Into the Buddhist Monasteries in Himalayas
It was always my dream to visit and photograph the life of the monks in Himalayan monasteries. There are actually many places in Asia where to go to experience Buddhism but we decided to go right to the center which is probably Ladakh district in Northern India. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir and its culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet. I must admit that this is absolutely different India – in a good meaning.
We had the opportunity to visit the biggest Buddhist monasteries in this area and we were lucky to spend the night directly in the temple. There I photographed the Buddhist bell with Milky Way. The environment is almost without a light pollution and the results were fabulous. The Buddhist praying sessions are also a great chance to shoot portraits and we attended them every time it was possible. However some monasteries allow visitors to join the sessions the others not. We visited there eight monasteries in total, some very close to Pakistan borders and all of them had really unforgettable atmosphere.
Ladakh is also known as a great destination for hiking and we truly love tramping not only in high mountains. That’s why we decided to do the 5 days Markha valley track which was awesome. I must admit that the hike was also quite hard because we had to carry everything with us including tent, sleeping bags, mattresses, food for 5 days and of course my photo equipment. I usually hike with my standard body Canon EOS 6D + one wide lens (Canon 16-35 f/2.8L) for landscape and one longer lens (Canon 70-200 f/4L IS) for portraits and details as I’m usually able to cover with this set 90% of my needs. The problem here was the tripod. Even though I have the pleasure to work with absolutely great carbon Gitzo tripod It’s still an additional weight which I don’t want to carry to almost 6 thousands meters above the sea level. So in this case I decided to leave it home and honestly I didn’t miss it much :). In the gallery below you can check a few pictures from this awesome journey.