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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

Skywatch Friday - Annadale, Shimla

Sometime around the year 1830, a young British officer exploring the area around the still developing hill town of Shimla, came upon a beautiful sight. Amidst the towering mountains, was a small stretch of plain land, a natural tableland, dwarfed by the mountain and forests, but presenting such a lovely view that he was reminded at once of the girl he had once loved, back in England. The man was Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy, the then Political Agent of Shimla, and he named the place ‘Annadale’ after his lost love.




Charles Pratt Kennedy doesn’t seem to have married his lady love... but the name he gave, stuck, and endures, centuries after him. It is sometimes mis-spelled as Annandale, but the romantic origin of the name still remains.



Annadale, in the early days of its discovery, was a popular haunt for the British. They came here for picnics, amusements, and games, and the ground became a popular haunt for polo matches. With the passage of time, the ground played host to races as well as cricket matches, and, with after Independence, was handed over to the Indian Army, which uses it as a helipad. If you look close, you can even see a helicopter there..

I wish the ground was still used for Polo or cricket... or even racing. It would be fun to see any sports held there. Meanwhile, the Army Heritage Museum at Annadale is worth a visit. More about that later....

Meanwhile, visit the Skywatch Friday page for more beautiful images from around the world! 

Comments

  1. Such a beautiful place the first picture is really beautiful. And what a story behind the name!

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    1. Thanks Mridula!!!! no idea if the story is true, but it seems to have really stuck to the place :D makes it all the more interesting!

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  2. Looks beautiful.The name also sounds pleasing. A similar name on Ooty route "Lovedale"

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    1. Thanks PNS! Basically, dale means valley.. so its quite common in names given in the british era, esp in hill stations.. and each usually has a history to go with it too :D

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  3. Interesting story and nice pics to go with it:)Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  4. Great captures from the place Anu.

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  5. You have captured the landscape beautifully!

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/02/maha-kumbh-mela.html

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  6. Indeed a very romantic view for those in search of love.

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  7. Such A beautiful Place,thanks For Info,Its veyr Informative

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  8. Beautiful pictures and a nice post, too! I had not heard much about this place. Thanks for sharing.

    http://renuka-mytraveldiary.blogspot.in

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    1. Thanks Renuka. There isnt much to see here apart from the museum, and we saw this only because we hired a guide to do a walk of the whole place..

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  9. Nice place... but I'm sure it was not "discovered" by the British. I bet the locals must have known about this place long before the British even stepped foot on India. I also think it's about time we change the name of that place to something Indian.

    http://www.bharari.net

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    1. True Neeraj, that the place was not really 'discovered' by the British. But we cant deny that it was they who brought it to prominence and it is they who made it what it is today. changing names to indian ones is an idea that seems to have captured our imagination, but we cant forget that the british are a part of our history too... whether we like it or not, and we must remember that it is they who made the place what it is today. changing names wont make it any more indian....

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    2. I think changing the name from an English/British name to an Indian one will give it an "Indian Identity". Although it won't make any difference to us, it will make a difference to the next generation as they will grow up knowing the Indian name rather than the British one.

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    3. well, Neeraj.. as I mentioned earlier too, we cant erase the British from our history and heritage no matter how much we want to, or how hard we try. its better to accept it and move on, and make our own identity rather than change names to create our identity

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  10. Wonderful, Shimla is so beautiful and Annadale is really interesting name for the place.

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