The Great Tibetan Marathon, the annual marathon that takes place in Ladakh, was flagged off by the King of Ladakh when the 2008 edition took place. Or at least that’s who the chief guest was identified as by the organizers.
I assumed this person to be the current ‘King’ till something strange came up while I was sorting the photos I took at the Stok Palace. The chronological order of the rulers from this family listed the last three as:
37. dKun-bzang rNam-rgyal, 1925-1974
38. Jig-med dbang-chuk rNam-rgyal, 1966-
39. bStan-rdzin Jig-med rNam-rgyal, 1997-
The list shows the last two surviving generations as born in 1966 and 1997. How old does this man in the picture look to you? Certainly not someone born in either 1996 or 1997. So who is he? I am not sure, and I don’t have the answers. But I certainly will investigate further when I return to Ladakh.
Or can appearances be deceptive?
A quick note of the King: The Namgyal dynasty came into power in Ladakh in 975 AD and ruled the region before they were overthrown. But they have traditionally been allowed to retain their title and the Stok Palace near Leh but have long ceased to have any real powers.