The region of Ladakh once formed part of the erstwhile Kingdom of Ladakh and for nearly 900 years from the middle of the 10 th century existed as an independent kingdom. After 1531, it was periodically attacked by the Muslims from Kashmir, until it was finally annexed to Kashmir in the mid 19th century. The early colonizers of Ladakh included:- the Indo-Aryan Mons from across the Himalayan range, the Darads from the extreme western Himalayas, and the itinerant nomads from the Tibetan highlands. While Mons are believed to have carried north-Indian Buddhism to these highland valleys, the Darads and Baltis of the lower Indus Valley are credited with the introduction of farming and the Tibetans with the tradition of herding. Its valleys, by virtue of their contiguity with Kashmir, Kishtwar and Kulu, served as the initial receptacles of successive ethnic and cultural waves emanating from across the Great Himalayan range.