Buddha Statues at Kanji, Ladakh

Buddha Statues Himalaya Kanji Ladakh This Land Travel Diary Trekking in Ladakh

The photogenic village of Kanji



Revisiting Kanji is one of the reasons we are trekking this particular route - we arrived here four years ago at the end of a long trek from Zanskar and I've always wanted to return. Kanji sits under a steep hill at the confluence of three valleys and the head of a canyon that runs north to the main Leh to Kargil Road. This canyon now has a drivable road - Kanji's connection with the outside world -the same road that our taxi drove last night at the end of our long trek over the Timti La.
Kanji Village, Ladakh
Kanji Village, Ladkh
Our camp is by the tea house near the river, the village is above us, sprawling over several low hills. The tea house also functions as the social focal point for the village, last time we were here there was a festival of dance and music - and drinking - right by our tents. The newer building on the slope beneath the hill is the new gompa, monastery; below it are the newer houses in the village. The older parts of the village contain crumbling old stupas and some precarious houses among narrow lanes.
In the morning I'm delighted to find that my boots have arrived, the rough tracks of the last three days have knocked the stuffing out of my shoes. Newly booted up we walk around the village.
Front Half of Donkey, Kanji Village, Ladakh
Back Half of Donkey, Kanji Village, Ladakh
Donkey Saddles, Kanji Village, Ladakh
Bike without Saddle, Kanji Village, LadakhKanji is a typical Tibetan style village with stupas and flat roofs. In 2012 we met the daughter of the village Amchi, the traditional doctor, and had arranged to go to his house. Unfortunately we never got to see the inside of his house and dispensary with it's numerous jars of herbal remedies but the house itself is the best looking house in the village.
The Amchi's House, Kanji Village, Ladakh
Beautiful old Jharoka, Balcony, Kanji, Ladakh
Narrow Lanes of Old Kanji, Ladakh
Kanji, Ladakh
Stupas under the cliffside, Kanji, Ladakh
The old gompa is tiny but had some restoration work done by the Alchi Society and houses three decent statues and a couple of good mandalas on the walls. We meet the same lady key holder as last time and we bend double to enter the small shrine room.Tsuglag-khang gompa at Kanji
Lady with the Keys, Kanji, 2012
Lady with the Keys, Kanji, 2017
Inside the gompa there is a Medicine Buddha and unusual variations of Avalokiteshvara and Green Tara. There are two mandalas in good condition painted on the walls.Medice Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and Tara, Kanji gompa, Ladakh
Avalokiteshvara, kanji, Ladakh
Medicine Buddha, Kanji, Ladakh
Green Tara, Kanji, Ladakh
Shrine offering, Kanji, Ladakh
Mandala, Kanji, Ladakh
Buddha Mandala, Kanji, Ladakh
It's harvest time at Kanji and most people are working in the fields, the village is quiet. This woman's new house is beside the path that leads to the Kanji La, a high and difficult pass that leads to Rangdum gompa and is also a route to Zanskar.
Harvest Time, Kanji, LadakhWoman with new house, Kanji, Ladakh
An old gateway stupa has remnants of old painting on the inside of the roof, another stupa is protected by a poplar and willow roof, there are painted mani stones and at the side of another stupa there are piles of tso-tso, small clay mini stupas made to contain the ashes of those who've passed on.Inside the Gateway Stupa, Kanji, Ladakh
Covered Stupa, Kanji, Ladakh
Stupas, Kanji, Ladakh
Mani Stone, Kanji, Ladakh
Tso tso, Kanji, Ladakh
We don't plan to stay here tonight but last time there was wonderful light at the end of the afternoon and a beautiful moon over the hills.
Bev created an artwork on a hill by the new gompa. "This Land" is a evocation of this wonderful landscape, a piece of work made from the dust and grit of the hills, impermanent, to be quickly eroded by wind, rain and footsteps. She made a similar piece on a pass near Yulchung, above the Zanskar river and also at Mt Kailash in 2014.
Late Afternoon looking towards the Kanji La, Kanji, Ladakh
Moon, Sky, Kanji, Ladakh
Bev Stout, This Land 1, Kanji, Ladakh
Bev Stout, This Land 2, Kanji, Ladakh

Bev Stout, This Land 4, Kanji, LadakhMy memory is that there's only a short walk to a delightful camping area up the valley towards our next pass. Camping there tonight will shorten the following day. We break camp in the early afternoon.

Read more about Buddhist monasteries and trekking in Ladakh and Zanskar.

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