11 Oct 2011

Pictures and Memories : The Ladakh Journey - I

A couple of airtight boxes have been lying in the cupboard for sometime, loaded with colour transparencies (Fuji Velvia was my favourite film stock for TPs, as we used to call them) - treasures from a couple of decades of sporadic photography. Not to mention the additional shoe boxes packed with colour and B&W film negatives in polyester sleeves. 
Over the years I have been dispassionate enough not to devote time to catalogue and scan the TPs to the digital age and offering a new lease of life. Today I have resolved to spend a couple of hours every day to begin organizing my digital photographs of more recent vintage. I began with the most recent photographs…

Here are some memories of my first trip to Ladakh during July this year, by road through Srinagar - Kargil - Leh - Nubra - Pangong - Tso Moriri - Tso Kar - Jispa - Manali - Delhi. 

Frame #1 – The Black Pavilion in the Shalimar Bagh near Srinagar. This sprawling Mughal terraced garden with fountains and water bodies on the bank of the Dal Lake is a popular location for family outings. Vandalized over centuries like most other historical architecture in our country, the Pavilion now stands desolate and unkempt behind steel net fencing. At a glance, the stone columns of the Pavilion bear an interesting resemblance to columns in South Indian temples.

Frame #2 – The garden built in the early 17th Century by Emperor Jahangir has gravity-driven water cascades and fountains and served as his imperial summer retreat and royal court. The Emperor and his entire court entourage are known to have travelled to Srinagar from Delhi at least a dozen times, crossing the Pir Panjal mountain ranges on the way on elephant back.
While we visited the garden in the height of summer with the holiday crowd milling around, I could only imagine how beautiful it would be on an early autumn morning.
Frame #3 – A little girl plays hide and seek with friends in the garden
Frame #4 – Summer bloom at the Nishat Bagh on the bank of Dal Lake
Frame #5 – A glacier on the Soemarg - Kargil road
Frame #6 + #7 - Couple of views on the Sonemarg - Kargil route
Frame #8 – Locals by the roadside in Drass town
Frame #9 – The windswept Fotu La (La = Mountain Pass) beyond Kargil town, where our gentle guide and chauffeur, Norbu put up a prayer flag. At about 13,500 feet, Fotu La is the highest point in the Srinagar-Leh road (National Highway - 1D) and is higher than Zoji La, which made headlines during Indo-Pak conflicts.
Frame #10 – A majestic Ladakh landscape in this wide-angle frame taken during the drive into Leh. On a straight, flat stretch of road near the “Magnetic Hill”, about 30kms from Leh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great Ladakh landscape. Keep them coming!!