Having stayed in Leh for two days I was now familiar with lifestyle and places, it was easy and kept me happy. However I was here for a different reason, I was in Leh to work for Avalokitesvara trust. And as part of my work I now had to travel to another village, Temisgam.

Temisgam or Timagham or Timosgang is a village located about hundred kilometers west of Leh. To get there we drove on the Leh Srinagar highway and took a detour few kilometers before the Khalste block. At first look it is a beautiful village with golden barley harvest and plenty of apricots on trees, with monasteries on top of hill like a crown. This is where I met rest of my team, we would spend the next week here teaching in three different schools.

Monastery

Built on top of the hill it houses three monasteries including Gurupadmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara. It appears high, but after staying for few days climbing up to monastery was not a tough task.

Panoramic view from the monastery

Monastery

Gurupadmasambhava

Ancient paintings. The monasteries are very old and had a history of at least 500 years

Prayer wheels

Butter lamp, a lot of prayers in the monasteries involves butter in many forms

Monasteries are situated on high hills, it takes a good walk up hills if you do not have a vehicle

Monastery seen from neighboring village Tya

Modern paintings

 

Much like old monastery the new monastery had similar painting, much fresh and colorful though

Vibrant inside and outside was the new monastery

Landscapes and the history

Unlike Leh here in Temisgam we lived on the hills. With such closeness it was fascinating to observe and learn so many things about these hills. Often it put questions in mind, how or who would have created these magnificent hills with such intricate details.

Temisgam was once a key place in  Ladakh and holds a lot of history and stories of treaties. The tall towers and collapsed walls are testimony to this history.

Loose soil and cold furious river

Temisgam was one of key places in the Namgayal dynasty and has relevant historic significance

Natural wonders, who knows how the big rock end up there? Ladakh puts these questions very often with its strange yet interesting landscapes

Wide and barren. Notice how tiny trekkers appear

As sun rises in another place it leaves behind long shadows of hills on the hills

Dawn and dusk are indeed golden

Peace

Gompa

No, we did not take the road. We walked the faint trail in between, it looked scary only until the third step

Reminiscence of dynasties and battles

Old and broken

Apricots everywhere

It was such a delight to see the pale orange fruit hanging everywhere we went. It was fun to pluck and eat them. Also learnt from locals how they dry these apricots for winter and how the seed is used to make oil or just consume like dry fruit [it tastes just like almonds]

Apricots. They were plenty, it was as simple as pluck and eat

Magpie’s, found many of them every where I traveled

Chai unlimited. There was a never ending supply of tea, I was addicted!

Under construction. All houses are traditionally built with resources available around them. That would key things to survive winters

Summer gives way to many colorful flowers and of course many more butterflies to follow the fragrance

Thick and furry bees

More flowers

Barley, staple food in the region

Peek-a-boo, lizards were a rare sight, may be I was lucky with this one

Menthokh – flowers

Flowers colorful and many decorated the gardens in schools and homes

Macro and micro

One of the many

Blue sheep, expert climbers

Water, Icy cold

Smile, it cost nothing. Learning refreshed in Ladakh

Walking is still primary means of travel or transport here

~

 

Continued to part ii .