Friday, July 27, 2007

Our honeymoon - Day 2


We had a plan made out by the 208 battalion and we left to check out the monastries around the Leh town on the second day of the trip, i.e on 16th July. While we were driving to Hemis Gonpa we saw a very different kind of mountain range. Havaldar Rahul Upadhyay was with us and he is a map instructur in the army. It was very smart of 208 to ask him to come along with us as he was able to explain us every mountain's terrain and the peak height.


Just see the mountain here. Looks like a lot of slates have been kept and at an angle the mountain was formed. Nature at its best.


Hav Rahul always told us to walk slow and climb with a rest every 10 steps. Even a small climb to the Gonpa looked like we were scaling 50000 ft.

The Drukpa lineage was celebrating 800 years. So decorations and celebrations were all around!

Me admiring the insides of Hemis Gonpa. Its the biggest in the world.


We inside the gonpa. Look at us, it was so cold that our skin was completely rough and dry and chapped, we couldnt even smile! Here we looks like along with our clothes our skin was also starched hahahahha


Me with Hav. Rahul


Celebrations in all Gunpas!

You turn this clockwise its like saying the Buddhist main mantra some 180 times. Trupti is boringly religious that she kept turning each one of them, multiple times! They have written shlokas on pages and kept inside these drums. Nice idea.

They build gonpas right in the middle of mountains! No contractors or labourers, the lamas do such work themselves. Brave and strong!


Trupti posing near the "gopura" of the Gonpa. Wah wah kya pose!

In the nearby mountains they have hoisted the flags of the monastery. I found one but was not able to find out how someone climbed that high.

See Trupti stood with a big golden gopura and made me sit near a small one :( Not fair! And I'm in the corner in this photo! Not fair not fair! But see the lovely mountains behind me! Check out the surface of the mountains!

Admiring the statues inside the monastery.


Here she goes again! Turning each one of those everytime! What does she want from God?!?!?!! Well, God doesn't seem to understand that because its very hard to understand women you see.


They have a huge wall around the mountain on which the monastery is situated. the wall is called "Maane". The is made out of stones collected around Ladakh and every stone has this manuscript on it. It says "Om Maane Padma Hun", the Buddhist mantra .


They have this small temple kind of thing near the wall. This is called "Choutan". It has the ashes of the Lamas who have died serving the monastery.

The lovely backdrop of Zanskar Valley behind the lovely couple, we saw this on the way back from the Hemis Gonpa.

Next stop, Thiksey Gonpa. Its the oldest gonpa in the world.


The govt. protects it too.

Beautiful flowers and beautiful biwi. :-) I like this photo lots.


The Lamas make this flower kind of thing from butter and decorate the Buddha Statue, which is offered for pooja.




Video of the Zanskar Valley.


Please read what Dalai Lama says. Its really beautiful and if we give a thought its really very true.

The Buddha Statue was really pretty.


Also the carvings inside the monastery were terrific.


Exit gate of Thiksey Gonpa.


Thiksey Monastery from a distance.


Trupti with some sweet kids. The kids were guides for a group of foreigners. The people in Leh are very hardworking. For 6 months in winters, everything is closed - school, shops everything. So the remaining 6 months, everyone works. Yes everyone. So that enough is saved for winter.


Next we went to Shey palace.


The Shey Palace roof top.


Next we went to the shores of Indus river. This is the river on the banks of which Humans made the first city. Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilizations. The water came down from the melting ice and it was veryyyyyyyyyy cold. Feet got numb in 2 minutes. We met thes kids here. Cool they look.


Superb Pose Biwiiiiiiiiii !!! :-)


Shanti Stupa above Leh city. This was made by the Buddhists from Japan. There is nothing much to see but the view from top is really great.


Me and Hav Rahul.


Look at me. I was all red due to extreme cold weather and Trupti was making fun of me and cracking jokes about me :/ "See your cheeks, nose tip all red" she kept saying and laughing. Then she took this picture and laughed some more. I didnt find it funny, and neither it was in the same zip code as funny. (Don't ask what the last sentence means, my biwi keeps saying that. Women!!!)


Suggestions:
  • If you have to go to Ladakh please split all these into two days.
  • Please have the first two days for acclimatizing. We were dead tired at the end of the day.
Next post, Day 3. Read this before reading the next post.

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