28 Nov 2011

Pictures and Memories : The Ladakh Journey - II

It is common to find streamers of prayer flags strung across peaks and mountain passes all over Ladakh (and other hill-tracts of India having significant Buddhist populations). View of fluttering streamers spanning hillocks next to the Royal Palace In Leh
The Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist chorten on a hilltop at Chanspa adjacent to Leh town. The stupa dedicated to world peace was built by the Japanese monk Gyomyo Nakamura in 1991 and consecrated by HH the 14th Dalai Lama. A walk around the stupa offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the terrain around Leh. Restoration was underway when we visited the stupa
Close-up of Shakyamuni mural at the Shanti Stupa, highlighting Japanese inscriptions
Detail of boddhisatva mural at the stupa
Maintenance and restoration was underway at the Shanti Stupa when we visited
We met this venerable Lama as we climbed up the steep stairs to the Hemis monastery
Devotee prays turning the prayer wheel during the festival at Hemis monastery

Lamas of all ages were in attendance at Hemis
Shtakna gompa (monastery) of the Drukpa sect stands on a hillock on the bank of the river Indus, about 25 km from Leh. Established in the 16th century by a Bhutanese monk and scholar, the word Shtakna means “tiger’s nose”
The Thiksey gompa of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhists, is said to resemble the Potala Palace, the original seat of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa. Located about 19km east of Leh at an altitude of above 11,000ft, this gompa is a 12-storied complex housing precious Buddhist religious artifacts.