Lines on a map once meant little to India's Tibetan herders of the high Himalayas, expertly guiding their goats through even the harshest winters to pastures on age-old seasonal routes.

That stopped in 2020, after troops from nuclear-armed rivals India and China clashed in bitter hand-to-hand combat in the contested high-altitude border lands of Ladakh.

Swaths of grazing lands became demilitarized "buffer zones" to keep rival forces apart.