By on May 9, 2014
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According to local traditions Skardu was founded by Alexander the Great who named it Iskanderia from which it was converted to its present form, namely, Skardu. But 1 Vigne says that “and Iskardo, which can hardly be called a town, being a straggling collection of houses, is the principal place in Little Tibet. It has been usually supposed that Ahmed Shah, and the other potentates of these countries, lay claim to a descent from Alexander the Great. Ahmed Shah was aware of the tradition, but said that there was no reason for it within his knowledge. Iskardu, Skardo, or Kardo, as it is sometimes called, is obviously only an abbreviation of Sagara-Do the two floods or rivers. The Bhuts of Ladak call it the Sagar-Khoad, the valley of Sagar. Khoad is the same as khud, the common name for a valley at Simla and Missuri; and whether Alexander was ever at Iskardo or not, (and I cannot believe he was ever near it,) I do not know think there is the slightest foundation for the name of Iskumderia, or Iskumderabad, which I once myself thought there might be. Sagara is an old Sancrit word for the ocean, and in this case Sagar-Khoad may signify the valley of the great flood or river. Do, signifying two in Persian and its cognates, is added to the name Sagar, because the open space is formed by the junction of two streams the Indus and the Shigur river: or it may refer to the great junction of the Shyyok with the Sin-Kha-Bad (the river) from the Lion’s mouth), or Ladaki branch of the Indus, which takes place a few miles only above Iskardo.”

Another eminent European Scholar, Cunningham writes:-

“This name (Skardo) means either the ‘inclosed place or more probably the ‘starry place’ as the Lamas of Ladak write the name, Skar-ma-mDo. Vigne states that the Botis OF Ladak call it Sagar-Khoad, which is only a variety of the same; for Skar-kod means simply the “starry building”. The Dogra soldiers always call the place Kardo; but the true name as written by the Tibetans, is Skardo”.

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