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Tibet–Ladakh–Mughal War

Tibet–Ladakh–Mughal War
Result Treaty of Tingmosgang
Ganden Phodrang
Khoshut Khanate
Dzungar Khanate
Mughal Empire
Commanders and leaders

Galdan Chhewang
Tenzin Dalai Khan

Galdan Boshugtu Khan
Deldan Namgyal
Kalon Bankapa Shakya Gyatso
Fidai Khan

The Tibet–Ladakh–Mughal War of 1679–84 was fought between the Central Tibetan Ganden Phodrang government, with the assistance of Mongol khanates, and the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh with assistance from the Mughal Empire in Kashmir.


In the late 17th century, Ladakh sided with Bhutan in its dispute with Tibet. The Tibetans decided to punish Ladakh for interfering in their relations with Bhutan and the oppression of Gelug monasteries in Ladakh.[1]


In 1679 the 5th Dalai Lama appointed the lama of the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the Koshut Galdan Chhewang (Wylie: Dga' ldan Tshe dbang[2]), as the commander of the Tibeto-Mongol expedition to Ladakh.[1] Galdan Chhewang first secured his flanks when he made a treaty with Raja Kehri Singh of Bashahr, granting him trade rights with Tibet.[1]

Galdan Chhewang's first campaign resulted in the defeat of the Ladakhi army, led by Sakya rGya-mTsho, at Khan-dMar.[3] The next year he defeated the Ladakhis again at Byan-la and occupied the country with the exception of the fortresses of Basgo, and Tinggmosgang, which would hold out against the Tibetan attacks for the next three years.[3]

The stalemate was broken with the Mughal Empire's intervention in the war. Kashmir was a Mughal province at this time and included Ladakh in its sphere of influence.[1] Kashmiri historians assert that, after this, the Ladakhi king converted to Islam in return. However, Ladakhi chronicles do not mention such a thing and Ladakhi people refute it. The king agreed to give tribute to the Mughals in return for their help.[4][5]

Scholar Johan Eleverskog states that, in his struggle for power over Tibet, the Fifth Dalai Lama employed fear and violence over the Tibetan territories.[6]

With the help of reinforcements from Galdan Boshugtu Khan, Khan of the Zungar Empire, the Tibetans attacked again in 1684. The Tibetans were victorious and concluded a treaty with Ladakh then they retreated back to Lhasa on December 1684.[citation needed]

Treaty of Tingmosgang

The Treaty of Tingmosgang in 1684 settled the dispute between Tibet and Ladakh but severely restricted Ladakh's prominence. The Treaty fixed the Tibetan-Ladakhi border at the Lhari stream near Demchok, and regulated trade and tribute missions between Ladakh to Tibet.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e March of Central Asia Ram Rahul p.51
  2. ^ Emmer, the Tibet-Ladakh-Mughal War 2007, p. 81.
  3. ^ a b New Light on the Tibet-Ladakh-Mughal War of 1679-84 Zahiruddin Ahmad p.349
  4. ^ Sali, M. L. (20 April 1998). "India-China Border Dispute: A Case Study of the Eastern Sector". APH Publishing. Retrieved 20 April 2018 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Kaul, H. N. (20 April 1998). "Rediscovery of Ladakh". Indus Publishing. Retrieved 20 April 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Johan Elverskog (6 June 2011). Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 222–. ISBN 0-8122-0531-6.