Landscapes & Prayers
Ladakh was a trip many years in the making. My plans for a Ladakh tour were always postponed in favour of comfortable holidays. I worried about handling the cold, the food, the long hours of driving on some of the world’s most dangerous roads, the erratic weather, the oxygen levels as we crossed some of the world’s highest motorable roads. I worried some more about being late to explore Ladakh after I heard about the sudden influx of tourists (thanks to a blockbuster called 3 idiots)..
And yet, I had to experience Ladakh. Now I am often asked - “Why would you visit Ladakh twice in a span of a year?”
The answer isn't quite simple.
Ladakh is my test. Ladakh is my sanctuary. I am mesmerised by the majestic presence of mountains, the limitless blue skies and the sudden sighting of an oasis in an otherwise barren desert,
Little settlements comfortably nestled in the loving shade of mountains, monasteries placed precariously in austere addresses, night skies with stars scattered like confetti at a parade,
The soundtrack of flowing rivulets; freshly melted from the gleaming path of glaciers, waking up to the meditative chants of ‘Om Mane Padme Hum’, faces crinkled by harsh weather and a happy state of being,
Being greeted with a heartfelt ‘Julley!’, where kindness is not just a quality, but a language & currency.
For a place so close to recurring conflict, Ladakh exudes a sense of calm that many seek to disconnect from the madness of our respective cities. Everywhere you look is nature at it’s glorious best. Shaping mountains, skies, rivers and humans like a master sculptor tirelessly chipping away at a piece of rock, to create a masterpiece that none can replicate.
P.S: This photo essay was previously published in Roam Magazine.
This post was authored by our co-founder, Supriya Suriyanarayanan. You can follow her visual storytelling journey on instagram.com/supriyasv.