The Batalik area of Kargil adjacent to the Line of Control is famous for the strange tribes known as Drokhpas believed to be the only surviving pure Aryan Race.
There are many theories about the origin of these tribal people who are unlike other inhabitants of Ladakh. The area is approachable both from Leh through Khalsi and from Kargil through Batalik. Earlier tourists were allowed only through Khalsi up to Dah and Hannu. Now they can visit these places through Kargil also.
The beautiful Darchik village in Batalik is nestled on the banks of the mighty Indus and across the Pakistan border. Its inhabitants are the last surviving members of the pure Aryan race in Ladakh. While not as old as the Harrapan and Mohenjadaro villages, Darchik, along with the peer villages of Dah and Hannu, are dated to somewhere between a 1,000 and 1,200 years old.
People there are called Drokhpas or High Landers and are said to have migrated from Dardistan, somewhere west of Afghanistan. Their occupation involves agriculture and animal husbandry while their main source of income comes from selling apricots and grapes, which grow in plenty here, to the markets in Kargil and Leh. Structurally, their houses are just stone and wood.
There are five villages of Drogpas in the Kargil district of Dah, Hannu, Garkon, Darchik and Biama, around 260 kilometres from Srinagar. These people have very strange customs and a different lifestyle. They are allergic to cow. They do not eat eggs and chicken. The source of their main supply of meat and milk is goat. They eat goat cheese and store it for years. They worship deities whom they call Lha and Lhu. Their deities come from within the earth as well as from the sky and these also have some connection with fairies. These people trace their Aryan ancestors to the Indus Valley and their villages boast of extensive anthropological and ethnographic links.
The most important occasion to know their true history is the harvest festival, which they call Banono.
During that the Drogpas wear colourful and traditional outfits. The Drogpas have been an attraction for tourists and anthropologists because of their colorful lifestyle, sheepskin clothing and rich jewelry. The area grows grapes from which these people make excellent wine. This is an event full of gaiety.
On this occasion people from different villages assemble in one place and celebrate for five days. The festival begins with the head of the tribe relating the story of their arrival in Ladakh. The festival is a place to drink, dine, dance and make free love! It is reported that many German families had been visiting the area to share their love with pure Aryan blood!
The head of the tribe recites 18 hymns relating to their history according to which they are supposed to have come through Gilgit. On the other side of the border, there is a similar tribe called Kalash. In fact, there are strong theories that these tribes living on the two sides of the border in Ladakh, including the Hunzakuts, are remnants of Alexander’s Army.
Some research scholars from Macedonia have conducted studies on the Hunza people and claim they are Macedonians who remained behind after Alexander’s Army left the area. Apparently, the people inhabiting these villages are distinctly of non-Mongoloid stock. Some of these people are very much like Europeans. Good looking, with aquiline noses and quite a few of them are blonde!