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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

Snapshots from Mumbai - Salt And the City

Vast tracts of land cut up into squares - each filled with water... and sometimes, a white mound by the side.... These are the salt pans which line the highways leading into the city of Mumbai.....




At one time, this tiny island was only inhabited by fishermen, who caught the fish, which were then plentiful, made salt from the same water that gave them the fish, and stored the fish with the salt. They made their living from the sea, and considered it their God. That time has long gone. Mumbai evolved from a sleepy fishing island to the throbbing port city of the British, to the commercial capital of India. 


These salt pans may not produce the bulk of the salt eaten by the country, but they still have their use. These salt pans, and the mangroves lining them are what keep our island afloat. Over the years, we have occupied land which had lain wild for centuries, reclaimed land from the sea, and even cut mangroves and filled in these salt pans, to build houses for our ever growing population. I wonder how much more the island can tolerate before finally allowing itself to be submerged into the sea once and for all. 

Comments

  1. The development in Mumbai (and India, in general) is highly unsustainable. I fear what will happen to Mumbai once sea level rises... no more Marine Drive. Can you imagine?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The controversy and politicking over the salt pan lands is one more in the innumerable controversies surrounding the city. The only losers are the people who live off this land.

    ReplyDelete

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