Arghons

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The Arghons are a small community of descendants of immigrants from Yarkand and Kashmir that have intermingled with the local Ladakhi community, residing mainly in Leh and Kargil towns of Ladakh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India. They are Sunni Muslims.

They first arrived as traders and merchants from Central Asia and Kashmir in the 17th century and were among the first Muslims to settle in the Buddhist Kingdom. Most were traders but some included religious people. Most central Asian merchants returned home at the end of the caravan season. Those who remained and settled in Ladakh married ladakhis and are now known as Arghons.

Today they are merchants although some, a very few, have taken to agriculture. Most of them today speak the Ladakhi language but are also conversant in Turkic and Tibetan.[1]

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