpa community look different from the residents of Ladakh and even have their own dressing style. Nickname as ‘Flower women of Ladakh’, the women of the community wear flowers on their hats. Polyandry is also practiced in the community.
Buddhism is followed in Ladakh but contrary to this, Brokpas are followers of Bon religion and Animism. There sacred animal is Ibex and they are known for preserving their rituals and traditions from ages.
Brokpa villages are also known for their picturesque locations and lush green landscape. Also because of being placed on a lower elevation, Dha and Hanu have higher temperatures than the other Ladakhi regions. The temperature here rises up to 40 degree Celsius and also helps in abundant vegetation. Horticulture is the main occupation of the locals and they grow excellent- quality apples and apricots.
Although there are no guest houses or hotels in Dha and Hanu villages but there is a possibility of a tented camp accommodation.
As there are no restaurants, it is suitable that one must carry packed food. There are small shops where snacks are available.
The best time to visit these villages is between the months of June and October when the temperatures are neither too high nor too low.