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I arrived Leh 1 day late. This was due to delay of my flight from London. Nevertheless the hotel did not charge me extra and changed the date of my booking. I was advised to take rest on the first day.
Next day I rented a car by myself and went for a monastery hopping. My first stop was Basgo. Perched at the top of a hillock, it is situated nearly 40 kms away from Leh approaching to Nimmu which is on the highway of Srinagar-Kargil-Leh. The monastery was a fortress in the earlier years of Ladakh. The Basgo was the place of authority of the kingdom of Namgyal and was the center of culture and politics in those earlier days.
Next stop was Nimu , the confluence of the river Indus and Zanskar. The confluence of a beautiful blue Zanskar River with a muddy Indus surrounded by mountains all around looks beautiful,
My next stop was Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. This Gurudwara is built and maintained by army and there is story behind it. In 1970 Army was constructing a road and large bolder was found covered with Buddhist prayer flags. Bulldozer driver tried to push it away but it did not move, he pushed the machine to its limits and the blade snapped and work stopped . Later the army major decided to blow it away with dynamite and he had a dream that night “don’t touch the stone”. Next day some Buddhist monk came to plead that don’t touch the stone as it has impression of Guru Nanak’s shoulder and back.
The story is Guru Nanak was resting in that place while coming back from Tibet. A wicked demon who lived in that area wanted to kill him. So he rolled a stone from top while Guru Nanak was meditating at the bottom of the hillock. The stone gathered momentum but melted like wax when it came with his contact. Thus carries his impression. The Gurudwara was built across that stone.
From Nimu we went to Likir Monastery. The monastery currently has approximately 120 Buddhist monks and a school, in which almost thirty students study. It is the seat of the Ngari Rinpoche, the present emanation of whom is the younger brother of the Dalai Lama.
From Likir I went towards Alchi . Alchi is located on the south bank of the Indus River at an altitude of 3,100 metres (10,200 ft) and 65 kilometres (40 mi) outside of Leh (to its west). The monastery complex has three major shrines: the Dukhang (Assembly hall), the Sumtsek and the Temple of Manjushri, all dating from between the early 12th and early 13th centuries.
On our way back we stopped at Spitok festival. The monastery contains 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali (unveiled during the annual Spitok festival).