Madhu Latha
Incredible India ; A diverse India ; Versatile India ; Enigmatic India ; Intoxicating India ; Spiritual India

India has been called many names by those who see it. India appears as such to each as those who see it that way. Come take a look at my India through my eyes...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Around Leh

Indus Valley villages form green oases amid dun-coloured semi-deserts backed by a craggy dry mountains. Several superb medieval monastries make interesting day trips by hired motorcycles, jeep or public bus.


Stok Ladakh's former royal family now live a comparitively modest life, dividing their time between a private mansion in Manali and the stately Stok Palace.
Stok Palace
Stok Palace Museum
Stok Abagon
Stok Gompa
EventsTse-Chu festival in feb/mar
trek king point
Where you can stay
Hotel Kangri ph:01982-201009
Kalden Guesthouse ph:01982-242057
Hotel Highland ph:01982-242005
Hotel Skittsal ph:01982-242051;

Matho Sakya-Buddhist Matho Gompa is a colourfully stratified ridge above Matho Village.
During the monastry's famous Matho Nagrang festival blindfolded monks perform acrobatics, engage a ritual acts of self-mutilation and make predictions for the coming year.
Spituk, Phey & Zingchen
Skodong Lakhang shrine
Chikang hosts a yellow hatted statue of Tsongkhapa who inspired Gelukpa Buddhism.
Palden Lama temple
For treks Zingchen makes a better starting point than Spituk village


Phyang is a emerand splash of green-hemmed barley fields layered for miles up a side valley. There are stupendous views back towards the snow-topped pyramid of Skot Kangri. The white and ochre Phyang Gompa Photogenically dominates the village center despite some earthquake damage. Behind, dzos graze on idyllic meadowland and a beautiful lane follows a rock escarpment past traditional homes.

Phyang's only accomodation Hidden North Guesthouse ph:01982-226007;

Chiling For a feast of colourful geology take the dramatic riverside ledge road up the deep Zanskar canyon from 400km. It was founded for the copper craftsmen who had originally arrived to build Shey Palace's big Buddha statue but never went home. Today Zanskar in a major trekking point between Lamayuru and the Markha Valley.

Basgo Capital of lower Ladakh until the Ladakhi kingdoms united in 1940, Basgo's ancient chortens whisper hints of its antiquity. Rising above the village on a surreal collection of eroded earthen pinnicles are remnant stubs of once great cithedel walls, along with a largely derelict mud-walled palace and two brilliant temples, recently stabilised with help from UNESCO. The Upper Chamba Gompa has a spectacularly restored mural work covering walls and ceilings around two-storey statue of Maitreya, whose expression embodies the spirit of detachment. Slightly downhill, behind the palace remnants, darker and even more atmospheric Sar-Zung Temple hosts another oversized statue of Maitreya and a library of wrapped scriptures.

Basgo's only accomodation, the pleasasnt two room ToGoGuesthouse ph: 01982-225104

Starting point for the Sham trek
Likir Gompa
Maitreya Statue

Old Likir Guesthouse ph: 01982-227505
Chhuma Guesthouse ph: 01982-
Norboo spon Guesthouse ph: 01982-227137
Hotel Lhukhil

A spectacular 30 minute detour from Likir winds threough a Nevada like scenery
Toro Guesthouse
Lungchay Guesthouse ph: 01982-240024


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