Photographs of fields stakna Photographs of stakna gompa Photographs of river indus Photographs of pampas grass Photographs of poplar tree
Fields, Stakna Stakna Gompa Indus river, Stakna Pampas, Stakna Poplar, Stakna
Photographs of sand dunes Photographs of deskit gompa Photographs of shyok river Photographs of monastery mathoo Photographs of chorten
Dunes, Nubra Deskit Gompa Shyok river Mathoo Gompa Chortens, Mathoo

Ladakh : Countryside

"I thought I was alone until Bazgo's ancient retainer, in the shape of an old llama, who looked as if he may have been an original fitting, appeared at the shuffle. He motioned to the padlocked door of the temple (the only building with a roof) and wanted to know if I would like to see inside. A generous hundred rupee note provided my answer and he struggled with the padlock for a moment before sliding back the brass bolts to the door. I slipped off my boots and ducked through the low doorway into a dim interior. It was a rather sad place. Watery daylight filtered down from openings in the roof through cobwebs and dust. There were several fine statues, but their adorning fabrics were black with dust and all rather down at heel: the lack of regular worshippers quite evident. Along one wall were sagging shelves of dusty wood-bound prayer books: and it must have been many years since these were put to use. I thanked the llama and stepped back out into the bright sunlight. Perhaps enough money will be found to complete the restoration work but, as religion today plays a less central role in peoples' lives, the funding is more likely to be diverted elsewhere."

Excerpt from 'See you in Leh' the book by Alistair Baird

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