Monday, April 30, 2012

Longing in love for Ladakh

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Those who've been to India's great lakes region and high altitude desert Ladakh come away falling for it, or being a bit shaken out by its sparse harshness. NITIN DAS is a film maker and Ladakh did get hold of him. Here he pokes us – Does the seemingly barren have an energy or is one speaking with the heady lack of oxygen that has swung many a head in Ladakh? Like Prabuddha Dasgupta, the talented photographer, who wrote in his book on his Ladakhi journey, ‘an exploration of India's last wilderness, on the edge of the Tibetan plateau, and final stronghold of the old Tibetan Buddhist way of life. A solitary journey through a tortured and beautiful land… A visual communion with a fragile yet impressive culture in the throes of change, and a threatened landscape exploding with stark, uncluttered beauty... an enigmatic loneliness on the edge of everyone's world.’ Nitin's photo essay too muses on the confusions of change in Ladakh, through its capital Leh. He does so with an affectionate power, alternately ticking colour and black & white glands of his photo-vision. He also reminds us that India has landscapes where you might least expect a breathtaking autumn. Where the seasons can be sharp, but also a subtle rage.

Longing in love for Ladakh
The Leh Palace, a landmark structure that has overlooked the town since the 17th century. With time new structures have sprung up to give it company.

Longing in love for Ladakh
Longing in love for Ladakh
An old transformer sits amid a graveyard on the outskirts of Leh. Modern amenities might make life a little less harsh in the cold desert?

Longing in love for Ladakh

Tsemo Gompa, one of the highest structures in Leh, which itself is situated at an altitude of 3524 metres (11562 ft)

Longing in love for Ladakh

In August 2010, a flash flood caused by heavy rain from a cloud burst created havoc in this small town of vastness (and snugness).

Longing in love for Ladakh

Masks symbolizing demons and deities are an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism. Leh also has Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

Longing in love for Ladakh

Leh looking like a classic oasis


Spot the solitary yak. Livestock rearing is an important industry for village folk here. In fact certain animals are critical to help the people survive the winter months

Longing in love for Ladakh

Shanti Stupa almost blends with the sparkle of autumn. But it is meant to stand out as a comforting beacon
Longing in love for Ladakh

Tsemo Gompa at sunset as seen from the Shanti Stupa. What seasons this monastery must have seen from the elements.

Longing in love for Ladakh

The blue-gold Autumn of Leh -Where leaves of poplar and the willow turn gold in autumn.

Longing in love for Ladakh

Leh constantly presents wide angle vistas that rest the eyes

Longing in love for Ladakh

Maitreya at Thiksey Monastery. Faith seems to be a key component for survival and the colour of people's daily lives.
The Leh Palace, a landmark structure that has overlooked the town since the 17th century. With time new structures have sprung up to give it company.
An old transformer sits amid a graveyard on the outskirts of Leh. Modern amenities might make life a little less harsh in the cold desert?
Tsemo Gompa, one of the highest structures in Leh, which itself is situated at an altitude of 3524 metres (11562 ft).
In August 2010, a flash flood caused by heavy rain from a cloud burst created havoc in this small town of vastness (and snugness).
Masks symbolizing demons and deities are an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism. Leh also has Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
Leh looking like a classic oasis.
Spot the solitary yak. Livestock rearing is an important industry for village folk here. In fact certain animals are critical to help the people survive the winter months.
Shanti Stupa almost blends with the sparkle of autumn. But it is meant to stand out as a comforting beacon.
Tsemo Gompa at sunset as seen from the Shanti Stupa. What seasons this monastery must have seen from the elements.
The blue-gold Autumn of Leh -Where leaves of poplar and the willow turn gold in autumn.
Leh constantly presents wide angle vistas that rest the eyes.
Leh in not-so-black-and-white.
Nitin Das is an independent filmmaker based out of New Delhi.  He is working on a project called 'Enchanted Lands & Fables'. The idea is to use fables and films from fragile ecosystems of our planet to create awareness about the environment. Nitin's films and work can be seen at www.filmkaar.com

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