Tuesday 17 June
Visited 15th Century Spituk Gompa (Monastary) 8km from Leh this morning. Lots of steps - we should be used to this by now. I don't think we are quite so breathless as we were yesterday so perhaps we are getting used to the altitude. It must just be my general level of unfitness that makes it so hard to climb up so high. Anyway great views all around from the top. Lots of statues, Thangkas & other paintings on the walls.
In the afternoon we went up to the top of Leh to look around the 16th Century Leh Palace. It was made from mud daube with walls leaning inwards & it had been desserted & was falling into ruins until 15 years ago the Indian government started repairs. They seem to be making a good job of it with fine carvings around the windows that have been replaced. Walls have had to be rebuilt & roofs replaced. Unfortunately some of the wall paintings have been lost because the walls were cracked & falling down. They have managed to save some of the original art work. It was interesting to see the parts of the building
Steps up to Stipuk Gompa
Just a few of the steps we struggled up
that has yet to be restored. It gave us an idea of the amount of work that must have already been done.
We also visited a small meditation room that had been built & used by a former Queen of Leh. There were painters at work restoring the paintings on the walls. There were a hundred paintings of the Buddha in his 5 different forms amongst other designs.
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