Look what I found in Ladakh

You turn a corner and see a dog sleeping in the small patch of shade. While walking down the river side, you see a beautiful arrangement of rocks that you don’t understand.

Little pleasures of travel. Little pleasures of walking down the roads of an unknown city, town or village. That unexpected sight when you turn the corner.

Here are a few pictures of things I found interesting in Ladakh.

 

Party with the locals under a tent blessed by prayer flags

After a long tiring day of travel from Leh to Pangong Lake followed by an even longer walk by the lake, we saw this little happy tent on our way to dinner. The joyful music called out to us. Locals from all age groups were dancing in a circle next to a bonfire with happy tunes I was hearing for the first time. It was cold and we were tired. But the warmth and joy shared by them took away our exhaustion. We were welcomed to join in the celebration and we danced.

While following the music and laughter, this is all we could see from a distance… prayer flags fluttering wildly in the twilight and the light below.

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Prayer flags fluttering in the twilight

 

Photographer in the frame

Two enthusiastic (annoying to the fellow travelers) photographers on the trip walking around an old monastery looking for interesting frames end up on two sides of a narrow pathway… probably trying to get the same shot.

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Photographer on the other side

Tripod being ignored by photographers trying to capture a rare green patch in the backyard of a homestay.

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The ignored tripod

Unexpected clouds and rains while passing through Changla Pass

The skies changed for us in an unexpected turn of events after spending a couple of hours on the dry roads. While passing Changla Pass, we were in for a treat.

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Mountains peeking through the cloud cover
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Through the car window
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Changla Pass

 

Thangka painting in process

While walking through the local market in Leh, we found a small workshop of a local artist making Thangka paintings. The paintings are made on cotton or silk clothes and usually depict Buddhist stories and teachings. Here’s a picture of an unfinished painting we saw in the shop.

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Thangka painting in process

Butter tea in a small tent in the middle of nowhere

On one of the journeys, we found a solitary small white tent next to the road with no one else in sight. Our driver informed us that we might get the popular local drink, butter tea, up there. We walked up and found an old lady making butter tea and a little girl playing next to her. We tried to buy some from her. She was making it for sale somewhere else and allowed us only one small cup each. We tried to strike a conversation to find out why she lives here or works here so far away from the nearest town. We didn’t understand much. For a long time afterwards, I wondered about her and her life.

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An old white tent in the middle of nowhere
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An old lady making butter tea

 

Tents near Pangong lake

Pangong Lake was my favourite part of the journey. It felt pristine. We met very few people on the way. The main beach had tents set up by locals for accommodation. The area hardly had any other hotels. We went for a walk down the lake and for a long distance, we didn’t see another soul. Suddenly came in view, these pretty white tents  adding a unique beauty to the landscape.

We saw a second set-up of pretty tents just before our touristy spot. Completing the landscape, we found a herd of sheep passing by.

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Tents by the Pangong Lake
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Tents by the Pangong Lake
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By the lake

 

Rocks stacked near lake

This was the first one I observed closely. And then I started noticing a lot more stacked rocks on the journey. I asked a few people and I searched the Internet. I am not sure I still understand the meaning behind it. Is it just a child’s play or has a special spiritual significance? I don’t know. But I was quite amused by the humble beauty of these uneven Grey and Brown rocks trying to maintain balance in the water.

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Stacked rocks near the lake
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Stacked rocks near the lake

By the road side

We were on NH1 !

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We were traveling on NH1
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A small board at the extreme edge of the roadside informed us we are on the ‘Traditional Silk route’
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A rock by the roadside claiming an apparently misquoted fact… And selling Momos at a cafe 500mtrs ahead.
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A warning sign just before a sharp curve on the road

Shantistupa Cafe

I couldn’t not take the picture of this dog chilling near the Shantistupa Cafe signboard selling Maggi and Tea.

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Shantistupa Cafe

 

One solitary plant with pretty Pink flowers in an old worn out planter calmly sitting near a huge Grey and White wall on a very touristy spot made a very interesting sight. There was something very appealing about the sharp Pink challenging the dull Grey and Brown.

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Pink and Grey

 

 

 

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