Monks at Rangdum | Zanskar | Photos of Ladakh
A photo of a group of monks at Rangdum Monastery in the Suru valley of Ladakh.
Rangdum is one of the most atmospheric monasteries in Zanskar, Ladakh. It is also one of the poorest. You may feel that you've arrived at some ancient monastery in a remote part of Tibet. It is situated on a small hill in an open plain, surrounded by mountains at the southern end of the Suru valley. Cold air pours down from the glaciers of Kashmir; Rangdum is always cold and life is very hard.
There is an unusual tradition in that when the women of the local villages die, they leave their jewellery to the monks who may offer them for you to buy.
This photo was taken on our third visit. I always find it hard to leave here and on our last visit I think we were saying goodbye to Dhundup Dorje for the last time. He was unwell, maybe a stroke, on our first visit; eight years later he was confined to his cell but still delighted to have a visitor. I'd brought a photo of him from our last visit which he placed on a shelf by his shrine. I left him some warm socks and rupees for medicine; our guide Stanzin (with shades in the photo) acted as interpreter.
A guide to approx sizes
A3: paper size 42x29.7cm, image size 40x28cm
A2: paper size 59.4x42cm, image size 57x40cm
70x50cm paper size, image size 68x48cm
Photo by Silk Road Gallery director Peter Bennion, 2012.