Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum

  • 4.2

    Location: Lankore Rd Lankore Kargil, Union territory of Ladakh, Kargil

    A family-operated, public museum located in the town of Kargil, the Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum of Central Asian and Kargil Trade Artefacts is located in the union territory of Ladakh, India. As well as other material relics, the museum has on display objects that circulated between Ladakh and Yarkand, along the trade routes


    Hookah pipes from Yarkand, fabrics (dyed and raw silk from Khotan in China), rugs from Kashgar,  natural coins, costumes, jewelry, shoes, dyes, utensils, and ammunition are some of the choicest artifacts picked for exhibition in Delhi.  The museum incorporates mercantile items apart from these, from the late 19th and early 18th centuries like coarse cotton cloth, leather skins, British horse seats and saddles, carpets from Central Asia, buttons from Italy, and items from the factory of the Nizam of Hyderabad.


    After the ancient silk route trader Munshi Aziz Bhat, the museum is named.

    Owned and maintained by two brothers – Gulzar Hussain Munshi as director and Ajaz Hussain Munshi as curator – the museum has been operational since 2004, with assistance from their family members and founding partners International Association for Ladakh Studies.  After the ancient silk route trader Munshi Aziz Bhat, the museum is named.  Including a variety of artefacts, objects on display are horse saddles, tapestries, utensils, old manuscripts and photographs, coins, costumes and jewellery. To the recognition sought for Kargil the museum implicitly contributes beyond its current Kashmiri or “Islamic” image in the eye of the common Traveller and situates the region in the Longue durée of history, though not stated as such.  It is primarily a repository of artefacts associated with the Silk route trade dating back to the 19th century, the first and only initiative of its kind in the Ladakh region when Kargil served as a principal trading centre along this passage. From a rest house Ek Sarai (currently dysfunctional) built in Kargil, most artefacts displayed in the museum were discovered and retrieved for traders in 1920 by Munshi Aziz Bhat. The owners claim to face considerable financial difficulties related to its upkeep and expansion, even though local and international interest in the museum’s establishment has grown substantially since its conception. The brothers continue to invest in the project, for the time being, in the hope of developing a comprehensive repository of their cultural heritage.  In the wake of a markedly altered geo-political scenario that consumes Kargil, the memory of which they claim has faded quickly.

    Inside/Outside Views

    Built by Munshi Aziz Bhat, as also donations by townsfolk and heirs of erstwhile merchants and royalty, the museum’s collection consist primarily of artefacts unearthed at the rest house (Sarai)

    Built by Munshi Aziz Bhat, as also donations by townsfolk and heirs of erstwhile merchants and royalty, the museum’s collection consists primarily of artefacts unearthed at the rest house (Sarai). Including a range of mercantile items associated with trade along the Silk Route, it currently houses over 3500 artefacts – only 1000 are on display due to lack of space, even though the number of artefacts in the museum’s possession has grown steadily over the past eight years।

    Opening Hours

    1. Monday 8AM–8PM
    2. Tuesday 8AM–8PM
    3. Wednesday 8AM–8PM
    4. Thursday 8AM–8PM
    5. Friday 8AM–8PM
    6. Saturday 8AM–8PM
    7. Sunday Close

    Entry & Others Fees

    INR 50 is needed to pay as entry fee.

    Near Restaurants

    1. Food circles
    2. All day breakfast
    3. Taj restro
    4. Cafe food planet
    5. G kitchen

    Near Hotels

    1. Agling resort
    2. Old likir traditional farm stay
    3. Nimmu house ladakh
    4. The takshos hotel
    5. Nilza guesthouse and restaurant

    How to Reach

    By air: Very well connected with some major airports in India, including New Delhi, the closest airport is Leh Airport. To reach the destination from the airport, taxis can be hired and.

    By Rail: At a distance of 812 km from Leh, the closest major railway station from Leh is Jammu Tawi. To reach Leh over Srinagar Leh Highway in a 3-day journey with overnight halts at Srinagar and Kargil, taxis can be hired from the railway station.

    From Leh via Manali Leh Highway, Joginder Nagar railway station is just 635 KM but is not a major one.

    By road: The most feasible option is to travel the distance between gurudwara and Leh by road. Between November and April, the road remains closed, so during that time, you should avoid going there.

    Within the Ladakh region, the state-run JKSRTC buses ply.

    Tips for Travellers

    You must keep your snacks and water bottle with you. Be polite and don’t do any kind of activities which may disturb other visitors.


    Que-01: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans: yes, the place is safe to visit.

    Que-02: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: yes, photography is allowed inside the place.

    Que-03: What is the best time to visit the place?

    Ans: you can visit the place anytime of the year.

    We wish you all the best for your journey. Happy Travel!!!

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