Saturday, December 28, 2013

Road on to Tsomorori

Few other picture taken around the lake Tsomorori

We finally make to tho Korzok Village. My wife is still down, I sit besides her late into night, giving  spoon full of water every 10-15 minutes. the electricity is erratic and we have  torches and candles. She wakes up in the morning slightly better. We leave her and go around the Village.

Situated against a backdrop of High mountains on one side and Tsomoroiri on the other, Korzok situated at abort 15000 feet , is a settlement of few houses mostly of mud, where a decent bathroom-toilet is a luxury. The Changspa - Nomadic in nature and exposed to harsh winters hardly require a bath .

Life in Korzok revolves around the Monastery. Famous for the  Korzok Gustor festival, the building itself is badly in need of renovation.

But one gets to see the enchanting lake from within the precincts  of the monastery

After a early breakfast, we leave - retracing the route which have had splendid memories etched- though tough. After a journey of about 5 hours we reach Karu - here she take  a little of Curd rice , and for the first time in two days she seems normal - its a huge sigh of relief.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Road on to Tsomorori

The trip to  Tsomorori will be etched in the mind for ever. 200 kms from Leh and about 8- 10 hours journey by road, the final destination being at altitude  of about 15500 ft, we take  Diamox Tablet for High altitude sickness. Just a little while after  consuming these tablet, My wife  starts with severe hick ups withe nausea, we  reach  Upshi, and take a turn. The road now is  among stark mountains with the Indus flowing around. But her condition deteriorates and she is badly shivering and Vomiting.  We cover her with everything we have.

From the loose soil, the landscape changes on to huge rocky mountains, and fortunately  we chance upon a Army Camp. Immediately she is wheeled in and administered oxygen for an hour along with  Rantac and Avomin injections by two lady Doctors in a Army Hospital  in wilderness. I can never thank them enough.

We decide to carry forward, but not without trepidation, The journey gets on to us, for many a mile we are the only tourist travelling-many choose to skip this leg of Ladhak, Alas they don't know what they miss We now encounter some beautiful yellow patch vegetation in and around  and reach Chumanthag - the hot water spring,. She rests in the SUV , oblivious to the surrounding and  we have our lunch and proceed to Mahey bridge.

A turn here changes the land scape again, now its sandy and  dusty track withe loose grave all around. We are alone in wilderness and she starts vomiting severely and I am genuinely scared. I chance upon a ITBP camp. Here again we are welcomed with hot tea and administered  injection. Tsomorio is only miles ahead, 

And the  first glance at The lake is surreal, what I see ahead is some thing I can't imagine, She Is sick and I am not interested in photography,  We do not stop the vehicle, reluctantly I take  the camera and shoot some images.

This is the first image. Surreal and unbelievable spread. 

The Chautaqua Continues......

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Located quite close to Basgo,  is the Likir Monastery. Like many of the monasteries  , this too is located high up in the hills overlooking Indus and the snow clad mountains in the background. The monastery complex- nearly 1000 years,  also houses a  school for children.

A repository of Paintings, vessels, coins swords etc. are housed withing the complex.

The latest addition- A 23 meter high glided gold statue of Maitreya

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Located on clay hills and reminding one of the Petra caves in Jordan is the Basgo Monastery. recognized as the 100 most endangered heritage site by World Monument Fund, USA lies in precarious condition. so much so one can see creative holes in some of the walls.

Replete with beautiful mural s on the wall and pillars which  needs attention.

Then there is this beautiful serene 14 meter high gilded statue statue of the Maitreya Buddha.

The  Basgo Welfare Committee with help from various organisation has though done commendable work in restoring some of the monument.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

All roads lead to Lamayaru

The head Lama decides to visit the Lamayaru Monastery and what we get to see; The local populace decked in their traditional attire and all finery proceeding the monastery.

It is  festive  atmosphere all along the stark naked desert landscape. People who cannot make it to the monastery, set up reception areas complete with music and food to welcome the Lama.  
At the monastery, not to be left behind the Monks too are busy in preparation  and paint the road with beautiful patterns.

Lamayaru monastery, perched atop a hill on  moonscapes is located in Kargil District a little distance away from Alchi. Said to be among the oldest, the monastery itself is quites simple, but some how I felt this is the best among the many monasteries, I have seen 

With such formations Benith, its amazing that this monastery has survived 1000 years

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Village of Alchi

A small village nestled in the Indus Valley, Alchi  is a beautiful along the river, with shops selling antiques and bakeries selling danish pastries.

The main attraction of this village being  the monastery complex consisting of three monasteries. I believe these monasteries will remain  the best kept secrets, since photography is not allowed inside.

The Walls of this simple looking mud structure are painted with various aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. The  paintings said to be 1000 years old are something which are incredibly beautiful to describe. This link will lead to some photographs

Again, spending a day at Alchi, taking a early morning walk in the amidst the lush green fields, the small by lanes of the village, would be entirely refreshing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some spots along the Leh-Alchi-Lamayaru route

The first one would be the Hall of Fame Museum, located just on the outskirts of Leh and maintained by the Indian Army is a treasure house of information on warfare and culture  in Ladhak  during  the past 1000 years. Good place to buy some souvenirs at a reasonable cost.

The Pathar Sahib Gurudwar. Built at a Spot where Nanak Sahib mediated and tamed a local demon. The atmosphere inside is great. At lunch time, a sumptuous lunch is served. 

The Confluence of the river Zanskar and the Indus . Here is  where all the excitement of rafting on the Indus takes place

The Magnetic Hill-An unbelievable phenomenon. The vehicle in neutral gear parked in a down slope actually moves up-simply unbelievable                                       

Crossing Alchi and on the way to Lamayaru are these strange  formations in the hills called moonscapes. Do they resemble the  moon surface?

Monday, August 26, 2013


It takes a pleasant 5 hour journey crossing the Chang la the third highest road to  Pangong Tso from Leh. At a height of over 14500 feet, tourists usually cover this in a day, but then it becomes only a photo op. Pangong means a long narrow enchanted lake, and it is truly enchanting.

To enjoy Pangong, one must allow it to soak  completely on . Its unbelievably beautiful, so much so,  today, I wonder was it really so.

Stay a day at the tents on the bank, walk along the lake, watch the interplay of the sun on the color of the lake and the naked mountains, wake up at dawn at 4.30 AM then continue the same routine.

Some Afternoon shots

The glow of setting sun on the mountains

Early morning sun on the tents along the river bank

Late morning pictures

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Hemis Monastery Festival

The Hemis Festival - The only festival to be celebrated in summer, and we almost missed it. The itinerary was to visit the Nubra Valley, and we were turned back from atop the Khardung la  due to heavy snow fall and without a moment of hesitation we drove down to Hemis.

The Monastery again situated in the Indus valley is among the largest and the festival amid snow fall was enchanting to say the least.

The festival unfolds with rhythmic beating of the musical instruments and a dance of young monks.

Later starts the slow rhythmic mask dance of individuals first and then in group of two or three. The mask itself interesting- some ferocious and some gentle

Finally culminating in a procession to the accompaniment of the musical instruments-A once in a life time opportunity.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monasteries of Leh-II

Of the many Monasteries- Leh boast of,  the most popular ones on the tourist circuit are the Thiskey and Hemis, followed by Shey, Tsemo, Spiutik, Stakna, Stok.

The Tsemo Monastery almost in ruins over looks the Leh town. It sort of visible from most of the town is a delight to see in the evening sun.  Though one gets a different perceptive of this monument at various time of the day.

Shey - the old capital of Ladkah is a at a very short distance from Thiskey. The complex though much smaller, houses both the Palace and the the Monastery.  The beauty of this Monastery again is the nearly 40 feet statue of the Shakya Muni, covering three floors of the monastrery. Seen here is the top portion on the third floor. 

The Spituk Gompa - againg situated upon a Hillock overlooking the airport is unique in sense, it houses the statues of Kali Matha. Like any other monasteries, this too house many a statues, Paintings and ancient relics. Great to spend time.