Early on day two of our photography tour, we headed out to Spituk Monastery just outside Leh. Though we were there by 6am, the light was already well & truly up, so we had to capitalise on the time available for good (not contrasting) light. On top of the monastery, there were sweeping views of the Indus Valley, & with the sun rising on the mountains in the near background, it was quite a landscape.
Unfortunately, there was only one monk there saying prayers in a small room behind the main monastery (the other monks must have decided to have a sleep in). Regardless, the little prayer room had a soulful vibe, and the dark lamp room adjacent to the main room was particularly atmospheric (even if it did have oil all over the floor mats which stuck to my socks). Leh is surrounded by army camps, & this morning there were a trail of army guys in & out of the prayer room, I guess to say a quick prayer before going back to duty – seemed a bit odd when they came to pray in military uniforms (Buddhism is at its core a pacifist religion).
Just as we were heading back to the cars, we were shown into the main gompa where another monk was saying prayers – no one else was around, just Jack, the monk & I, so the mood was quite serene. When I did eventually head back to the car, there was this black mountain pup who couldn’t really make out why this person wanted to come near him & didn’t know whether to bark or run away…..just gorgeous.