In just half-an-hour tour of Zorawar Museum, located within Zorawar Fort in Leh, you can get a glimpse of historic achievements of high altitude warfare soldiers who participated in many conquests of Ladakh. The two-room museum, inaugurated in September 2006, is dedicated to Dogra and Ladakhi soldiers who survived inhospitable conditions that are synonymous with the lofty mountains and won the wars for their kings and masters.
The Artefact Room
This room exhibits maps, daily use items, and weapons. The highlights include
Daily use items
- On royal occasions, chang (wine) was served in Chapskan, a wine pot, because the pot enhanced wine flavors.
- Traditional metal lamps
- A pure copper tea pot that retains heat of the tea
- Tul-tul, copper bells fixed on a leather belt used to decorate horses
- Zonga, a wooden saddle covered with wool, collected from Changthang
- Pabu, a pair of handcrafted leather shoes from Changthang
- A richly embellished jewelry box
- Pure silver rings with the Tibetan stones
- Local costumes, dresses
- Chilum (hukka) made from an animal horn to smoke tobacco and carry grape shot
- Copper and iron lock
- Ladakh-Zanskar map showing routes followed by the Dogra Army during conquest of Ladakh
- Ladakh-Zanskar route followed by General Zorawar Singh in his first expedition
- Map of the Himalaya
- Surna, a shanai, from Nubra
- Bhugjal, a musical instrument made of brass played during religious ceremonies
- Tyatung, a musical instrument from Changthang
- Dawan, a musical instrument
- Kopongs, veena
Arms and Ammunitions, Weapons
- Replicas of swords used by Dogras during 1836-42
- The barbarian sword featuring European design: The Sino Tibetan forces used lighter and smaller versions of the sword.
- Metal helmets worn during warfare
- Wrist armor of steel used by the Tibetan, the Balti, and the Dogra warriors. A leather lining is added to the steel for comfort
- Wooden spears used in various Ladakh wars
- Replicas of double barrel pistol used by Dogra Army in 1841
- Zorawar Singh presented the lion-head pistol to Maharaja Gulab Singh.
- A chest armor of brass and steel from Turtuk
The History Room
The room features history texts, maps showing Dogra Army routes for Ladakh Campaign, metal and leather shields from Basgo and Turtuk, and Jammu and Kashmir state forces’ flag.
Summer: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Winter: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Entry Fee: INR 10 per person