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Tea Leaves

Geopolitics threatens nomads and luxury shawls

Ladakh military clash disrupts supply of premium cashmere wool

An aerial view of Leh, which has become a new home for herders after being pushed from their traditional pastures due to an India-China border standoff. (Photo by Minaam Shah).

High on the roof of the world, crisscrossed by imposing Himalayan peaks and deep gorges, lies the remote northern frontier of India, under siege from China's People's Liberation Army.

Covering roughly 60,000 sq. km, the Ladakh union territory, formerly part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (now a neighboring union territory), has long been a spiritual destination for travelers from around the world. The regional capital, Leh, is a place of exploration and mystique, dotted with Buddhist monasteries, and is an especially important destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

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