Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Road Trip Back to Leh. Temple Unknown.


Dorje was waiting for us as we opened the front gates to the Moonland Hotel.  Today is another road trip day and by the end, we would be back in Leh.  That meant, we would essentially be driving back on the Srinagar-Leh Highway.  When asked, Dorje indicated we would be seeing....get ready for it....more monasteries today! I'm guessing we missed a few yesterday.

We had barely left Lamayuru behind, when Chantale asked Dorje to pull over by the roadside.   We had passed this small temple, on the other side of the Indus River, yesterday.  It most certainly intrigued Chantale so she wanted to check it out.  Dorje was probably wondering WTF?

A small wooden footbridge traversed the river.  It looked like it was recently built and sturdy so across we went. 


The gray waters of the river definitely don't make it one you want to pause and admire.  It was running fast and high today presumably from melting mountain snow.  It is late June here but that's probably spring for Ladakh.




A small path led to the small temple.



This was the plaque beside the front door.  I'm guessing the first sentence is the name of the place.  I tried to Google it but no search results.  So, I parsed out the name to see if I could find it that way.


I started with the phrase "zangdog palri padma" and got search results.  Reading a few, I learned that Zangdok Palri (aka the Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain) is the manifestation of the celestial paradise of Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, the *Second Buddha* of Tibetan Buddhism and great tantric master who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet.  Padma means *lotus*.  Atop Zangdok Palri sits the majestic Lotus Light Palace, filled with the light of wisdom. True devotees of Guru Rinpoche consider Zangdok Palri the ultimate paradise--a place of peace, joy and pure blessings.

I then searched for "ot-kyi photang" and the only results I got back had to do with photang.  It's the name of the valley the temple is situated in.

So, this very modest temple has a most grand name!

Today, the front doors were locked so all we could do was walk about the small grounds around the building.



Temple with grand name does not exactly have a nice view.   You look across the muddy waters of the Indus River over to the Srinagar-Leh Highway.  With all the traffic, it's pretty noisy here as well.


Behind the temple was small stupa and one building.  There must be a village nearby otherwise who would come here?


Back on the road, it was the same scenery we saw yesterday.


We passed by more roadworkers....doing it all by hand with not a single mechanical device to assist them.


Worker camps.  I would guess that roadwork only happens in the summer.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be sleeping in these tents in cold weather!


We also had to once again at the security checkpoint.  It was the same lady selling dried fruits and nuts as yesterday afternoon.  She has definitely cornered this checkpoint as her selling spot!


It would be a two hour drive from Lamayuru before we arrived at our next destination unknown.  Our journey back to Leh is well underway!