The Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh was founded by Bhagan, a Basgo king, who reunited Ladakh by overthrowing the king of Leh. He took the surname Namgyal (meaning victorious) and founded a new dynasty which still survives today. King Tashi Namgyal (1555-1575) managed to repel most Central Asian raiders, and built a royal fort on the top of the Namgyal Peak. Tsewang Namgyal temporarily extended his kingdom as far as Nepal.
During the reign of Jamyang Namgyal, concerted efforts were made to convert Ladakh to Islam by destroying Buddhist artifacts. Today, few gompas exist from before this period.
Sengge Namgyal (r. 1616-1642), known as the 'Lion' King made efforts to restore Ladakh to its old glory by an ambitious and energetic building program including the Leh palace and the rebuilding of several gompas, the most famous of which are Hemis and Hanle.
The Stok Royal Palace, residence of the Namgyal dynasty, former rulers of the former Ladakh kingdom, now part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.
He expanded the kingdom into Zanskar and Spiti, but was defeated by the Mughals, who had already occupied Kashmir and Baltistan. His son Deldan Namgyal (1642-1694) had to placate the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb by building a mosque in Leh. However, he defeated the Mughal army in Baltistan. He sided with Bhutan in a religious dispute between Tibet and Bhutan, which resulted in an attempted invasion by the fifth Dalai Lama. Kashmiri help restored Ladakhi rule at a price - the building of a mosque in Leh and the conversion of the Ladakhi king to Islam. Also, all of Ladakh's valuable pashmina wool had to go to Kashmir. The Treaty of Temisgam in 1684 settled the dispute between Tibet and Ladakh, but its independence was seriously restricted.