Ladakh day 4: Monasteries and Palaces

3 July 2011

An important factor to consider in Ladakh trip is about acclimatization. Leh is at an altitude of about 10,000ft. With the weather being dry, people would suffer from high altitude sickness. This is especially true for people arriving on flight. Simple way to avoid this is to take rest for a day or two in Leh before proceeding to even higher altitudes. I have seen people ruining their trip by trying to rush to various spots before acclimatizing themselves to high altitude.

View from Thiksey Monastery

We had decided to spend the day by visiting nearby places. Our travel agent arrived at 10AM. He had arranged a Scorpio with a driver for our travel. Namgyal was our driver who would be our companion for next six days. We departed from guest house without much delay. Leh town looked calm and beautiful. The last year floods had hit Leh badly and traces were still visible at some places.

The green and the brown!!
Hemis Monastery (50km from Leh) was the first place of visit. It is the most famous and hyped Monastery in Ladakh. 
Prayer wheels at Hemis Monastery
The monasteries in Ladakh look nice from outside. But all of them look similar inside. I feel that my limited knowledge on Buddhism is to be blamed. Guides are hard to find which makes the visit just a ceremonial.

Thiksey monastery was the most attractive of all monasteries that we visited on that day. The lunch served in the restaurant opposite to the monastery was great!!

Stakna monastery as seen from the road.

A telephoto shot of Matho monastery.

We also visited Shey Palace which had a huge Buddha inside.

The King now stays at Stok Palace which is bit interior from the main road.

By 5PM, we were back in Leh. We had a round of discussion with travel agent about our next plans. The permits required to visit the places were ready. Satisfied, we set out to do some last minute purchasing of essential items in Leh. We would be returning back only after five days!!

Thiksey Monastery

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