"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

This Too Shall Pass


Towering over the city of Leh is its palace.
Built by Ladakhi kings more than three hundred years ago, left abandoned since foreign invasions in the nineteenth century and now in a state of forlorn decay, this massive building still dominates Leh’s sky-line.
It also remains open to the public:

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“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction.”

Abraham Lincoln, 30 September 1859

Taken from the final section of Mahler’s Song of the Earth:

He dismounted and handed him the drink of parting.
He asked him where he would go and why it must be.

 He spoke.
His voice was choked:

‘My friend, on this earth fortune has not been kind to me! 
Where do I go?
I go to wander in the mountains.
I seek peace for my lonely heart… ‘


The video clip from “Song of the Earth” lasts for almost nine minutes but, for those who have time, it is a beautiful performance.
The pictures were taken in Leh Palace, Ladakh 

2 responses

  1. Toffeeapple

    An imposing building with impressive vistas. A rather melancholy place too.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    • Abandoned buildings, especially those which have once been spectacular, always seem to induce a sense of melancholia. I think it’s the Ozymandias effect..

      May 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

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