Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Three Passes of Everest

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Classic Zanskar

Karsha Monastery
I stood on top of the Parfi-La (3900 metres), the last pass on the high trail to Zanskar. Below me, like a detailed tapestry, was spread cultivated fields in neat checkerboard patterns of yellow and brown with the  aqua marine Zanskar River running through the valley. Next to me, my guide and cook Tenzing Tsondup’s smile was infectious. He could not hide the joy at looking down on his homeland.  Tenzing and I had come to Zanskar the hard way. Eight days earlier a Tata Sumo had dropped us from Leh to the village of Wanla, near the monastery of Lamayuru. From Wanla we had crossed seven passes, some above 5000 metres, until finally we stood on the last one – Parfi La. The prayer flags atop the pass danced crazily in the breeze while all around us were gnarled ochre coloured hills weather beaten by the snow and wind.  We took a deep breath and started walking down. In a few hours we were at the Ibex Hotel, Padum back in civilization.

Padum, the district headquarters of Zanskar is a good base to explore the surrounding monasteries in the valley. We had two days in Padum before returning to Leh and decided to visit Karsha, Stongdey and Zangla.

That afternoon, we hired a taxi and were en route to the largest monastery in Zanskar,  Karsha.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monasteries of Ladakh

Ladakh is often thought as being the last outpost of Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalaya. Sculpted canyons, fantastic rock formations, medieval villages, Buddhist gompas and snow-peaks are all part of a visit to Ladakh.  These are some images of the monasteries in Ladakh.


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