Basgo Castle: A Key to Past
Today’s photo story takes you to Basgo Castle located on one of dun hills of Ladakh. Click any image to start the slideshow.
Basgo Castle (F) and Basgo Village (B) in Ladakh. The word Basgo is a distortion of local name of the castle, Ba mgo or Ba sgo. The local names literally mean the head of a bull. The village where castle ruins stand is named after the rock shaped like the head.
The water pond in the ruins
The ruins of the citadel overlook Basgo village located on NH 1.
Basgo Castle may have been built in the sixteenth century.
Weather beaten structures at the entrance of Basgo Castle crowning the dun hill
Stacks of stones These stacks of stones are interpreted in different ways. A few interpretations follow: (1)These cairns double as the offerings to local mountain deities and spirits. The offerings are made for a safe passage through the difficult mountain terrain. (2) These stone piles are temporary pagodas or stupas. Building these structures ensure spiritual merits. The structure levels represent the elements. (3) These stone piles represent local deities. (4) The heaps of stone may be used as counting device. (5) Cairns also mark directions and routes. (6) These heaps may represent / be associated with dead people.
Another stone pile
Graffiti: Least frequented ruins attract lovers like any other ruins for the sake of privacy.
Historians call it Rab brtan Iha rtse, that means Divine Peak of Great Stability.
Another stone pile
Different historians suggested different dates of the castle construction. Some said 11th century other said 16th century. However, there is lack of documentary evidence.
A Key to the Past: In the seventeenth century, the impregnable palace survived the siege for three years. Mongol and Tibetan armies sieged the fortress but the residents survived because they had plenty of natural water and food stock. Europeans also visited the castle during the century.
Basgo received European visitor in the beginning of seventeenth century.
The ruins (F). Basgo village (B)
The road to the ruins presents craft of weather that shapes the rocks.
The road to the ruins
Basgo is an oasis amid barren colorful mountains of Ladakh.