What Is Ladakh’s Pregnancy Tourism, Where Foreigners Look For Aryans Within The Brokpa Community?

by Tejashee Kashyap
What Is Ladakh’s Pregnancy Tourism, Where Foreigners Look For Aryans Within The Brokpa Community?

Just picture a group of European ladies travelling to a small village in India in order to become pregnant by the local guys. Rumours claim that it has happened previously and might be happening again among the Brokpa population of the Ladakhi villages of Dha and Hanu. And this is what the world today refers to as pregnancy tourism.

What Is Ladakh’s Pregnancy Tourism?

We know it sounds strange; although it may not be common practice these days, the history of pregnancy tourism is quite fascinating.

The cause dates back to an invasion of India by Alexander the Great in the seventh century. Many of Alexander’s men are thought to have remained in the Indus Valley after he left. The Brokpas, who identify as members of Alexander’s lost army, are thought to be the last pure-blood Aryans or master race. And it’s said that European ladies travel here looking for Brokpa guys to take home the purportedly “pure seed.”

The Brokpas, in contrast to the rest of Ladakh, have Indo-Aryan characteristics. They are noticeably taller than average for Tibetans and have fair skin, long hair, high cheekbones, and light eyes. The community is segregated and has strict laws prohibiting marriage between members of the society and outsiders.

Unfortunately, there is no authenticity of their claim of being a pure Aryan race. Neither any DNA/ genetic testing nor any scientific measures were taken to authenticate their claims. They claim to be pure Aryans just on the basis of their physical appearance and some inherited stories, folklore, and myths, about their being pure Aryans.

Also read: What Do Balti People Of Ladakh Eat For Breakfast? 6 Traditional Breakfast Dishes That Are A Must-Try

Who Are The Brokpa People?

With its pristine landscapes, ancient traditions, and a burgeoning healthcare infrastructure, Ladakh offers a distinctive blend of holistic well-being.

The Brokpas, also known as Dards, are an indigenous community residing in the remote and picturesque Dha and Hanu villages of Ladakh. They form a distinct part of Ladakh’s rich tapestry of cultures, having preserved their unique customs, attire, and traditions for centuries.

They live about 130 km northeast of Kargil in what is called the Dah or Aryan Village and are said to be tall, with strong jawlines, sharp noses, hazel-blue eyes and perfect skin and hair, even blonde hair among a few. A documentary called The Aryan Saga (2006) tells the story of German women coming to Brokpa villages to have babies with Brokpa men because they believe this community has maintained the pure Aryan gene!

The women are candid in admitting that they pay to obtain their pure seed. It was said that such pregnancy tourism was organized as a way for the community to generate additional income, but there are no references anywhere on the practice. Another journal paper even claims this practice to be true.

The claims of Brokpas about their genetic history aren’t supported by any scientific proof or credible history. But still, they continue to protect it.

Cover image credits: Image for representation; Flickr/Saurabh Chatterjee

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