Today I’m featuring a great photography of Sumda Chun Monastery in India. Take by Tanveer Badyari from HimalayanYeti Blog.
Tanveer grew up in the most beautiful parts of Kashmir. He is an avid traveller in the Himalayas and organises cultural tours and jeep safaris in Kashmir and Ladakh.
This year he started photographic journeys to Ladakh called “Ladakh light”, a collaboration with an English photographer Neil A White.
Picture Story: Sumda Chun Monastery
This fabulous land of Ladakh has always fascinated me with its mystic lore and incredible beauty present in the mountains and it’s people.
I have many stories to tell, many thoughts to be unfolded, many songs to sing, which are lingering in my heart right now, but I will keep them for some other time.
Starting with my first visit to Ladakh which was 19 years back & it was then an untouched place by modernization.
It had perhaps lost its pace somewhere in the past, slumped & buried under the history of wars, invasions & Chinese intrusions. As the silk route had closed
As the silk route had closed a long time back thus shutting the doors of Ladakh from central Asia and the walls of mountains became the coffin lids for this place burying it in an eternity & oblivion, Ladakh remained unknown and unattended for many decades.
Years passed by, slowly handful of adventure tourists used to visit Ladakh from its nearby tourist destination called Kashmir, at that time Kashmir was already a well-known tourist destination in northern India.
Ladakh rapidly got the attention of tourists who wanted to get away with their mundane life & young people who found solace among the mountains & began calling Ladakh “Shangrila”.
What Ladakh is today it is because it’s people who have withstood many calamities and preserved their rich culture and traditions, they are generous & their hospitality is very heartwarming.
After interacting with them you will start liking them. How they share with the world, their rich history of existence in the mountains and their perseverance of living on this fragile environment which consists of the lakes that stretch across the mountains and vast fields where they go to tend their cattle.
Nevertheless, every time I go to Ladakh I see the same beauty which I had seen nineteen years back.
Here, women hiding their faces among the pashmina goats busy collecting wool and their men at work loading their yaks. A mendicant on the way to
A mendicant on the way to the monastery, children running through the maze of an apricot groove.
There, a cloud floats from the mountain like a balloon and gets dissolved in the sunflower fields. A brass trumpet declares the waning of the moon.
Sumda Chun Monastery perched on the hillock, its walls withered with snow and sleet.
The few mud houses below have taken shape of a village, a cattle shed is converted into a restaurant, there have been constant changes which reflect everywhere, but the people remain the same, their culture unadulterated and their faith strong.
I can see the blue colour of Pangong lake reflecting in the eyes of a child who rides a yak destined to become a change a child ” the nomadic child” Ladakh has left many indelible memories on my mind they are haunting, magnanimous & nostalgic at the same time, every time I go there the memories keep on adding.
This picture was taken just outside a solitary monastery in Ladakh, the mountains and sky in the background looked very clear on this sunny day inside the monastery a young group of lamas in their scarlet robes were busy in prayers and their rituals.
Nineteen years back I heard the same mantra at the same place, I chant it, and keep on chanting “Om mani Padme hum” “Om mani Padme hum”
Sumda Chun Monastery, an early Tibetan Buddhist temple and monastery is located in the Sumda Chun village, a remote part of the Himalayas.
Temple which was originally part of a Gompa that existed at Sumda Chun has been attributed to the period of Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo.
The heroic rescue of the Sumda Chun Monastery has brought back to life one of the oldest monasteries in a remote area of Ladakh.
The restoration of the historically significant but severely dilapidated structure was carried out in a systematic and sensitive manner guided by meticulous research.
Conservation interventions combined world-class scientific methods with vernacular building know-how. The art conservation is particularly notable for its sophistication.
The exemplary project was realized through the steadfast commitment of the local community and the monastic order, in cooperation with cultural foundations and international partners.
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