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The Silk Road

Walk in the historic footsteps of merchants and wise men

The Silk Road crisscrossed Eurasia in ancient and medieval times, enabling the overland trade between China, Europe, and the Indian Subcontinent to flourish. Its ghosts live on in India’s architecture and culture, not to mention in its handicrafts and other goods sold in the bazaars.

India is, to no small extent, a product of mixing with fellow Silk Road traders. Buddhism was born in India and travelled along the Silk Road; in the opposite direction came Christianity and Hinduism. Silk was not an Indian invention but a Chinese one; rather India’s spices and gemstones are still highly prized in every corner of the world.
 
The survival of the Silk Road is arguably most clear in Ladakh, where two important museums tell its stories. You can visit the Central Asian Museum, which has recently opened in a beautifully restored stone tower in Leh’s Old Town, and in Kargil, treasures uncovered in a dilapidated caravanserai can now be seen, publicly on display.