Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 2 - Stok

1st July 2010

After Thikse, I think we drove up to Sheh – literally up because the Sheh palace was situated on an elevated plane – a mound – and there was a sort of path leading up to it.
My parents did not get down the car. I remember going up and taking a few pictures of the scenic stretch of grassland below. The grass was different shades at different places and I tried my best to capture that. There was some water here in small pools here and there and from that distance it looked good.
After that there are two pictures of the Stok Kangri – meaning Stok peak or summit?
We reached the palace – this, I believe is where the king of Ladhak now lives at present, removed for a few generations from the Leh palace which is in ruins.

From the restaurant on a lower terrace, I climbed on to a projecting roof that was level with the terrace, taking pictures and walked all over those stones with engravings on them until someone shouted they were sacred, get off! And then I walked back.

This must be one of the best located restaurants in the world. The view from here is panoramic and you see the endlessly stretching spaces, and poplars and whole mountains base to peak from above. There is no sound except that of the breeze. There is a sprinkling of toy like buildings far far away. This is Ladhak in a nutshell.
You could spend the whole day here, sipping some tea or having a bite of that and keep looking at that grand picture, wishing you had a thousand eyes. And a camera that could capture it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 2 - Thikse

1st July 2010

Closely packed neat blocks of dwellings around a monastery – all painted towards a common colour theme – perched on top of a hill – a very pretty sight.

When we reached, service was still going on at the monastery and I rushed my parents towards the hall.
After the service my tired parents and I sat in places that offered a panoramic view of the endless surroundings that stretched forever.

The new discovery this time (among others) was a rooftop, from where we saw a nice patchwork of green fields below. I remember father clearly saying, ‘it was beautiful’.
Since his admissions are such a rarity, they are redeeming, when they come.

After this, they were tired and before I could realize, they were already descending their way towards the car park. I ran to them and urged them to return to see the tall, 2 floor spanning, intricately decked Buddha statue which was the main attraction of the place.

Very reluctantly they did. And when they saw how grand it was, they said so and I sighed with relief.