Rumbak Revisited

31 January 2018, Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India

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On this day we went back and revisited the village of Rumbak.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is the route across the frozen river to the first house.  There are two considerations here.  First, the ice needs to be thick enough to walk on and second, it can be slippery and you don’t want to fall over.  You can see footprints on the ice towards the right.  In general you find a flat place to cross, watch the colour and consistency of the ice and if necessary, you can throw some handfuls of dirt on it.  Disconcerting at first but almost normal after a while.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

I wanted to get some more pictures of the fascinating inscribed stones.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

And in some places there can be a lot of them.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Inscribed stones and a stupa (or chorten).

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

A row of stupas (inside the village).

A stupa was originally used to house the remains of the Bhudda. Later this became sacred texts and images, or the stupas were simply sacred in their own right as a supporting object for meditation.  Stupa is the Sanscript word, Chorta the Tibetan and Dagoba the Sinhalese.  In China, Japan and Korea, the stupa developed into the pagoda.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Stupas and residences.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

One of the residences that also doubles as a homestay.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

There were maybe four of these, mini-stupas surmounted by blue sheep skulls and other “sacred” objects, and coated by what may be an iron oxide pigment.  I didn’t ask about the significance of these but I wonder whether they are to keep malign spirits out of the village and represent the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, whether rolled up as part of local Bhuddhism or separate.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

More engraved stones.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is I think a common redstart on the engraved stones.  It is actually out of focus, as with all the bird images in this post, but hopefully I can get away with it at this size.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

The shed and some of the houses in the background have animal feed on top, to prevent them being prematurely devoured.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is the Eurasian magpie, bactriana subspecies, unrelated to the Australian Magpie.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

I had wanted to get some photographs of them but they do not hang around when a camera is pointed at them so I sat down on a vantage point near the village and waited.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is a Tibetan snowcock, which I had previously seen but also been unable to photograph.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

They are quite different in colouring to the Himalayan snowcock I mentioned in an earlier post.  They are in the pheasant family and though they can fly, they seem disinclined to do so in most circumstances.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

There was something interesting the magpies in this small gulley.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Hello!

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Mmm.  That bag looks interesting.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Are you still here?

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Ahh.  Lunch!

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Blue sheep skulls on top of a shed.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Skull, inscribed stones, stupa and house.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Down below the camp, at the main river.  The platform is covered by inscribed stones and I presume it qualifies as a stupa.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

A frozen mini-waterfall in the village near the camp.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

And the wider view.

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5 comments on “Rumbak Revisited

  1. […] The track across the ice into Rumbak. […]

    Like

  2. The writing on the inscribed stones is to me, somewhat reminiscent of that of the Inca/Aztec stones.

    Like

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