October 7, 2007

Himalayan Diskit

The Karakoram Range (which is at an altitude of 20,000 feet) can be viewed from the northern part of the Khardung-La Pass. Turn 180 degrees and one can see the Himalayas back towards Leh.

The Karakoram Range in the horizon as seen from Khardung-La

Another view from Khardung-La Pass

After enjoying the magnificent views from the Khardung-La Pass and drive through breathtaking scenery to Khardung village, pictures of which have been posted here, we passed through starkly beautiful mountain country side to the Traffic Check Post at Khalsar where permits have be registered and checked. From here one has to turn to the left side from the winding Shayok river.

Shayok River

Then it was a drive for about 25 kms over a narrow steep road to the beautiful village of Diskit.

There was a dust storm that kicked up in the Diskit village after our arrival and I was able to shoot a few pictures both before and during the dust storm.

Picture of Diskit village before the dust storm

Our guest house at Diskit was comfortable and it had a beautiful garden in front of it along with a few fruit trees.
Guest house at Diksit

Beautiful garden

View of Himalayan mountains from the guesthouse

There is a new Gompa being built in Diskit, and it is said that the Maitreya Buddha statue, when completed, will be one of the largest in Ladakh.

Pictures of the new monastery under construction

The other old Diskit Gompa dates back to the 14th century. My visit to the Samstanling Gompas nearby had to be cut short due to the dust storm that started.

Samstanling Gompa

Dust storm blowing over Diskit village as viewed from the Diskit Gompa

Dust storm blowing over Diskit village as viewed from the Diskit Gompa

That evening at the guesthouse in Diskit, I met two groups of French tourists. There were also a few other tourists from other parts of India, including some students and one from South Korea. The evening was interesting having animated conversation with people from different parts of the world and from all walks of life. All guests were served dinner in a rectangular traditional Ladakhi dining room that had some decorated dining tables and colorful rugs arranged in the area. Food was plenty and Ladakhi hospitality was, as usual, commendable.

Ladakhi dining style


Anonymous said...

what an awesome post!
the photos are magnificent indeed!! thank u for sharing!!
i wish i could fly to such a heavenly place.
was it very cold at night?

Ananda Niyogi said...

Getting lost for adjectives here...fantastic series of posts this! A confluence of rivers is beautiful enough - but 'confluence' of the two highest mountain ranges is something which you must have some real lucky stars to see :-)

I too find the people living in the mountains to have that little 'extra' in terms of simplicity, warmth & hospitality.

Pijush said...

Wonderful shots Celine, I like the first three and the flowers shot.

indicaspecies said...

niki yokota: Hey, glad you liked. Nights are cold but manageable since I was there in July. After October till May or so, there can be snow. Thank you very much for your kind words. :)

ananda niyogi: Thanks a lot. I'm delighted that you liked these. :)

keshi: Thanks a lot. Yes, that's me in black. ;)

pijush: Thank you very much. :)

backpakker said...

This series of posts have been the most beautiful and interesting ...loved the pictures..the first and the village before the dust storm - they seem far removed from reality ..thanks for taking me there :)

indicaspecies said...

backpakker: Thank you. Pleasure to share and I'm delighted you like these pictures. :)

RAFFI said...

beautiful photos, especially the dust storm. i love to travel and hope to make asia, particularly the himalayan region, an overall destination. these types of excursions enrich my cultural banks and, most importantly, provide an opportunity to make friends.

raVen - lgboy said...

You look gorgeous in that picture in black :) ...keep writing ..my dear aunty :)

indicaspecies said...

raffi: Thank you for your kind words and for dropping by. I find the dust storm pictures beautiful too.

I do hope you get a chance to travel to Asia, especially the Himalayas, and make new friends. :)

indicaspecies said...

raven-lg boy: LG Boy, you bashted boy..haha. Welcome aboard, and thank you.

How come you popped out of the blue? Since when have you started calling me aunty? For your mental age, you should be addressed as granpa (abba) in that case!

Anonymous said...

"Maitreya Buddha statue, when completed, will be one of the largest in Ladakh"

From the size of the legs and the seat the statue looks enormous.

The flowers make me smile because they look like the flowers in my garden here in America.

Priyank said...

Gosh, I can;t imagine how majestic the statue will look once completed. It will probably be the highest statue in India? overlooking our country from the north. Wow Celine, keep travelling :)

PS: Here in Toronto there are no mountains for as far as 400km. Its so werid, just flat straight ground.

indicaspecies said...

chewy: Yes, it seems exceedingly enormous. The Dalai Lama visited that Gompa in early August 2007.

Now, to think of your garden makes me say wow! It must be one beautiful garden and I wish I could fly to the Western Massachusetts to have a cup of tea (I mean, coffee *smile*) with you in that garden.

indicaspecies said...

priyank: Thank you. :)

I'd love to make another trip to the Nubra valley, so could check out the statue, if hopefully completed by then. I was told it will be the biggest, but I haven't been able to obtain information on its measurements etc.

I've been to Toronto in the late 90s and I know what you mean. It's, nevertheless, an exciting city, ain't it? Cheer up, India/Himalaya beckons you. ;)

Anonymous said...

In the morning I have coffee. In the evening I have green tea.

indicaspecies said...

chewy: Caeffine is a must in the morning - to 'weave the web right' during the course of the day, ain't it? ;)

I have a similar pattern too except that I substitute green tea with black tea sometimes.

Juhi said...

very nice post. reminds me of my road trip to Leh!! do check my blog sometime

indicaspecies said...

juhi: Welcome to my space, and thank you for your kind words. I did check your blog and was lovely going through it.

Was your road trip to Leh from Manali? Or did you start from the Kargil side? It would be nice if you could write a post on it. :)