Thiksey Monastery by Night

Thiksey Monastery by NightThiksey Monastery at Dusk

September 2009

Thiksey Village, Leh, Ladakh, India

Had initially decided to stay at Thiksey for a night so I could attend the early morning puja (prayers) at the Thiksey Monastery. It seems there were few options here, it was either staying at the hotel which is owned by the Monastery, expensive and quite yucky, it had some strange sickly smell at the room the manager showed me, or at the nearby guesthouse which was closed and locked up as the owner was away.

I walked around the village and looked for more guesthouse options, along came a local man with his horse. While asking for directions to other guesthouses, he offered his home without any hesitation, however I was hesitant but decided to follow him to his house because I was a little curious.

Immediately as I arrived into his house, I was welcomed by his two friendly kids, Tsetan and Yangdol and their grandparents who were in the garden.

In the house, I was greeted by his wife, Jigmat,  Stanzin said some brief words to her who then signalled me to their modern yet traditional looking Ladakhi living room. This was where I slept for a few days.

Had I not met Stanzin and invited to his home, I would not have decided to stay a few days to experience more traditional Ladakhi culture. It was heart warming for me to be invited by these open and generous people.

Thiksey Monastery by Night

It was cold and it was late at night when I took this shot but the whole atmosphere was beautiful, the monastery looked even more spectacular and photogenic at night.

Was brushing my teeth out in the garden when I saw this view. There is no indoor plumbing at the house hence everything has to be done out in the open under the clear skies. Water was collected daily from a underground well some distance away and stored in containers.  A traditional Ladakhi house has an outdoor soil toilet and no bathroom, washing is done out in the open normally in the garden or out in the courtyard.

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