The place everyone wanted to visit in India was the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir state, not far from Tibet. We entered India from Pakistan and headed north through Amritsar and Jammu and on to Srinagar.
We spent several days in Srinagar and then headed east hoping to get to the city of Leh in Ladakh.
First view of Leh
On the way we ran into a wedding party. The archery competition is part of the ceremony. I didn't do well.
I did demonstrate my ability to drink barley wine/beer.
We had a meal here. They guys are deep frying papadams.
Main street in Leh
Street market in Leh
Many of the Buddhist religious structures are high above the valley
Prayer flags are everywhere
Inside a Buddhist temple
This young, probably novice monk beckoned me to follow as he left this temple.
He took me to see this one.
As I walked away, I heard a small bell ringing in the distance. I followed it to this temple where I sat for a long time just listening to the monk chant and ring his bell. He never gave the slightest indication that he knew we were there. The town is full of old temples like this all crammed with an amazing array of tankas (the Buddhist scrolls) and other religious and decorative items. Everything looks very, very old.
Another view of the valley
Note the Buddha image carved into the cliff behind this temple.
On the way back to Dras we came across this crew paving the road. They had barrels of tar which they melted with file and then ladeled onto the road. Slow going
Headed back to Dras
Lots of snow left even in July.
The Sind River
We didn't spend much time in Delhi. I spent an entire day trying to mail my down sleeping bag back to the US>
Canopy and India Gate, New Delhi
From Delhi we drove to Agra to see the Taj Mahal
Agra Fort near Taj Mahal
And then on to the madness that is Varanasi (Banares) on the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is a very holy city for Hindus and played a major role in the development of Buddhism. It is also home to the ghats (embankments on the Ganges) which are used for religious rites and the cremation of human remains.
People bathing in the sacred (and very dirty) Ganges.
I'm not sure I'd want to brush my teeth here.
I believe this is the Manikarnika Ghat where cremations are done.
Everywhere you go are flowers, holy men and tourists.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple. One of the most important in Varanasi.
Kaal Bhairav Mandir - One of the oldest Shiva temples in Varanasi
Kaal Bhairav Mandir
Animated statue of Hanuman. I don't know the temple name.
Hindu temple in Varanasi. Don't know the name.
From Varanasi we drove north toward Nepal. Yes, there were elephant rides.
We camped just south of the border with Nepal and were awakened by this crew loading logs onto a truck.
I believe that these terraced rice fields were in India, but they may have been in Nepal
Terraced rice fields
|India 1||India 2||Nepal||Burma|
|Thailand||Malaysia/Singapore||Indonesia 1||Indonesia 2|
Photographs and text copyright Michael Newman and William Garsden: 2019
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