Set in the middle of the Greater Himalayas, Ladakh is a remote and starkly beautiful region of the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu. Bordering Tibet, it is one of the highest and most arid inhabited places on Earth. Although surrounded by a Muslim state, Buddhist Ladakh has so far preserved its religion and culture which originated in Tibet. Because of the Chinese suppression of Buddhism there, Ladakh is said to now be more Tibetan than Tibet.
Viewed from the air, Ladakh is a series of mountain ranges dotted with many white monasteries that contrast with the barren landscape. The few towns and villages there line the Indus River that gives life to an otherwise arid environment.
The state of Kashmir has been the center of warfare between India and Pakistan since its creation in 1947, The Line of Control running along the northern boundary of the Ladaki region. Because many of the Himalayan Buddhist cultures are disappearing, one of my goals has been to document these endangered cultures while they still exist. So I was pleased to be able to visit this area in 2012 during a lull in the fighting.
Prayer Flags over Leh
Golden Buddha, Likir Gompa
Coming Home to Roost, Leh
Door Detail, Thikse
Namgyal Tsemo, Leh
Bactrian Camels, Nubra Valley
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Buddhism, Himalayas, India, Ladakh, Monasteries, Travel Photography
© Sandra Steele Kunz Photos