Langar Petroglyphs

Rock Art in Langar

Rock faces on the steep slopes above Langar are inscribed with over 6000 ancient petroglyphs. Climbing to see them is hard work in the high altitude and it gets very hot on the unshaded scree slopes, but the effort is rewarded with grand views across the confluence of three rivers. An eroded trail leads further up beyond the rock face (around four hours) to a fine camping spot in Engels Meadows with a rare view of Engels Peak (6510m).

There are several sets of petroglyphs on the rock face but there is a clear path towards the most accessible group. The trail starts from Langar school, meanders 400m west, then climbs 200m north from the obvious prayer house. The trail then follows power lines and climbs along the dry stream gully to a graveyard. The last part of the approach involves an ankle-twisting scramble up a scree slope (15 minutes) before crossing a small stream. It has to be said that to the untrained eye it can be hard to tell ancient carvings from more recent copy-cat ibexes and more obvious 20th-century graffiti but this does not diminish the significance of this ancient site.

Guides offer to take visitors to a larger, more pristine group of petroglyphs higher up the cliff but without specialist knowledge this doesn't offer much advantage for the considerable extra effort.