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Photographer's Note

Situated 67 km away from Leh, the village of Alchi is famous for its isolation and significant Himalayan heritage. Alchi is located in a valley at a relatively low (Ladakh standard) altitude of 3165 metres.

Alchi is home to the Alchi Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh dating back to the 11th century. Thirty-two Kashmiri wood carvers and sculptors helped to build the structure and it is particularly famous for its painted murals and frescoes that display an Indian touch in terms of style and design. These paintings display the five families of Buddha and other deities.

Alchi also has a number of other monasteries of interest, including Dukhang, the oldest temple in town and famed for its engravings and carved images of Bodhisattvas. The temple was designed in the image of the universe and employs a special geometric design. Sum-tsek temple is typical of Buddhist art with a carved wooden facade and huge pillars. Lhakhang Soma is a modern structure with elegant columns featuring engraved lion faces.

Summer is the best time to visit Alchi when the temperatures are pleasant and mustard crop in full bloom. In this frame, the ladies with a kid 'wade' through the sea of mustard, with the Himalayan mountains looming in the BG.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7750 W: 324 N: 15590] (54979)
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