Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Tue 20, Nov 2018 03:17 AM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
CTA’s attempt to erect a gate at its entrance shelved due to protest from locals
Canadian government announces 5.4 million CAD for education to CTA
Dalai lama urges scientists to research on 'inner science'
LODI GYARI - A LEGENDARY DIPLOMAT - OBITUARY
Kasur Gyari Rinpoche to be cremated in Dehradun on Sunday
Four key agendas on current US visit, says President Sangay
Former political prisoner Palden Gyatso in frail health
Govt. of India’s post of advisor for Tibet likely to remain vacant until Xi's 2019 visit
Twitter CEO meets Dalai Lama, calls him “an amazing teacher”
Dalai Lama to speak at IIT Bombay's Techfest lecture series
 Latest Photo News
Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
more photos »
Advertisement
Mountains and monasteries of India's 'Little Tibet' attract trekkers and seekers
AP[Tuesday, September 14, 2004 21:36]
By Elizabeth Dalziel, Associated Press

Mystic masks: Colorful Buddhist festivals are celebrated in northern India, near Leh.
Elizabeth Dalziel, AP
Mystic masks: Colorful Buddhist festivals are celebrated in northern India, near Leh. Elizabeth Dalziel, AP
LEH, India — They are trekkers and seekers, backpackers and Buddhist followers, and they come here for both spiritual sustenance and for rugged hikes amid ancient monasteries and snowcapped mountains.

This northern region of India known as Ladakh is a cold desert plateau, a western extension of the Tibetan Plateau in the great Himalayas, on the frontier with China. Local residents include Tibetan refugees who crossed into the Indian Himalayas through what is known as "the roof of the world" and settled into an area now known as Little Tibet.

Monasteries perched atop small hills above the valley attract surprisingly large groups of Western tourists, including Europeans, North and South Americans, and a steady stream of young Israelis looking to decompress after completing their military service. These visitors come both to immerse themselves in Buddhist teachings and to master the rugged terrain. But hiking and reaching the temples is far easier for the locals, who are acclimated to altitudes that range from 11,500 to 23,400 feet above sea level.

The tourists are easy to spot, clad in Bermuda shorts and toting cameras, sunglasses, colorful hats and water bottles as they fight the punishing sun while thronging to admire the marvels of craftsmanship on display at the monasteries, known as Gompas. In contrast, the locals' attire includes traditional outfits crafted from yak wool, long gowns or jackets adorned with turquoise jewelry.

The most revered contemporary lama in Ladakh, known as Drukpa, draws a large following (both Western and local). He is believed to be the 12th reincarnation of Naropa, a revered Buddhist scholar from the 10th century who is credited with introducing Buddhism to the region.

This summer, the Hemis monastery near the town of Leh hosted an extravaganza held once every 12 years: The unveiling of a Tanka, a tall building-size traditional religious painting on silk. The painting is dedicated to a reincarnation of the 11th Gyalwang Drukpa. The Tanka was accompanied by masked monks representing Buddhist deities performing tantric dances.

But the Hemis event was just one of many annual religious festivals that draw both tourists and the Buddhist faithful, who take part in rituals — known as puyas — with great fervor. These religious adherents include khampa nomads, who are believed to be the area's original settlers; the Brokpas, the last Buddhist Indo-Iranian tribe left in the world; and the Tibetan immigrants who now populate the area.

Ladakh is also considered safe for travelers, having been spared the violence that routinely mars the peace in the nearby insurgency-affected Kashmir Valley. (Ladakh is part of the Jammu-Kashmir state but is away from the Kashmir Valley, the hub of the insurgency.)

Whether your interest lies in rugged mountaineering, a spiritual journey or a trek with nomads, Ladakh's ethereal beauty is guaranteed to enchant.


IF YOU GO ...

Getting there: You can reach the regional airport in Leh via flights from Delhi, Srinigar and Chandigarh. From the Leh airport, take a taxi into town, where hotels and tour outfitters abound.

Accommodations and activities: Hotels are extremely cheap by Western standards, with rooms going for $4 or $5 a night. Hotel staff and local outfitters can help arrange mountaineering trips led by sherpas, whitewater rafting on the Indrus River, monastery tours, and guided tours and camping trips on horseback or by camel.

Guidebook: Lonely Planet India guide ($27.99) can provide specifics on how to arrange a trip to the region, along with where to stay and what to do when you get there.

For more information: Web sites with general information about visiting Ladakh, calendars of religious festivals and details on arranging tours include www.tourism-of-india.com/ladakh.html, www.jktourism.org/cities/ladakh/festivals/cal.htm and www.ladakh-tourism.com/contact.html. India's official tourism Web site is at www.tourisminindia.com; its office in New York can be reached at (212) 751-6840.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
Be the first to comment on this article

 More..
Seven days in Tibet: China's giant footprint looms large on Tibet, Canadians discover
Tibet, India
Lhasa LAYER BY LAYER
Tibetan capital tells a tale of two cities
Dharmashala: Eclectic Encounters With Friendly People
Mountains and monasteries of India's 'Little Tibet' attract trekkers and seekers
Land of many names
Spiritual land
Seven days in Tibet
Karaoke and karma
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement