July 19-22, Sat-Tues, Ladakh ("Little
Our early morning flight from Delhi to the
Ladakh region in northwest India is somewhat reminiscent of our Bhutan entry.
Mountains - Himalayan, Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh peaks surround Leh, the
capital city of the region. Our descent winds down on to a vast flat
desert floor on which a hugh runway traces across the valley. The airport
and the the adjoining lands are heavily influenced by the military.
Our objective upon arrival was to spend several days
acclimating to the higher altitude, 11,500 ft, so that we would be able to trek
in the near-by mountains later in the week. Our resting place was the Hotel
Gateway to the city, Leh is the home of the Leh Palace
perched on the hillside overlooking the town. It resembles the Potala
Palace in Lhasa and was build around the same time in the 16th Century.
Above it is the Tsemo Fort viewed from the polo field in town.
Below is Sankar Monastery which is a modern compound related
to Spituk Gompa.
Our first local outing was to the Phyang
Monastery, 10 miles west of Leh, situated on a hill in the 16th century and home
to ~50 monks of Dregungpa order.
On our return to Leh, we stopped off at the Spituk Gompa.
Thiksey Gompa, the grand dame of the Ladakh monasteries
Shey Palace, built in the 17th C, is situated within the
ruins of the Shey Fort. The 7.3 meter copper statute of Lord Buddha
reaches 3 stories.
Chosen's family home
Road Construction Ladakh style