Sunday, May 23, 2010

my heart goes..Lha~Ri~Sa

Tucked away in one of the by-lanes of Leh, Ladakh is a beautiful Ladakhi family owned boutique resort ~ Lha~Ri~Sa.
Stepping into the property, I was completely taken in by the stunning beauty of the tall poplar trees trying to reach the deep blue heavens.Heaven indeed it was...
Apricot trees were in full bloom...We were welcomed by the very warm and friendly Mr Tashi Motup Kau, who owns and manages Lha-Ri-Sa Resorts and a great steaming cup of ginger tea.
Anything you need to know in Ladakh, about the places to visit, the best trekking options, which monasteries, what to buy, where to buy...

You answer is Mr Tashi Motup.
Lha~ Ri~ Sa has retained the traditional Ladakhi architecture, at the same time blended the convenience and luxury of contemporary design. Huge glass windows allow bright sunlight to warm & brighten every corner of the lovely reception lobby.

One of my favorite spots in the lobby.
The view from our room was amazing. The snow-covered Zanskar mountain range.
We had a great time at the tree house in the property. Chai in the shadow of willow trees was something to remember.
The view of Zanskar range again...*Sigh*

We came back with memories of fresh white mountain air, green willow trees, deep blue skies and the throat warming fragrance of 'Sulemani Chai'...a special concoction to sip in the evenings while discussing the interesting events of the day.

( images by Arch)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

snowed-in near Khardung La...

To reach Nubra Valley, Ladakh one has to drive all the way up to Khardung La pass (the highest motorable road in the region) and then slide down to the valley.

When we set out in the morning from Leh, the sun was shining bright and we had clear blue skies, but as we started our climb to Khardung La, we were welcomed by a huge expanse of beautiful white snow-covered brown mountains!

Yes, the excitement on Mallika's face clearly reflected on mine and my husband's too.
After pushing our faces outside the vehicle and enjoying the light cold snow, we were told by our driver that we would have to wait. Wait for what?

Apparently when it snows, the vehicles on the narrow mountain roads take their own time to drive up. Some are prepared for the slippery roads with iron chains draped over the tyres, while others slip, wait, stop, wait and wait...

So while we waited...
We compared notes on our turquoise stone ornaments that we picked up from the Leh market.
( It's tough to identity an original turquoise stone, but there are various varieties for various price ranges so do bargain hard:-)
...and marveled at the fact that how man and nature live so harmoniously in a remote corner of the world.

When nature says stop. Man stops.

Nothing was lost, we moved at a slow pace and finally reached our beautiful destination~Nubra Valley.
The journey was as interesting as the destination;-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

for home...

dried apple slices and a packet of herbal tea from Leh.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Apple blossoms and Nubra Valley...

Nubra Valley has been described as a little piece of heaven nestled in the harsh landscape of Ladakh. We had to cross Khardung La Pass,(more on that later) the highest motorable road in Ladakh region to reach the quiet valley of Nubra filled with lush Poplar trees, grazing yaks and traditional Ladakhi houses.We chose a guesthouse called Snow Leopard, Hunder which could easily pass of as any traditional Ladakhi house with narrow gurgling streams, freshly sowed radish patches and apple trees...

The slow pace of life, the subtle fragrance of apple blossoms, the chirping sparrows, that hopping fat red-breasted robin and sipping hot masala chai in the company of interesting people, puts things back in perspective on life.

I believe that travel is an extremely important part of one's life and everyone needs to undertake a journey for themselves.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

fluttering prayers...

Considering my current state of my mind is a mish-mash of tibetian chants, lucid dream-like imageries and the physical body still feels the cold rugged mountain air, I am happy that I have one post that I just have to write.

Prayer Flags~

A prayer flag is a small piece of cloth which has Buddhist prayers printed on them and are mostly in a set of 5 colours symbolising the 5 elements of nature.

The whole concept of having prayer flags on rooftops, street corners, near mani walls, on top of gompas or just about in the middle of no-where as silent reminders that 'you are not alone' and with each flutter the prayers are carried with the wind to spread peace and good will...just took my breath away:-)

Here are some photographs of these magical prayer flags spreading the prayers into the wind...



Against the Alchi village skyscape
Prayers flags at Alchi village, Ladakh
Will be back soon after sorting out what next to share with all of you:-)
Enjoy your day!

I'll be posting more from our Ladakh trip here~ Archana Srinivas Photography

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ladakh~ Nature's mega blockbuster...

We have just returned from our trip to Ladakh, where nature completely cast a spell on us.

Will need sometime to unwind before I can share all those little stories from this land so rugged, so stark, so magical!