The High City
Leh, Ladakh, India
Ladakh is considered a “Union Territory” of India with Leh being its largest city, sitting pretty at an elevation of ~11,500 ft. Most of the roads built in the northernmost regions of the country serve as military infrastructure for India coming right up to the Chinese border (the lines of which are disputed between the 2 superpowers), creating a strategic road network in the event of armed conflict between the 2 countries. The region of Ladakh has historically served as a vital trade network along the Indus River Valley, serving as a middle man between Tibet in the east, Kashmir to the west, and between China and India for most of history, and even today. As recently as 2019, India officially named Ladakh a Union Territory and conflict in the region has mostly subsided (at least to the eyes of most tourists).
Dan’s friend from Nepal, Nico, was also in town! On her recommendation, we stayed in a beautiful guest house in the neighborhood of Changspa, technically right outside Leh, in what was once the agricultural hub of Leh. The guesthouse was called Tushita Ladakh. It was run by a man by the name of Namgyal and his mother. We joked that Mr. Namgyal was never really around but everywhere at the same time. Whenever we needed something or even if we just wanted to step outside and enjoy the beautiful poplar tree views, he always seemingly popped out of nowhere ready to assist or just talk to us about Leh. Sitting in the common area decorated by intricately carved Tibetan woodwork sipping tea with him was a delight. We learned from Namgyal that whenever the Dalai Lama visited Leh, he stay just a few homes away with his old friend in Changspa. It was a peaceful and quiet part of town, clearly influenced by the crispness and serenity of Tibetan Buddhist culture.
On our first night we walked along Changspa Rd, passing the neighborhood Gomang Stupa (a Buddhist shrine) and an old farm dwelling.
NAT’S EYE VIEW: CHANSPA ROAD, LEH
Below, please find Dan looking FLY as we made our way along the winding, dusty, yet bright streets, on our way to the Leh, Palace.
This palace was built in the 1600s by in the Tibetan architectural style overlooking the old town of Leh. (Check this link out for information if interested!)