Ladakhi Cowboy

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A Yak herdsman relaxes after a day of work at Rumtse on the Manali-Leh highway.

 

Rumtse is a small village nestled in a Rupshu Valley on the Ladakh side of Taglang La(Pass). It mostly consists of a few houses on either side of the Manali-Leh highway and is a starting point of treks to nearby Tso Kar as well as distant Kibber in Spiti, Himanchal Pradesh.

Returning from Leh I made an impromptu stop here and then the idleness of the village made me stay for the night.

Since it was early evening, I planted myself outside one of the shops and chatted with anyone I could find. A few free locals gathered and we swapped stories.

The picture above is of a local herdsman who was relaxing after hard days work. He had brought his herd of Yaks from a remote meadow in preparation for upcoming shearing.

Technical details: Canon G1X Mk2, F/8, 1/320s, ISO800, 62.5mm
Editing: Lightroom + GIMP (Border/Text)

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Sand Dunes at 10000ft

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High altitude desert at Hunder, Nubra Valley, Ladakh

While Hunder is a touristy place owning to the Bactrian camel rides, the sand dunes present a mesmerizing view at sunrise and sunset times. Located around 30Km into the Nubra Valley, Hunder is a the most popular tourist place in the valley.

Returning back from Hunder to Diskit, I stopped at a roadside clearing. There I met a civilian employee of the army who fished out a bottle of beer for sharing. We sat there chatting and admiring nature’s light and shadow dance.

Technical details: Canon G1X Mk2, F/8, 1/320s, ISO500, 62.5mm
Editing: Lightroom + GIMP (Border/Text)

Bridge to the Unknown

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A stream flows past a small bridge leading to remote grazing meadows of Zanskar.

During summer months as the snow melts, the streams get flooded and water level rises. The streams fiercely flow down the mountain side to join the Suru river. Most of these streams have no bridges and one has to wade through the cold freezing water for crossing.
I did an impromptu stop of two days in this place. The remoteness and of course the beautiful surroundings were what made me stay. On the second day I wandered around the valley and visited the Drang Drung Glacier.

The picture, with the towering Himalayas in the backdrop and a small bridge was  taken a few Km from the Randum Monastery alongside one of the several summer grazing meadows.

Technical Details
Camera: Canon G1XMk2
Exposure: 20mm, F/16, 1s, ISO100
Editing: Lightroom + GIMP (Border/Text)

Drang Drung Glacier at Pensi-La

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Drang Drung Glacier flows east from Doda Peak to form the Stod River which eventually joins Zanskar River downstream.

Pensi La is the highest mountain pass between Kargil and Padum in Zanskar. It acts as a gateway to Zanskar.
Located around 25Km from Julidok village in Rangdum Valley, the terrain is barren and surroundings are beautiful. I did an impromptu stop of two days in the Julidok village. The remoteness and of course the beautiful surroundings were what made me stay.

The picture is taken from the top of the Pensi La, looking east towards the  Drang Drung Glacier.

Technical Details
Camera: Canon G1XMk2
Exposure: 16mm, F/4, 1/1250s, ISO100
Editing: Lightroom + GIMP (Border/Text)

Moonset over Spiti Valley

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This is a 5 shot panorama. Click on the picture above to see a full screen version.

Moon sets in the west as the first rays of sun illuminate the peaks across the Spiti River from Dhankar

The trail that leads to Dhankar Lake has panoramic views of the village of Dhankar with its new and old monastery. For 3/4th of the distance the trail rises steeply with open views of the valley below.

I had woken up early for the early morning walk to the lake from the Monastery (where I was staying) before any other soul stirred. The three dogs who got startled as I open the door, ungrudging  accompanied me on the walk up to the lake. Taking my time going up, I occasionally stopping to take in the rising sun shower its blessings on the monastery and the village below.

In the 5 shot panorama above, the entire valley is still deep in shadows while the peaks to the West receive their first rays of sun. The moon can also be seen setting on the left.

Technical Details

  • Olympus E-M10ii + 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6
  • F/5, 1/60s, ISO200
  • Lightroom + GIMP (Border/Text)