Friday, February 12, 2010

Ladakh - Day 4 - Gompa At Hundar

Fortunately for hungry souls like me that can never have enough of natural beauty, sun sets quite late in Ladakh. I set out to explore Hundar. There was this small boy, a teenaged helper working in the hotel who became my tour guide. And we set out.

We first visited the Gompa.

The village Gompa is a modest 2-storied structure with a giant Mongoloid featured statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha, dominating the Dukhang. A thousand armed Avalokiteshwara, the Buddha of compassion, stands in one corner. The walls of the dukhang are embellished by murals . ‘Hundar’ means old village and though it is now surpassed in size by Diskit and other settlements, it once was the region’s largest place.

After the Gompa, we came out and the boy told me there was nothing else left. There was this huge mountain rocky behind us on which were three or four small gompas, at different heights, not visited by tourists as it required climbing the mountain on a narrow trail.

I decided to climb. If nothing else, I would get superb views of the landscape from such height. The boy agreed. The trail was covered with crushed, broken, powdered rock that was slipping away from under my feet as I clambered up.

We covered all the Gompas except the last one right on the top. The views were indeed splendid. We walked down with a sense of achievement. The boy originally from Assam, worked here during the season, that is, summer and worked in Goa when it was season there. Lucky, I thought. Does he think the same? Perhaps not.

We decided to take a different route to the guest house. We walked in the wrong direction for more than a kilometre (I was clicking away to glory) and then we returned.

Note : there’s no electricity between 10 or 11 in the morning till 7 in the evening. Again at 11 in the night, there is no power. I had to recharge the camera battery for the next day’s clicking!

After bath, I walked to the kitchen where dinner was waiting.
A small wooden table with carvings on it, food spread out, Roti, Dal, vegetable and rice. The lady of the house dining with me. And the boy clicked a picture.

One of the most fulfilling days of my life.


Rishi said...

I mentioned about Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia. Its basically a travelogue where the Author talks about the cultural history gathered during the travel upstream.

It will interest you a lot.


Pramshanks said...

Allowing the mountains to speak to you... letting your senses be awakened to the wind and the quiteude of the elements... i wish I will be able to do it sometime as well. Envy you, friend.