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    This was a soul searching trip that I made with my sister. We travelled as voluntary teachers and visited Leh, Stok, Lamayuru and Hanle.
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Ladakh - Our Wanderings
Life, learnings and more from there
 
This trip is what changed everything for me. It was my sister's brainwave to travel as volantary teachers in Ladakh. We had the oppourtunity to visit a number of different schools and regions where we worked with children, conversed with monks and painted walls. There is something about the atmosphere, scenery and people living in the mountains that makes them so enduring and engaging. I found a certain slowness in their day to day life, which dispereses a feeling of calm and peace. The locals radiate happy vibes and thier constant dealings with the forces of nature, both beautiful and brutal has made them live in faith and hope. This journey was about giving. Consequently about getting, getting some of the best things that the universe could throw my way!
'Julley' in Ladakhi or you could say Hello!
The best journeys are made alone.
This scene looked right out of a novel whose story could have been based in Istambul or France.
However, its the marketplace in Leh city on a dusky day.
Maslow's heirarchy or mine? Although, I would change some of the words then.
Haphazard houses.
A shot from a Majid Majidi film. Not really, these are the lanes behind the Leh market that connect various houses and shops.
This gentleman would always wave and greet us in the morning, on our way to the office.
I could never really figure out what bits and bobs he sold, or how he made a living but he always had a smile to share.
'Buri nazar wale, tera muh kaala' - at Phuntsog's house.
One of my teachers once said 'My dear, you don't buy a house, you build a home'.
An artist's canvas with overflowing paint.
Or igneous rocks that have altered over the years into serpentinite to form basaltic hillsides composed of olivine that is inter-layered with calcsilicates.
Such multicoloured rocks on the outlying hills on the way to Changthang have breathtaking gradients of yellow, brown, green and violet.
Sangam, where the rivers Zanskar and Indus meet. Its also where we did white water rafting.
This was back then, when I did not know how to swim.
Streams like these can be seen cutting across Changthang's landscape in Ladakh, to finally go on to become one with the River Indus.
Drying Area.
Sometimes even while washing clothes you could get lucky. Believe me, I got lucky all the time.
Every cloud...
Carved Mani stones lining the path leading to the monastery above in Hanle.
Lichen, lizards love it!
The view from the top, at the Hanle Monastary.
Stok Palace
The doors of the palace.
An ancient, but interesting looking lock on one of the rooms in the Stok Monastary.
The young.
The old. 
An old man from Lamayuru.
Lamayuru a small town 4 hours away from Leh.
The 'Moonlands' of Lamayuru, which are indeed gigantic and anciet chalk deposits on the hills giving them a characteristic look of the moon.
When we were teaching at the Lamayuru Monastary School, we had a visit to a fair organized by the army. A regiment called 'Chouvees' was responsible for it, and we had the oppourtunity to meet Brigadier S.S. Bakshi who invited us to stay at Tiger Hill. We had a chance to visit the other schools supported by the army in the regions of Byama, Darchik and Garkon.
The lion is always carved below the throne of a Buddha or a 'bodhisattva', it is the icon of a 'dharma' protector. This is 'His Holiness' Dalai Lama's throne at the Lasthang Monastery in Byama.
A Mandala painted on the ceiling of Phyang Monastary. Phyang is the home of Lama Konchuk Tharchin the hindi teacher at the Lamayuru Gompa School. He took us on a visit to see his village and his family.
A carved, wooden Choktse - or oblong table.
This one has an amalgamation of the 8 symbols of Buddhism in its centre.
Ornamental and heavily coloured Choktse's in the Phyang Monastery.
The 'Maitreya' Buddha at Diskit.
Prayer Wheels, you turn each one with a touch of the hand, nudging them in the clockwise direction to negate bad karma and bring in good luck.
A Prayer Wheel at the Alchi Monastery.
The painted ceiling within a stupa at Alchi.
Khar-dung-la Pass
Ironically the River Shyok - means 'grief' - while all this view does is impart a feeling of calm and awe.
It is said in the ancient times the river would change its course and cause a lot of damage to the fields and villages surrounding it, hence the name.
A marmet. We saw this particular one on the way to Pangong Lake, he was tame enough to come and take piece of a biscuit from my hand.
The Bactrian Camel with two humps, but ...er...you can see only one here.
The Himalyan Tahr's up in the heights of the mountains - this image was shot by our driver Stanzin who ran up the slopes like he did not know about gravity and got a shot of these shy creatures framed agaisnt the unbelievably blue sky.
Two more happy animals. Me and my sister Riddhi.
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