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According to Balti versions, Ali Sher Khan lost his great father when he was child. His maternal uncle, the Raja of Shigar, took him to Shigar along with his mother, ostensibly to protect him during his minority but in fact with the wicked intention of putting him to death and of annexing Skardu kingdom to Shigar, at the age of eighteen, Ali Sher Khan, fled to Delhi with twelve faithful followers of his father. He came to the notice of Emperor Akbar at a hunting place in Delhi where he showed his prowess in killing a lion. The Emperor placed a strong Moghul force under his command for the conquest of his lost kingdom. At Delhi he married a Moghul princess named Gul Khatoon. Another version is to the effect that Ali Sher Khan fled to Purik (Kargil) and then to Ladakh where he lived incognito for many years. Meanwhile, he was in communication with his loyal subjects. When the opportune moment came he arrived in Skardu. The people rose against the Shigar ruler and forced him to quit the country.

Whichever account may be authentic, it is clear that Ali Sher Khan passed his early days in adversity. When he regained his throne, he found that the Laddakhis had extended their kingdom up to Sermik. His first work was to drive them from the Kharmang valley. He reoccupied Parkuta and Kharmang valley and drove the Laddakhis from the district of Purik (Kargil). Bod Kharbu village, on the border of Laddakh was fixed as the eastern boundary of his kingdom where a garrison post was established and a governor was appointed to look after the affairs of the country.

A few years had not passed when the Raja of Laddakh, Jamyang Mangyal, attacked the principalities in the district of Purik (Kargil) annihilating the Skardu garrison at Kharbu and putting to sword a number of petty Muslim rulers in the Muslim principalities in Purik (Kargil), Ali Sher Khan Anchan, Sher Ghazi, Raja of Khaplu and Raja of Shigar left with a strong army by way of Marol and by[passing the Laddakhi army occupied Leh, the capital of Laddakh. The Raja of Laddakh was ultimately taken prisoner. Legends show that the Balti army obsessed with success advanced as far as Purang, in the valley of Mansarwar Lake, and won the admiration of their enemies and friends. The Raja of Laddakh sued for peace and since Ali Sher Khan’s intention was not to annex Laddakh, he agreed subject to the condition that the village of Ganokh and Gagra Nullah should be ceded to Skardu and he (the Laddakhi Raja) should pay annual tribute. This tribute was paid through the Gonpa (monastery) of Lama Yuru till the Dogra conquest of Laddakh. Hashmatullah records that the Head Lama of the said Gonpa had admitted before him the payment of yearly tribute to Skardu Darbar till the Dogra conquest of Laddakh.

 

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