Sunday, 11 November 2007

Hiking to the Palace and Beyond

No trip to Leh is complete without a small hike to the Royal Palace and the hill beyond. The 17th century Palace is currently under renovation so there is not too much to see on the inside, but the views are fantastic.

One room does however make the trip into the Palace worth it. The prayer room has been completely restored to its former glory. It is very atmospheric with the only source of light being a small shaft letting in natural light through the ceiling.

Beyond the palace, which is already high above town, the path leads further up to the 15th century Namgyal Tsemo Gompa (Monastery) and behind it a medieval, ruined fort. Of course we had to go up there, following the path on the right, where you see other tourists making their way up.

Lasse on the ascent. You can see the Palace way down behind him.

On the top, a man takes pictures of the snow covered mountaintops in the distance.

View over the Indus Valley. You can here clearly see the contrast between the barren hills and the very green and lush valley, made fertile by the famed Indus river.

View towards the less fertile desert side, where a lone truck makes its way across.

Lasse wasn't feeling too well at this point, so he went down while I stayed to take a few more pictures. The little black dot on the hill side is him making his descent towards the narrow streets of Old Leh. It really is amazing scenery. More of that to come in future posts.

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