Leh Palace Monochromes

2 February 2018, Leh, Ladakh.

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(Ladakh Trip).

All images come from the Leh Palace post, where there are colour versions of these and other images and information on the palace.

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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Tsemo Fort.

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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Main Bazaar Road, the main street of Leh.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

End of Main Bazaar Road, with Leh Palace above on the skyline.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Leh Palace.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

View over Leh from Leh Palace.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Leh Palace.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Shanti Stupa.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Stupas, near the polo field.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Tsemo Fort and Monastery and ancient ruin.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Leh Palace.
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
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Architecture, Black and White, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .
This was the last post from the Ladakh trip.  If you want to see any more, there are links to all posts on the Ladakh Itinerary.

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Alchi and Likir Monasteries Monochromes

24 January 2018, near Leh, Ladakh.

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(Ladakh Trip).

Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information). If an image does not have a link (or a caption), the preceding one applies.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

View from Toilet, walking in to Alchi Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

The long line of prayer wheels on the way in.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Ancient paintings looking up inside one of the recesses of a stupa, Alchi Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Stupas, inside and out.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

The staff said to have grown into a tree, Alchi Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Stupas on the road between Alchi and Likir Monasteries.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Tiny dwelling on the cliff face (you may need to click to enlarge and see it).

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Children outside the store at Likir Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

The huge Buddha at Likir Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Decoration details.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

A view over the valley from the monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

There were several of these on the roofline.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet An upper courtyard.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

We were invited to a prayer meeting of the villagers.  Here an old woman is leaving.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

… and a young boy is nearby.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Inside the prayer meeting….

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Outside in the sun.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Looking back at Likir Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Cow and house.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

The monastery above Nimmu Village.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Mountains and shadows.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Hockey on the ice by families outside a military camp.

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet .

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Alchi Monastery, Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Tibet

Mountains and clouds.

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Thiksay and Hemis Monasteries Monochromes

23-24 January 2018, near Leh, Ladakh.

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(Ladakh Trip).

Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information). If an image does not have a link (or a caption), the preceding one applies.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Thiksay Monastery.

(The linked article with the colour images includes Brief Histories of both Tibet and Ladakh).

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Dawn prayers.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Mountains with radical folding, on the way to Hemis Monastery.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Stakna Monastery.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Ice on the Indus.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Hemis Monastery.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Views on the way from Hemis Monastery to Alchi Monastery.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet

Confluence of the rivers Indus (below) and Zanskar.

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Black and White, Buddhism, Hemis Monastery, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Thiksay Monastery, Tibet .

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Leh Palace

2 February 2018, Leh Palace and Leh, Ladakh, India

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We had walked out of the National Park and we still had an afternoon in Leh.  We chose to visit Leh Palace and I combine those images with a few I took in our earlier stay in Leh.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

On the skyline of Leh, high above Leh Palace, is Tsemo Fort (the upper white structure), built between 1555 and 1575 by King Tashi Namgyal.  The buildings below it are Tsemo Gompa or Monastery, built by King Tashi Namgyal in 1430.  It houses an eight-metre high gilded statue of Buddha. Access is difficult because of a steep climb from a road and fleeting and uncertain opening hours.  Women are only allowed access when the statues are veiled.  This and the next image was taken from the roof of the hotel we were staying in during our first afternoon in Leh.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Sunset over the distant mountains.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The main street of Leh, Main Bazaar Road, the next morning.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The far end of the same street, after returning from the National Park.  Leh Palace is on the middle skyline and Tsemo Fort on the right skyline.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

It would take a long time to walk from Leh to the Palace, especially at altitude and with the maze of roads.  We took a taxi up and the road comes in from the side.  This is a corner of the top of the palace as we walk in.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Looking out over Leh from the path into the Palace.  In the foreground is Soma Gompa, a monastery built below the Palace in 1840 but disused since the 1950s when a replacement was built in town.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Another view out over Soma Gompa.  The huge “carpark” in the distance is the Polo Ground and it’s not a relic of British India.  Polo originated in Persia and is said to have come to Central Ladakh from Baltistan, just north of Ladakh, now primarily Moslem and occupied by Pakistan. King Jamyang Namgyal is said to have introduced it in the 16th century who married Gyal Khatun, a princess from Baltistan. A few months before we arrived, polo was being played here during the 2017 Ladakh Festival.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The main door to the Palace.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Construction of the Leh Palace started in 1553 by Tsewang Namgyal, founder of the Namgyal dynasty, and it was completed by Sengge Namgyal (“the Lion King) who died in 1642.  It predates the Potala Palace in Lhasa, for which construction commenced in 1645.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The palace has nine stories.  The ground area was used for stables, the first floor for storage and the second by servants.  The King’s Audience Hall, the Tsokhang, was on the fourth floor and the King and Queen’s private areas were on the fifth floor.  The three floors above that were wholly or in part for religious use.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A detail of the ceiling of one of the interior rooms.

Remarkably, the palace has no foundations but the inwards sloping walls assist with stability and alternating layers of stone and wood provide elasticity to help withstand earthquakes.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Stairs leading up to the highest level.

The palace was sacked by invading Tibetan and Mongolian forces in 1685.  It was also severely damaged by Zorowar Singh’s forces in 1836 and the royal family moved out from that time to their current residence of Stok Palace on the other side of the Indus.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

An upper floor room including faded remains of a very damaged wall fresco.

The palace is mainly empty apart from the Royal Shrine and some photographic displays.  Photography was not permitted in the shrine but there are images from there in Kevin Standage’s blog.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

There were magnificent views available from the roof of the palace.  This is Shanti Stupa, a new and elaborate chorten built in 1991.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Stupas, near the polo field.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A view from below of Tsemo Fort and Monastery.  There was originally a structure here built by the Dards in the 5th century and some of the ruins of that is probably what you see on the near skyline.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Still in the palace and on the way down now.  A view from one of the rooms.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A prayer wheel beside the road to the palace, incorporating a gate to I think a residential area.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A view of the palace in the late afternoon sun.

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That was the last post for the Ladakh trip, apart from monochromes.  Next will be a live music post, an exhibition post, and some monochrome posts from this trip.  After that l will be posting on the Atacama to finish off the posts for my 2015 Madagascar/ South Georgia trip.

Rivers and Mountains

23 January 2018, near Leh, Ladakh, India

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This is the journey to Alchi and Liker Monasteries (preceding posts) and back to Leh.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

This is Spituk Monastery (or Spituk Gompa), just on the outside of Leh.

.Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

We stopped for a while at a vantage point.  This is the mighty Indus River.  Ice surrounds its banks and clumps of ice float downstream.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

I didn’t notice it at the time, but at far right in the river is a stone pylon and flattened metal structures.  There may be the remains of another pylon to its left.  This appears to be the remains of a bridge.  If so, the river at some time must have wiped away not merely the bridge but the approaches to it on the far side of the river.  Perhaps there can be radical floods associated with the spring melt (It’s a rain shadow area).

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

At some time someone, perhaps a truck, probably on an icy road, has gone straight through the barrier and down the cliff.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Looking at the river below, against the sun.  It’s a long way down.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

You may notice what seems to be a walking trail to the left of the ice-lined river.  This is in fact a canal, bypassing the river.  A nearby tributary runs through a copper bed and poisons the water for cattle.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Looking up, the mountains merge into blue abstract shapes.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

A short distance later, we stopped above the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers.  This is a bridge over the Indus leading to the Zanskar Valley.  In fact it’s two bridges.  A larger new one is being built on top of the old one.

Zanskar was a relatively independent Buddhist kingdom between the 10th and 15th centuries and the area remains Buddhist.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel Prayer flags over the Indus.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

This is the confluence of the rivers.  Indus below and the Zanskar joining it from above.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Again, from further back.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Round a corner and the road heads towards the village of Nimmu below.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Stupas and a prayer wheel on the edge of Nimmu.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

A view of the countryside, taken from the car.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Roadside workers, an image snatched from the car.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Following the lead car, nearing Alchi Monastery.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

On our way back now, this is the picturesque Buddhist Monastery above Nimmu Village.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Down below our vantage point, a cow seems to want to come inside.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Moving the goalposts.

Further on, many locals, probably families from a military base, are playing ice hockey on a frozen river.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

I think it’s the puck on the end of the stick of the woman at the left.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Dramatic views of the mountain landscapes through the car window, as we drive on.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

Likir Monastery

23 January 2018, Likir Monastery, near Leh, Ladakh, India

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

We are on the road between Alchi and Likir Monasteries.  Stupas are not uncommon beside the road.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

This double one appears to be fairly new (or else has been restored).

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Can you see the building?  What is it doing way up there and seemingly built on a scree slope?  There’s a road down below it but a lot further down and a zigzag foot trail down to the road.  It appears to be a kind of a duplex with two doors and two windows (click if you need a larger view).  The roof appears to be damaged so it appears to be derelict.  I think we can eliminate a farmhouse or a tourist hotel. Perhaps a meditation hideout?

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

More stupas beside the road.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

And we’re approaching it…

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Likir Monastery.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Some of the local boys in front of the general store/ sweets shop.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

The giant Buddha from below.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Likir is a very old monastery, dating to the time of King Lhachen Gyalpo (c. 1050-1080).  It has 120 monks and also administers Alchi Monastery, which we had just visited.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Items and views walking around the monastery.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

A stupa with a view.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Terraced agricultural land below the monastery, waiting for the Spring melt.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

I think this is one of the meeting halls or Dukhangs, containing ancient paintings and sculptures but not allowing cameras.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

We were invited to join the villagers in prayer.  This is an old woman leaving as we arrive.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

… and a young boy standing beside the door.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Inside with the villagers at prayer.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

I attracted a certain amount of attention with my long white beard.  Not perhaps what they expect from a Westerner.

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Outside, many of the villagers were sitting in the afternoon sun (but it’s still below 0ºC).

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Likir Monastery, Photography, Tibet, Travel

… and a last view of Likir Monastery as we depart.

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Alchi Monastery

23 January 2018, Alchi Monastery, near Leh, Ladakh, India

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Room with a view.

View from a toilet as we walk into Alchi Monastery.

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Alchi Monastery is on a rugged steep site and the Indus passes by below.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Looking back along a whole line of prayer wheels on the way in to the monastery.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Alchi Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, said to be built by Guru Rinchen Zangpo between 958 and 1055.  This building is the Sumtseg, built in the early 13th century. It contains three giant Bodhisattvas, around four metres tall, along with other figures and remarkable ancient paintings.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Unfortunately photography is not allowed in the Sumtseg but it is allowed in these stupas which date to the late 13th century.  There are various ancient paintings that you can see as you look up at niches inside them.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel .

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

Residence?  Meeting hall?  Don’t know.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

More stupas.

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Alchi Monastery, Buddhism, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Photography, Tibet, Travel

This tree is said to be the staff of founder Guru Rinchen Zangpo. The story goes that he planted his walking stick in the ground here.  When he came back, it had sprouted so he determined that this was a suitable site for a monastery.  This would imply the tree is around 1,000 years old.

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