Before going to Uletokpo, we stopped at Alchi monastery. This place was built by the greatest missionary of western Tibet Rinchen Zangpo in the 11 th century with the help of many Tibetan and Kashmiri artists. It is part of the Likir Monastery and is part of the yellow hat school of Buddhism. This is one of the oldest monasteries and has remarkable significance in the history of Ladakh. The monastery has five temples richly decorated with paintings and murals. We saw beautiful architecture here. The wood carvings were old and beautiful. We saw some colorful frescoes inside the temple. They were extremely beautiful and unfortunately, damaged by the carbon from the clarified butter lamps that is lit inside the temple for warship on a regular basis and camera flashes from some of the tourists..
Personally I do not take pictures of such places because it seems to me to disturb the sanctity of these places. We saw some colorful frescoes at the outer-wall of the temple as well, so I took them. With the river beside the monastery, some unknown birds chirping in the surrounding trees, the narrow alleyways that lead to heart of the monastery, it was beautiful. It appeared to me, that one does not need to be wanting to meditate here, this place makes people feel peaceful.
At one corner of the alleyway that lead to the monastery, we saw some shops. It was like a splash of colors amongst the grey walls that surrounded it, like the presence of love amongst the hardest of people. Colorful stones, wood carvings, prayer beads and what not made their way to our eyes, hearts and then bags. 🙂 Decent ladies love their shopping… 😛