Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ladakh diaries - Day#5

Buddhist monasteries are most peaceful. Most are secluded and away from all the noise. Then, they are perched high up on mountains or hills and the roads are often not motorable  beyond a point. And thirdly, most monasteries actually look like houses. With few rooms, small windows that look out to breathtaking scenery since they are all mostly perched high up.

I started off by visiting the Hemis Gompa, one of Ladakh's largest monasteries. It's located on the Leh - Manali highway. The stupas were nicely decorated with colourful cloth and precious stones and thangkhas brought from many places, including Tibet.

Next stop was Thicksey Gompa. This is a very majestic looking monastery; an entire township is set on a hillock with the monastery at the very top. The township are actually housing quarters for the monks.

Last stop was the Shey Palace that was built in 1645 and considered the summer residence for the kings of Ladakh. The palace is in ruins now but the monastery is open for public.

For a change, i was back at the hotel by about 3 pm.

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