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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 - Travel
Life, Learnings and more from there.


This trip is what changed many things in my life. It was my sister's idea to travel as voluntary teachers in Ladakh. We had the opportunity to visit a number of different schools and regions where we worked with children, conversed with monks and also painted a few walls. 

There is something about the atmosphere and people that makes you connect to them at once. There pervades a type of slowness in their day to day life, which disperses a feeling of calm and peace. The locals radiate happy vibes and their constant dealings with the forces of nature, both beautiful and brutal has resulted in them in being united and trusting of each other. 

This journey was about giving and consequently about getting some of the best things that life could bring 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 NGO's 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. A good luck charm, visible outside most houses.
One of my teachers once said 'My dear, you don't buy a house, you build a home'.  Truly said.
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. Look at the view!
Every cloud...
Carved 'Mani' stones lining the path leading to the monastery above in Hanle.
Lichen, lizards love eating it!
The view from the top, at the Hanle Monastary.
Stok Palace
The doors of the Stok 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 which is four hours away from Leh city.
The 'Moonlands' of Lamayuru, which are indeed gigantic and consist of  ancient 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 as a part of their 'Sadbhavana Program'.
A regiment called 'Chouvees' was responsible for it, and we had the opportunity 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 ta good friend and 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 beautifully 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 'jugaad' 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 gravity does not apply to him.
 He got a lovely shot of these shy creatures framed against a blue sky.
Two more happy animals. Me and my sister Riddhi.