Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ladhak - Day 5 - Nubra - Sumur

The taxi association in Diskit asked for too much – in return for a trip to Sumur and Diskit Gompa. I l refused and lingered for a while trying to convince myself to visit the Diskit Gompa during sundown and return to my Hundar guest house and do away with Sumur.

While I was thinking thus, some driver came to me and offered to take me to Sumur at a cheaper rate for a one way trip. I would have to come back on my own. I jumped into the SUV and we were flying again.

After a really scenic drive, we reached Sumur. The name ‘Sumur’ means ‘3 rivers’ and probably refers to the confluence of Nubra and Shyok rivers close by. Sumur is a pleasant village with leafy valleys. There is a crowded cross road in the middle of the village with shops and eateries. The first thing we did was have lunch.

And then we drove to the Gompa that was situated at a higher altitude. The drive was most scenic. And then we reached the entrance of the gompa.

The village is famous for Samstangling Gompa, Nubra’s largest monastery. A 45 minute walk from Sumur, it is home to over 100 lamas. It was established in 1841. The gompa has been extensively renovated and doesn’t now have that ruinous ancient look that so charm visitors. The monastery compound is spruce and tidy and the main building, though built in traditional architectural style with intricately carved lattice rabsaal windows, seems rather too gleaming.

We entered a chamber on the first floor that was the place of stay of The Dalai Lama whenever he visited Sumur. It looked very rich, very special and very well maintained.

These beautiful, dainty, delicate statues of Tara Devi are arranged in neat rows is the most attractive feature of any chamber that it adorns.

This is where the Dalai Lama meets and greets people

Another Tara Devi…

As I stand at the entrance of the Gompa, I wonder whether the inside is more beautiful or the outside.

These perhaps are the special windows.

We entered another chamber adjacent to the main Dukhang.

The same picture from a different angle. The colours used for the exteriors are bright and rich unlike most of the other Gompas. This must be due to the extensive renovation. This gompa look more grand than any I have seen.

Some rose shrubs on our way back…


Pramshanks said...

What a collection of pictures! You could start a picture postcard business, or even publish a book!

Sowmya said...

Thanks Pramod :)