In the last 2 days of Sham Trek, we plan to go through two unique villages - Temisgam and Tar. Temisgam is touched by modern facilities like wifi and on contrary Tar started getting electricity a few year ago. Stanzin also mentioned that these villages are closely surrounded by mountain peaks and hence, there are good chances of spotting wildlife.
We started our climb to cross the first pass. First we spotted a mountain hare, which went as far as it could from us.
After some time we reached the starting point of this pass which looked beautiful with the prayer flags.
From a distance, the mountain to be crossed looked like a painting of nature.
Initial part of the road had blasting debris(as roads were being constructed from Hemis to Temisgam) and we wanted to cross it quickly.
The view of the mountains on the other side was so grand that it left a feeling of both fear and pure joy. Until i saw this place i could never imagine the existence of such a place.
Soon after, i spotted a group of young Ibex near the top of the hill. The Ibex is a master climber and ofter run on near vertical cliffs to get away from predators. The young ones are super comfortable on the cliffs and are trying to find their food.
Then we realized that it is a large group with some 7-8 young Ibex.
After reaching the top of the mountain, Stanzin discovered that the prayer flags were broken. He immediately started fixing it. There is so much to learn from the attitude of people here. They genuinly care about every thing around them and i guess that makes them happy of everything that they do. So these people are simply happy without much of electronics and product cravings.
The flags were now flying high above the mountain and looked like a place that has healing powers.
We now climbed down through the mountains and the setting sun made the land glow.
Before reaching Temisgam, we went through the village named "Ang". A picteresque village and straight out of a dream.
On our way down a school bus gave us a lift to Temisgam.
After staying at Mr Namgyal's place, next morning we planned to visit the hidden water tunnel that was discovered recently.
The tunnel was discovered by a local who was digging the place for a different reason. Looking at the shine from the water below, he initially thought it was precious and dug deeper to finally find the water tunnel. It seems the tunnel was used in the past as a water reserve during winter. The water in winter was warm and Stanzin told me it's cold during summer. Amazing natural storage.
The tunnel is right at the foot of Temisgam monastery. The current Monastery replaced the ancient palace that stood there.
The monastery inside the palace is ancient and has beautiful wooden architecture and wall paintings.
The view from the top was amazing.
After the monastery, we headed towards the village of Tar. This village can only be accessed by foot and seems like walking through canyon.
Before we reach the canyon, we cross the river Indus through a foot bridge and the entire walk was beautiful.
The road later is narrow and there are chances of falling rocks.
Walking through the rocks i realised that this was one of the coldest places i have been to. This created beautiful ice formations along the way.
Hospitality at Tar was unparalled and i would not hesitate to say that the food was the best of all meals i had during my stay.
We left Tar the next morning and visited Alchi Monastery on the way, before returning to Likir. The Ancient architecture of the monastery is still preserved and you are not allowed to take photos inside.
After returning to Likir in the evening, it felt like i came back home. I stayed at Stanzin's place for the rest of my stay in Ladakh. During the next few days, Stanzin gave me some flavor of rock climbing and the first snowfall of Likir happened the day before i left. It was amazing. More on the next blog.