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My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

India | Sunday, 15 August 2010 | 5 photos

Ladakh is an intriguing and remote place in North India that has maintained its unique identity over centuries. Rich with Tibetan Buddhist culture Ladakh is a cold desert that is sparsely populated by people for whom Buddhism play a very important role. The area has many monasteries (gompas) with histories going beyond several hundred years. The pictures here tell a simple story of a few Ladakhis whose life revolve around the monasteries (gompas) and religion.

The Hemis Monastery which is known to have existed since 11th century holds the distinction of being the biggest as well as the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh. The custodians of the monastery, the monks are withdrawn from the maddening civilization, engaged in ritualistic life and probably close to their Lord than the others.

Another monastery, Thiksey has many young monks undergoing training and they are not so separated from the worldly feelings - even a tasty simple meal brings smile and joy in the faces. The 14m tall Maitreya Buddha statue at Thiksey embodies complete enlightenment: the eyes, the gesture, the complete environment inside the hall are definitely the source of spiritual inspiration for the Ladakhis.

Back at Leh the market place is abuzz with materialistic pursuits - refugees from Tibet wow the curious travelers with semi-precious stones and religious artifacts.

About myself: Arindam Das is a professional working in the Information Technology industry in India. He actively pursues amateur photography and non-fiction writing in his free time. He has traveled widely in India and a few countries outside India. He always finds an interesting story to tell about the people, place and their history on his return from a trip.

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