Ladakh became a region of great commercial and strategic importance to the British in the mid-nineteenth century as it offered routes to the marts of Central Asia, and also impinged on the Chinese and Russian frontiers. What were the political and military compulsions behind the successive boundary commissions set up in the nineteenth century? To what extent did the Chinese respond to British diplomatic overtures over delineating frontiers? To what extent did the views of Whitehall converge with those of the Government of India? By drawing on archival sources, Mehra throws important new light on an area that continues to be of international importance in the late twentieth century.