Planning a trip to Ladakh? Dreaming about the lofty snow-covered peaks and munching delicious momos? Those are indeed some of the highlights of going to Ladakh.

But here’s one that gave me a kick. To dip my feet in the river that gives India her name!

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Thrilled to be at the waters of the Indus. The river that gives India her name.

Yes..you’re probably thinking…now what’s the big deal.

But if you are a History n Geography buff like me, you will be equally thrilled to see the Indus!

For in her cool waters lies the origin of India! As also Hindustan. It all begins with this glorious river. Share with your children the link of Indus and India.

India is the seat of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations. Popularly known as the Indus Valley Civilization (now more appropriately called the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization), it is the chapter from which all our history lessons began.

For it is, that Indian History (again, more appropriately Proto History) begins. (Want to explain these historical terms to your child? Follow/sign up to my site..I’ll keep you updated.)

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The waters of the Sindhu/Indus are cool and crystal clear

So…its in Ladakh that you will find the Indus silently flowing. And here’s how the naming story goes.

  • Early Arabs travelling along the Silk Route, identified the entire area on the other side of the Indus  (locally called Sindhu) as Hindustan. In other words ‘the land across the Sindhu’.
  • Why not Sindhustan then your child may ask! And rightly so! Well…here is the answer to that. The substitution of H for S is because that’s how people from Central Asia pronounced the term. While locals call it Sapta Sindhu, the Greeks, Parthians, Scythians and all those coming from Central Asia – called it the Hepta Hindu.

    Image result for indus river route
    The Indus begins in Tibet and most of it flows through Pakistan. Only a small part of it is in India.
  • Thus was born the term Hindustan, which has nothing to do with the religion popularly identified as Hinduism.
  • The English name for the nation, India too, derives from the same root. It is born from the Indus.
Indus river
Silently flows the Indus in the Cold Desert of Ladakh

 So when you are in Ladakh you must visit the lovely scenic Sangam of the Zanskar and Indus Rivers and dip your feet in the cool waters.

Or go to the Sindu Ghat and see the river when its at its full.

Remember to tell your child that you are in the proximity of the historic river that gave birth to a nation!

And there’s plenty more to find out about travelling to Ladkah with Children. Here’s my article in the Hindu – Children on the Rooftop : Ladakh with the Little Ones – that will answer some of your concerns.

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