Site logo

Oct 2016

Something special

I visited the Ladakh SOS Children village. ITs known to have some good handcrafts on sale made by Tibetan refuges. Bought some small things and also had a walk trough the village. It is very impressive and houses the biggest Tibetan schools in Ladakh.

Then on my way to Leh from Alchi there was suddenly an armada of cyclers. This was a charity event from Leh to Srinagar and close to the Phyang Monastery there was a roadside camp celebrating the event.


L8727452L8727453L8727454L8727455L8727697L8727712L8727722L8727711L8727727L8727734L8727736L8727743L8727748

Ladakh - On the road

Some impression of the Ladakh landscape.It really feels like little Tibet. Only the mountains are not as high and there aren’t really any glaciers around. But the buildings, the monasteries, the gompas, the stupas, the colors and the so friendly people scream Tibet.

_1050341_1050345_1050423_1050567_1050579_1050583_1050586_1050591_1050619_1050625_1050639_1050640L8727460

Alchi - Historic Village

The Alchi village is about 60km west of Leh. The main attraction is the historic buddhist temple which is said the to be oldest in Ladakh. It is currently under survey and restoration of the Indian archeological department.

The temple complex is very small and has one buddha / bodhisattva four facing stature, which is very stunning and unusual. Some elements look even european. I haven’t seen anything like this even in Tibet. However, it is a pity that you are not allowed to take photos inside.

And the village itself is also very lovely. The best I’ve seen in Ladakh and worth a small walk.


L8727492L8727511L8727513L8727529L8727530L8727548L8727547L8727558L8727540L8727477L8727569L8727577L8727604L8727606L8727619L8727622L8727641L8727632L8727644L8727666L8727678L8727690

Gompas - Buddhist Temples Gompas - Buddhist Temples

Buddhist Temples - Kompass - are everywhere in Ladakh. Actually so many that you should made a shortlist or you will spend a at least 2 weeks to see them all. I’ve visited the Spituk and Phyang Gompa to the west of Leh, the Distik Gompa with the large Buddha overview the Nubra valley and the one you have to see - the Thickset Gompa (feels like you’re in Tibet). Some impressions:


L8727403L8727374_1050376_1050373_1050409_1050412_1050428L8727466L8727464_1050441_1050690L8727762L8727764_1050711_1050701_1050713_1050720_1050722L8727797_1050726L8727779_1050753L8727790L8727803

The Highest Mountain Road

North of Leh is military mountain road leading into the Nubra valley. You need a permit to cross this road, but its said to be the highest paved mountain road of the world - 5606m. Already done the second highest one whilst driving the Manali-Leh highway this one was a must.


_1050314_1050324_1050404L8727419L8727427L8727431L8727432L8727448

Leh - The Capital of Ladakh

After the impressive highway I reached Leh - the Capital of Ladakh. The old city feels like your are in Tibet - even if there islamic mosques around. And above the cityscape sits the old palace guided by a small fortress. If you take a stroll trough the city you will find small markets, tibetan handcraft shops, stupas and small temples. Everywhere is something to see. And the plenty Royal Enfield motorbikes provide a background-sound. The only issue are the none-tibetan shop owners which try in a constant bases to lure you into their shops to buy something that smells mass produced in china.

L8727143L8727148L8727164L8727175L8727155L8727181L8727188_1050278IMG_5335_1050279_1050282L8727257L8727305L8727332L8727328L8727323

Manali-Leh Highway

After crossing the Rohtang Pass I was finally on the Manali-Leh Highway. And what an impressive road. This is really like little Tibet! Everywhere you look - the scale is just breathtaking and on top you’ve got three passes to cross: Baralacha La - 4892m, Lachulung La 5059m & the second highest mountain road pass Tangling La - 5325m


_1050005_1050028_1050037_1050040IMG_5290IMG_5286_1050064_1050075_1050079_1050904_1050088IMG_5289_1050124_1050133_1050879_1050167_1050193_1050201_1050214_1050849_1050830IMG_5292_1050833_1050865_1050834_1050241_1050249_1050256

Start of the Manali-Leh Highway

This is where my India adventure really starts - The Manali-Leh Highway. The first part isn’t really part of the original road. It’s a military road and as such a shortcut: The Rohtang Pass at about 3978m.

This mountain massif also is important for the climatic conditions. Manali & south is a wet climate region while north, Leh & Ladakh is a dry, sometimes near desert like climatic region.


_1040728_1040740_1040797IMG_5278_1040816_1040818

Amritsar - The golden Temple

The Golden Temple or officially known as Harmandir Sahib. This is the main sanctuary of the Sikh movement. It is said that this is also the place were Alexander the Great was on his final treck into India. The temple surrounds a peaceful atmosphere and you could easily spend hours. On a side note the temple facilities also provide free food for more than 80’000 people per day.


_1040481_1040500IMG_5200_1040506_1040495_1040511_1040631_1040619_1040626L8727090L8727034L8727084L8727067L8727092L8727098L8727104

Amritsar City

Once the border crossing was done I followed the Great Trunk road to Amritsar. This is the cultural centre of the Sikh movement. Their sanctuary is the Golden Temple (see next post). The city itself is one of the smaller once (about 1.1m people) but already very vibrance. the old city developed in the 17th and 18th century. Also, it is know for a very dark hour in 1919 when the British Army killed hundreds of civilians during a friendly unrest (The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre). Stayed for 2 days.


_1040527_1040535_1040562_1040574_1040580_1040591L8726983L8726970L8726967L8727001L8727007L8727011L8727005L8726979
Overland Blog:

My GPS Trail:




The Map:




© 2016 Tim Afken Contact