If there was one photograph that was etched in my memory of Ladakh even before visiting it was that of Stakna Monastery. Soon after the first glimpse, I had looked up for information and various other photographs about the monastery and it seemed to have emerged from a wonderland.
I got the first glimpse of the stunning monastery on our way to Pangong. Sadly, our 'not so friendly' driver had brushed us aside saying that would be our stop on our way back from Pangong. And I knew that would be only after two days. Cursing him, I had only wished that I wouldn't miss seeing the beauty of monastery as well as that of Indus river which makes it a popular view point for tourists.
To my utter dismay, on the way back from Pangong the weather turned so bad that it was extremely cloudy at one end and snowy on the other! It even drizzled at few places. I was convinced that the moment I was waiting for wouldn't be the same. Surprisingly, as we approached the vicinity of the monastery the clouds cleared, the drizzling stopped and there was the brilliance of sunshine ahead of us! My joy had no limits. I then realized, because of the rain and the sunshine that followed the whole area was illuminated as if emerging from a magical land. The slow moving water of Indus, the autumn colors on the Poplar trees stood out in that light. As we stepped out of the car, we witnessed a rainbow right next to the monastery. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
The following photographs do no justice to equal its beauty but am sure they will take your breath away.
|View of the monastery from across the view point|
|The sky after the rain...can you spot the monastery?|
|A closer look at the monastery|
P.S. Ignore the zip line rope that runs across in each photograph. It's just an example how natural beauty can be ruined in the name of tourism.
Unfortunately, we did not visit the monastery from inside but I did not feel it was necessary too. The view that I had encountered had given me enough satisfaction.
Some quick Facts about Stakna Monastery:
- It is about 25 kms from Leh city.
-It was founded in the 16th century by a Bhutanese scholar Chosje Jamyang Palkar.
-Stakna literally means 'a tiger's nose'. Since it was built on a hill that shaped like a tiger's nose, it was named so.