Navigation: Zanskar Valley, Singe La | Indus Valley, Leh

Photoksar, Wanla

Hugging the mountain on a small platform above the village of Photoksar there is a small gompa dating back to the 17th century. During the Covid lockdown Gulzar decided he wanted to do something usefull. He teamed up with the villagers to restored this small temple that was almost completely in ruins. They have financial help from the ACHI Ass. in Switzerland. Much has allredy been achieved with having stabilized the structure and murals and making the roof leak prove. But some beautiful rurals are still waiting for the skillfull hand of an experienced restaurator.

The village of Photoksar lies secluded between the Singe La and the Sirsir La passes. As they are closed due to snow during the winter months, the 250 inhabitants live a rather lonely life. They survive as shepherds and by farming on terrasses above the river.

Again our drivers have round innummerable bends and navigate dozens of hairpin turns. On the way we meet some marmots and more urials (red sheep) and finally summit at 4’800m.

Looking down the northern side of the Sirsir La we are again stunned by the differently bizzare landscape.

Getting down to the rivers again we move our legs with the two college girls that were hitchhiking outside Photoksar that have to get back to their shools. They were among the people helping Gulzar with the restoration at the gompa.

Wanla Gompa sits on a ridge above the village. It dates back to the 14th century and belongs to the Alchi group of monuments. They all share common decorative features: walls covered with hundreds to thousands of small and individual paintings and towering statues that dwarf the worshiper.

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Navigation: Zanskar Valley, Singe La | Indus Valley, Leh

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