A Travellerspoint blog

Hemis Monastery..the last post !!

Situated around 45 km south of Leh, the Hemis Monastery is the most important monastery belonging to the Drupka order. The history of the monastery states that it was founded by Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso in 1630.

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Inside
The courtyard is entered from the northeast side. The stone steps in the right of the main courtyard leads upto two huge temples - the Tshogs-khang and the Dukhang The walls are adorned with paintings of Sakyamuni or the Historical Buddha. Paintings of other Buddha figures and Tantric deities like Hevajra and Samvara are also seen on the walls of the Du-khang.

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Festivals
An annual festival to celebrate the victory of Guru Padmasmbhava over the evil forces marks the highlight of the monastery. The festival, known as the Hemis festival, is celebrated on the tenth and eleventh day of fifth Tibetan month as the birthday of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, masked dances are performed with themes that invariably show a fight against evil and infidel and consequent win of good and Buddhism.

Once every twelve year, a special attractions draws Buddhist pilgrims to the monastery - the unfurling of the giant thanka which is decorated with pearls and other precious stones.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:05 Archived in India Tagged landscapes lakes art buildings india fort city la buddha monastery hemis ladakh stupa leh budhhism khardungla Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part X...Thiksey Monastery or Gompa

Thiksay Gompa or Thiksay Monastery is a gompa (monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey village, approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh, India. It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh, notably containing a separate set of buildings for female renunciates that has been the source of significant recent building and reorganisation.

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The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus Valley. It is a twelve-story complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the MaitreyaTemple installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970; it contains a 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two stories of the building.

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Inside
Steps on the right side in the main courtyard leads to the new temple that houses a huge statue of Buddha. The statue was built at the behest of His Highness, the Holy Dalai Lama, when he visited the monastery in 1980. The staue, 15 m tall, is the largest Buddha figure in the Ladakh and took around four years to build. Local craftsmen used clay and gold paint to make this image of Maitreya Buddha or the Future Buddha. Directly above this temple, there is a small room where lamas impart education to local boys. Some of these boys are later chosen to become lama

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Coming back to the main courtyard, the steps directly across the new temple will lead upto a wall with murals of two Tibetan calander with Wheel of Life. To the right of this wall is the main prayer room consisting of many handwritten and painted books. A small room right behind the main prayer room houses a huge image of Shakyamuni (the historical Buddha). Two smaller image of Bodhisattava are placed on its side. To the left side is the eleven headed Avalokitesvara. The Lamokhang temple on the rooftop is the place where only males are allowed to enter. The Thiksey library, a repository of numerous volumes, including Kangyur and Stangyur, is also on the top. Currently, the monastery, home to around 80 monks, is the main monastery for atleast ten other significant monasteries of Ladakh. Prominent amongst these are Diskit, Spituk, Likir, and Stok.

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Festival
The annual festival of Thiksey is celebrated in the 9th month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. The festival is marked by the famous as well as sacred mask dance or Chham.

VIEW FROM THE AIR !!

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Posted by anuj1975 07:32 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains churches buildings temples places india beautiful hill buddha monastery tourism ladakh leh gompa budhhism thiksey thikshay Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part XI....CITY !!

Leh city , Leh Palace , Shanti Stupa

Leh , was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh district. The town is dominated by the ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace-the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Leh is at an altitude of 3524 metres (11,562 ft), and connects via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway.

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Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas. The mountain of Stok Kangri in the Zanskar mountain range is visible across the Indus valley to the south, with the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace to the north.The Palace Museum holds a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. Chinese thangka or sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old, with intricate designs, retain bright and pleasing colours derived from crushed and powdered gems and stones.

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Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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Posted by anuj1975 07:28 Archived in India Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains buildings people children sky night places india fort city summer beautiful hill buddha tourism ladakh stupa leh shanti budhhism Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part X....Summers....

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Posted by anuj1975 06:49 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains buildings skylines people birds sky night places india world summer beautiful hill buddha ladakh leh budhhism Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part IX....Khardung La "Pass"

Khardung La

Khardung Pass, la means pass in Tibetan is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the India. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m (17,582 ft) and it is the world's highest motorable pass.

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The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.

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Posted by anuj1975 06:45 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes mountains skylines sky snow places india world beautiful hill la buddha road tourism pass ladakh leh budhhism khardungla highec Comments (1)

The Beautiful Leh..Part VIII..Confluence of Indus & Zanskar

And Magnetic Hill....

The confluence of the Zanskar River and the Indus is 3 km southeast of Nimmu village in Ladakh.This place is the meeting point of two rivers Indus & Zanskar. This place is famous for water activities....

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Magnet Hill is a so-called "gravity hill" located near Leh in Ladakh, India.The “magnet Hill” is located on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar national highway, about 30 km from Leh, at a height of 11,000 feet above sea level. The magnetic hill has become a popular stop for domestic tourists on car journeys..

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Posted by anuj1975 05:43 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes mountains lakes sky snow night places india hill buddha road tourism ladakh leh magnetic zanskar kargil budhhism indus Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part VII..Pangong Tso Lake....

Pangong Tso , Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is a lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. It is not part of Indus river basin area and geographically a separate land locked river basin.
The brackish water of the lake has very low micro-vegetation. Guides report that there are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. On the other hand, visitors see numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake.

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Posted by anuj1975 07:26 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes skylines animals sky snow places india beautiful la buddha road tourism ladakh leh kargil budhhism pangong tso Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh...Part - VI...On way to Pangong Tso lake

Chang La Pass and area around !!

The Chang La (el. 5,360 m or 17,590 ft) is a high mountain pass in Ladakh, India. It is the second highest motorable road in the world. Chang La is approached from Leh via kharu and sekti village by a black top road. The climb is very steep and requires a careful drive. The descent from Chang La towards Tangtse or Darbuk is again very steep. The place is a must go for nature lovers.

The Chang La is on the route to Pangong Lake from Leh. The name literally means "Pass towards the South" or "Pass in the South" (Chang = south, La = Pass).

This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. The Changla Pass is the main gateway for the Changthang Plateau situated in the Himalayas. The pass is located on the 134 km-long (83 mi) road between the Pangong Lake and Leh.

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Posted by anuj1975 07:04 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains lakes skylines people snow places india beautiful la buddha road chang tourism ladakh leh budhhism pangong tso Comments (2)

The Beautiful Leh...Part - IV...20-20 cricket tournament !!

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Posted by anuj1975 10:36 Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part - V...winters with fresh snowfall!

Leh has a cold desert climate with long, harsh winters from October to early March, with minimum temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine and warm during the day. Average annual rainfall is only 102 mm (4.02 inches). The temperature can range from -42 °C (-43.6 °F) in winter to 33 °C (91.4 °F) in summer.

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Posted by anuj1975 10:22 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes mountains buildings trees snow places india beautiful buddha road tourism ladakh leh kargil budhhism Comments (0)

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