The mountains paths, passes & Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh & Zanskar, northern India.
This year, 2020, because of Coronavirus we won't be able to go trekking or see our friends but this blog brings together all our previous blogs about Ladakh and Zanskar.
Most recent blogs at the top of the page.
Coronavirus, Zanskar and Copper - What's the Blog Story? You probably need to read this to make sense of it. A clue is that the name Zanskar means Copper Mountain, Coronavirus only survives a short time on copper and Zanskaris regard copper utensils as being very hygienic.
Trekking in Ladakh. and Ladakh, Goats, Cashmere, the Changtang and Modi. In 2019 stayed with Tsering Dolma's family on the outskirts of Leh. We were able to get permits for the far eastern region of Ladakh, very close to the Tibetan border at Hanle, the site of the Indian astronomical observatory. I plan to write a follow up to this and the next blog with more details and photos.
Chomotang, Getting High in Ladakh | Trekking in Ladakh. Ten years earlier our guide Stanzin had pointed out the snow peaks of Chomotang. At about 5600m this is the highest we've been in Ladakh. Threatening weather just keeps it's distance, the views are spectacular.
Trekking in Ladakh - Kanji to Chomotang. We couldn't find ponies for our planned trek to Zanskar so we change our plans and go instead to Kanji for a trek to the snow peaks of Chomotang. Always happy to being among the lovely houses of Kanji village!
Buddha Statues in Ladakh - Lamayuru & Attetse Monasteries. After Tso Moriri we head back to Leh and then west along the Indus river to the monasteries of Lamayuru and Attetse. We've been to Lamayuru before but Attetse was a revelation. Both contain beautiful statues of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas.
Tso Moriri and Korzok | Travel in Ladakh. Continuing the spectacular journey to the beautiful lake of Tso Moriri. We arrive at the lakeside village of Korzok the day after the cremation of the Korzok Rinpoche and join the Changtang nomads in the commemoration at the gompa.
Salt Lakes of Ladakh. With our friend Tsering Dolma we drive south east from Leh into the southern Chnangtang and the salt lakes of Tso Kar and Tso Moriri. Overnight at the village of Thugde on the shore of Tso Kar.
Journey to Ladakh In 2018 we returned to Ladakh and this first entry includes some aerial photos as we come in to land at Leh prior to driving to Tao Moriri with our friend also called Tsering, Tsering Dolma.
First Days back in Leh - the Gomang Stupa continues with our first few days back in Leh and a visit to the Gomang stupa, hidden away in the old village of Changspa.
Ladakh: Kanji to Hanupatta over the Yogma La continues with a hard day's trek over the 4700m Yogma La. Spectacular landscapes, deteriorating weather and an emergency campsite.
Buddha Statues at Kanji, Ladakh. Kanji is one of our favourite villages, full of interesting old houses, and one reason for this unusual route. We have a well earned rest day, walk round the village and take this photo of the old - and very small - temple with a central statue of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Trekking in Ladakh, from Gyal to Kanji and Trekking in Ladakh, over the Timti La to Kanji continue the trek over the Sarbatan La and the Timti La. The Timti La was far more challenging than expected and a huge rockfall had blocked the valley. We staggered into Kanji after a 12 hour trek on a moonless night with only the light from 3 iPhones.
Silk Road from Leh towards Kargil and Gyal covers the start of our 2017 trek on little used paths between Gyal and Hanupatta via Kanji. We come across an amazing unmarked cliff face monastery at Gyal but before that we have a chance encounter with our friend Tsering Dolkar who's taking some school kids on a weekend retreat.
The Silk Road: Pangong Tso and the Changtang. Pangong Tso is one of the great lakes of eastern Ladakh straddling the border with Tibet; the Changtang is the huge high altitude plateau of that region. We'd previously attempted to cycle there in 2010, somewhat curtailed when I fell off my bike. The blog includes photos of the beautiful landscape around Pangong Tso.
The Silk Road - 12th Century Buddhist Art continues with some history of Ladakh and travels down the Indus valley to the ancient Buddhist sites of the painted caves of Saspol and the little visited Vairocana chapel at Mangyu, probably created by the same Kashmiri artists who built nearby Alchi.
Return to the Silk Road was written in 2017 and is a general description of Leh, the main town of Ladakh, it's relation to the Silk Road, and some of the outlying areas along the Indus river including the Dha Hanu villages, Kargil and the Nubra valley, where this photo was taken.
Karsha Monastery, Zanskar | Trekking in Ladakh. Karsha is the largest monastery in Zanskar and we've been there on three occasions. This blog is mostly concerned with our first visit in 2008 when we saw the rehearsals for the masked dance festival but it also contains our most popular photo - of Karsha monastery and the mountains across the Zanskar valley.
Trekking in Ladakh and Zanskar was written after our spectacular 2016 trek from Zanskar to Phuktal, sTongde, Nierak & Hanupatta and is a reflection on life and change in this remote area. The photos include the Dalai Lama, who was giving a teaching, spectacular landscapes and our friends from previous treks including Tsering Dolkar and her in-laws in Hanupatta.
Cashmere Shawls and Himalayan Goats refers to trekking in Spiti and Nepal as well as Ladakh. The photos are mostly from a 2010 trek behind the Stok mountains in Ladakh. This was the year that a cloudburst caused devastation in Leh and many of the mountain trails and led to the terrible floods in Pakistan downstream of the Indus river that flows through Ladakh. The goats were at Hanupatta in 2008.
Images of the Buddha in the Himalaya 1 describes part of our 12 day trek through Karnak in southern Ladakh in 2007. One of our most popular photos "Ponies Descending from the Zarlung Karpo La" is from that trek.
Images of the Buddha in the Himalaya 2 continues the account of that trek.