Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people

Tripoto
24th Jan 2018
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

After completing the Sham trek through 8 days, we came back to Likir. It was like coming back home. I felt relaxed and wanted to spend the last 4 days at Likir.

I have plans to visit Leh palace, Likir Monastery and the nearby hills before i left for Delhi.

The evening was spent celebrating the trek and Stanzin got Rum from his friend. We drank till death.

We left for Leh in the morning and discovered that there was a communal problem and the town was shut down till evening at least. To my surprise the Leh Palace was open to tourist and i went towards the palace. On the way i borrowed cigarettes from locals who shared gladly as there were no open shops.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 1/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 2/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 3/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 4/21 by Soumik Neogi

After reaching the palace, i realized that the palace was there for me to explore alone. No one to stop or disturb.

Most of the palace is closed apart from the photography exhibition on different floors. I headed towards the first floor.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 5/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 6/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 7/21 by Soumik Neogi

There were many rare photos on this floor, showing the different significant events in black and white.

One particular photo caught my attention. This is a photograph of a Tibetan traveller and it said that - People used to primarily walk on foot in Tibet. The concept of wheel was only restricted to prayer wheel. They believed that use of other forms of wheel will eventually destroy their culture.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 8/21 by Soumik Neogi

Another exhibition had photos from places where we are not allowed to record as it might destroy the ancient art. One such example is the photo of wall paintings from Alchi monastery.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 9/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 10/21 by Soumik Neogi
Wall paintings from Alchi Monastery
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 11/21 by Soumik Neogi
Wall paintings from Alchi Monastery

Then i browsed through the other parts of the Palace, which included the ancient prayer hall.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 12/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 13/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 14/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 15/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 16/21 by Soumik Neogi

On the way down from the palace, i saw the old city that was built centuries ago and many heritage buildings.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 17/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 18/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 19/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 20/21 by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people 21/21 by Soumik Neogi
Day 2

The next day i practically did nothing and rested most of the time, apart from taking a stroll nearby and capturing the beautiful evening.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Day 3

Stanzin's father has been building a house for himself and was nearing completion. Here you do not get a lot of service to complete your personal work and people mostly build their own house.

We decided to pay a visit to the newly made house and appreciate the view. The morning was beautiful.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Since my arrival at Likir, i have crossed the monastery multiple times but never visited. This time we made it a point to visit the monastery. Likir monastery is the most important monastery in the Western region and holds the seat to esteemed leaders of Buddhism.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

After visiting the monastery, Stanzin took me to a nearby hill which was perfect for experiencing basic rock climbing. It felt good to take some risks and reach the top.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

The day ended with a beautiful sunset.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Day 4

The day of my departure from Likir has arrived. The morning was gloomy and the sun could not be seen. The stage was set for the first snowfall of Likir and i was so happy to have witnessed it.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Nurboo(Stanzin's elder son) was super excited and played with the snow for a while before leaving for school.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

Leaving this place was difficult, which has been such a beautiful refuge since so many days. Left with the promise to visit again soon.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

As i was saying goodbye to his family, Stanzin presented me with a beautiful gift. A white silk scarf, which is a symbol of great love and respect in local culture. It was one of the most heart warming experience i had in the entire trip.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

It is customary to vist the monastery before a journey, so we visited the monastery for the last time before leaving for Leh.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

The road was beautiful after snowfall.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

The road to Leh has unbelievably vast expanses and is a treat to the soul.

Confluence of Indus & Zanskar

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

Kashmir University

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

The cafe's and streets of Leh were interesting, though we had little time to explore a lot.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi

While flying back i ensured that i get a window seat to experience the grand view of the mountains from the top and it was a sight unlike anything i have ever seen.

Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Western Ladakh in early winters - The warmth of Ladakhi people by Soumik Neogi
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