"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)

Ascending Sharply

After an intriguing lunch and lunar landscape, our path arrived at the ancient monastery of Lamayuru.

Like all the Tibetan monasteries of Ladakh, it is built high on a hill-top:
a reflection not just of religious allegory, but a practical requirement in past centuries, when these communities were also seats of political power and strategic military bases.

Our first glimpse of Lamayuru provided, perhaps, the most arresting vista of all the Ladakh monasteries we visited:
one that made us very keen to explore.
But strangely, it lacked that intensity of “presence” which seeped from every aspect of the Likir community we experienced the same morning.

Despite its beauty, I felt slightly estranged from Lamayuru: kept at a distance:

  I ask myself what might account for the difference, but find no logical answers.

We had been the only strangers in Likir, whilst there were two or three other tourists here in Lamayuru.
But they, like us, observed with quiet respect, careful not to disturb the silence.
And later, though our path would once more cross that of another European in a different monastery, it proved no barrier to sensing great sanctity..


Pictures taken in Lamayuru, Ladakh 

2 responses

  1. Toffeeapple

    It is odd how some places make one feel very different from the way one feels in other places. I used to find the same thing on different parts of the Welsh hillside where I grew up.

    May 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    • Yes, it’s one of those things that’s impossible to define – but undeniable when experienced..

      May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

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