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Nubra valley is a high altitude cold desert at 10,000 feet. At Purang Valley, which lies separated from Mansarovar by the Gurla Mandhata range, his forces climbed the Gurla pass and reached Dogpacha.
Here they were caught totally off-guard by the Tibetan forces.
He did not take into account that forces from Lhasa could also reach via the Matsang pass, which was South of Mayum pass and was negotiable even in the winter months. In the peak winter months, as General Zorawar Singh’s forces became complacent, the Tibetan forces attacked through Matsang pass and caught them off-guard.
High altitude battle in the peak winter months against a large Tibetan force was fought.
The only option for expansion of the Sikh kingdom was North of Kashmir into Ladakh.
In 1834, General Zorawar Singh led an expedition to Ladakh via Kishtwar, Dachin, Marwah, Warwan, crossing the Lanvila pass at 14,500 feet.
It was only with the rise of the Sikh kingdom in Punjab, during the regime of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (1780 – 1839), the “Lion of Punjab”, this trend was reversed.
An army crossing at these heights, especially in winter month of November, is one of it’s kind in the annals of world military history.
Inclusion of Ladakh in Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s territory is of significant geo-political importance for the present day India.
The Tibetans however also recognized the valor of General Zorawar Singh and built a Chorten (Cenotaph) at Taklakot in his memory.
Even today, the Tibetans call it “Singh ba Chorten” or the Cenotaph of the “Singh Warrior”.