Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 7 - Westwards - Alchi

6th July 2010

From Likir we headed to Alchi, further west.

Every now and then, we were slowed down by road construction works. Followed by perfect military maintained roads.
Burgundy deserts followed by patches of lush fields swaying back and forth.
A ripe old woman selling tender peas.
I bought a box of them. These were the sweetest of peas i had ever had in my life.
Miles and miles of no man’s land followed by Ladakh Kraftz Emporium. Selling jewellery and Buddhist standards – Vajras, thangkas and all.
An open air restaurant where we had lunch.

And then the Alchi monastery. Sited on flat ground ad not perched on hill tops.
12th century shrines.
Most magnificent murals in all Ladakh.
No China-Tibet influence, but Buddhist northern India, particular Kashmir that disappeared without trace following Muslim conquest and depredations.
Alchi – a chance survival. A collection of many closely packed treasures within dark small inconspicuous enclosures.
Photography not allowed. Disappointing, but when you see the precarious condition of the insides – the statues in niches as well as the murals, you know that they are really really frail.

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