Ladakh (lədäkˈ) [key], region, 45,762 sq mi (118,524 sq km), E Kashmir, on the border of China. Leh is the chief town. Allied ethnologically and geographically with the Tibet region of China, the area has a predominantly Lamaist Buddhist population. It was nominally a dependency of Tibet. After 1531 it was invaded periodically by Muslims from Kashmir; it was annexed to Kashmir in the mid-19th cent. India has controlled the southern region of Ladakh since 1948, and Pakistan the northern half. The northeastern portion is now claimed by China, which in 1962 occupied the area despite Indian opposition.
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