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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

On the Kosi at Corbett

The Kosi river forms the eastern boundary of the Corbett National Park, and Club Mahindra’s Corbett Safari Resort is located on its banks. The winter had begun to set in, and the river was just a narrow stream, though flowing quite deep and fast at some stretches. The rest of the river was just a bed of stones worn smooth by the flow over the years, a tempting sight for me, since as you all know, I love to collect stones!

On the very first day of our Bloggers trip at the Club Mahindra Corbett Safari Resort, we went upstream to an old bridge to try out some adventure sports.
The first thing I noticed was the bridge itself! The suspension bridge stretched over the wide river, and even from a distance, looked quite old.

A board told us that the bridge was built by the Central Water Commission, and though the year wasn’t quite clear, we were told by a helpful lemonade seller (the only vendor in the area) that it was built in the year 1877!

My appreciation for the bridge rose at once, and since I am really queasy when it comes to any adventure activity, decided to explore the bridge and its environs while the others had some active fun!

The age of the bridge and its condition is obvious, and seeing the growth of grass all over made me wonder how safe it is, especially when all of us walked over, and we could feel the vibration!

Besides, there are also holes, which didnt make me feel much safer! Wish it would be repaired!

I was intrigued especially by the narrow channel on one side of the river……And the remains of a wheel system in it….

Could this have once been a mill wheel? What do you think?

The warmth of the sun seemed to bring out the butterflies….

And other insects, such as these damsel flies, and also grasshoppers….

And while I was busy clambering up and down the sandy banks of the river to reach the stone filled bed, the others were all busy too…some watched birds and butterflies while some photographed them, while the active ones tried out river crossing, rappelling and other such activities…

This was a place I could have stayed at forever! There were kids - local, I suppose, splashing in the water, and though I can’t swim to save my life, I wished I could join them! The water was so inviting, and I wished I could just sit there on the stones, with my feet in the water, a notebook on my lap, waiting for inspiration to strike! But it was time to leave, and the adventurous ones were lowered into the water from the bridge, and as they walked back to the jeep, I packed up my thoughts and headed back too. This is one place I will surely be back to, whenever I visit Corbett again!

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  1. The wheel could have been a mill or maybe it could have operated a pulley to ferry things across, if the river was in spate and the bridge was not safe for use. Who knows?

    And what a lovely place, Anu ! And a fantastic write-up. You seem to have had a great time. I have never been this far north and hope to visit this place and many more. ooking forward to more posts now. :-)

  2. Who says your camera is not good. My husband always says, it is the skill of a person, not a camera which makes a photo great. So cheer up, your photos are very clear and colorful.

    The bridge really looks old and you have described it aptly. Sudha has given her views on your questions so I wont say anything now. :)

    Now, tell me who all are in the pictures trying those adventures. I too would have gone for it. :)

  3. Wonderful -narrative and photos- Loved it
    .Corbetts Park is now gaining attention in recent years-
    In my time it was really an exclusive  &remote place to take a Holiday -so missed out ... Now ith Travel &Toursim so popular am happy Indian sites spots are coming out.

    Blogs help a lot to give real pic
    Many Thanks,
    CaptTR (Retd)-

  4. Thanks Sudha! quite possible... didnt think of a pulley since it was quite low, but then its possible i suppose! and u shd def go there sometime... love going north!

  5. thanks so much, Nisha! i love my camera.. its so handy and easy to use, but then seeing everyone using dslrs was a def temptation! and seeing their pics made it even more so!!! and i guess u would have loved those adventure sports!!! me, i would rather be a spectator!!

  6. wonderful place and absolutely serene!

  7. Thanks a lot, Capt Rajkumar! It is indeed nice to see any Indian place coming up as a tourist spot. Unfortunately, along with all the popularity come crowds which we have never been able to manage. also, there are few who understand the importance of such places and the need to safeguard them.. corbett too is turning into a place filled with hotels and resorts, with more people around than tigers, which is a pity, considering how it once was!

  8. I do agree that such reserve places are now full of hotels and people moving around. Just from this I recollected my recent memories of Melghat tigher reserve, near Chikhaldhara maharashtra. It is also an equally beautiful place, and not much crowded .Of course we could not locate any wild cats but recent visited stories were heard.

  9. I havent been to Melghat yet... hope it remains unspoilt!

  10. The Kosi river looks lovely in your pictures!  And there are some Melghat pictures on my blog too!

  11. Thanks a lot, Ambika! will look at the pics.. havent been to Melghat yet

  12. Hi,

    Great pics and shows that you guys had a great time.
    I stayed at Club Mahindra some days back... just that I got the traveller treatment and you the diplomat one :)
    But the place is fun anyway.


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