Shortly after landing at Leh, we went to our hotel 5 minutes from the Airport. We were welcomed with “Khatas” or ceremonial scarves. We had coffee and were asked to drink as much water as possible and take rest.
Generally, in high altitudes, one faces health issues due to the reduced density of oxygen in the air. This can result from mild headache to nausea and in some rare cases, hospitalization. Hence people from the plains should take their first day off by restricting movement as much as possible while they move to a higher altitude all of a sudden. The good news is, you do not face this issue when you go by road, because the change of altitude is less sudden in that case and the body gets acclimatized as and when you finally reach the top.
Personally, I did not face any issue with the so called altitude sickness, though I took rest and drank water and hoped I dint puke up 😛
We got ready a little before the evening. We went to the Shey Palace first. It is is located at Shey, around 15 KMs from Leh. The palace , built in 1655 is in ruins now. It was used as summer capital of Ladakh previously.
The Palace, though in ruins, gives us an idea of the traditional architecture of the area. It has 9 levels, but the top level is restricted due to structural damage. We had a great time here, exploring the several levels with beautiful woodwork along with the great view of the surrounding hills.
Then we proceeded towards the Shanti Stupa in Leh. The Shanti Stupa, though a relatively modern structure, created only in 1991, is a stupa (Chortan) It has relic of Lord Budhha. On our way to the stupa, we found this beautiful corner with a tree of while flowers. It looked lovely..
We did a Parikrama of the stupa hoping for an instant enlightenment. 😀 Peace didn’t show up…so we must have walked the opposite way… 😛
We went straight to our hotel rooms after dinner, because the action was going to start from the next day!