With lots of planning and excitement to travel to ladakh for kalachakra, we initially were of 8 good friends already prepared for the trip with air tickets but at the last moment, 2 of them had to cancel due to their job. We all had to separate with heavy heart due to the change as in the planning to travel together initially. So after 1 hour flight we land in Delhi airport. For the next 3 days in Majnukatilla, Tibetan settlement we went to see Taj Mahal in Agra, we had to pay IRs 500 for the entry. As we stand in front of the Taj Mahal, the feeling and perception i had about the great Taj Mahal wasn’t there as i expected, I assume it was due to the heat I experience but we were very happy at least to be able to visit the great Taj Mahal. We went to back to Majnukatilla that evening, we took a rest the next day, met couple of old friends, had meal together and catch up with new and old gossip when we were young and handsome in the past together.
On the third day we board a train to Jammu through the night and we head straight to Kashmir after we reached Jammu by jeep, due to the maintenance on the road we reached Kashmir in the middle of the night, fortunately it wasn’t a problem to get a room as our driver kindly took us straight to the hotel he know about. The next morning we realized when we were walking about the neighborhood, the place and the people were wonderful, the local Kashmiri were friendly and surroundings are full of greenery. The experience I had there was totally different as I used to imagined, like, about terrorism related with the place. So we decided to stay two more days before heading to Ladakh. We visited this beautiful lake which was really enticing and if it wasn’t for my beloved kopan, I would love to settle there.
The trip to Leh Ladakh was quite tiresome as we have to travel about 20 hours on the road. When we reach Leh, I felt like we had reached different planet from Kashmir. The landscape there was de-void of green, barren mountains and hot climate. I supposed it is due to the season we visit, I do not know much about the place, otherwise. Nevertheless, the local were very hospitable and the land is full of holy sites and many historical monasteries, the tradition of the local were similar to Tibetan cultures and religion. Over the next three days before the start of Kalachakra, we managed to visit all these holy places including the Pangon Lake which 3 idiots shot the movie.
I guess, about 150,000 people have attended the initiation and teaching during the Kalachakra. We had the experience similar to the other kalachakra, like in Varanasi and bodhgaya, except for the local and the place. It was full of commotion around the site like usual during the Kalachakra in other places due to the numbers of people after the teachings and initiation. We are all very fortunate and blessed to receive the initiation from His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama. And to experience Leh Ladakh and its humble people.
Next morning after the conclusion of Kalachakra initiation, we head to Kelang and stayed for a night, while there we visited Gasha Phakpa , Tara and few other holy sites. The next day we were once again delighted to travel across the woods and beautiful mountains on our way to Manali. We stayed five days in Manali visiting different sites for tourist, at the same time i visited my childhood Tibetan school Patli Kuhl and by surprise i meet my guardian Mr. Topgyal la and Tsultrim la and other all childmates. The place is similar to Kathmandu and with company of good friends and lots of delicious apples to eat, couldn’t notice the days have passed by .
After almost a week of staying in manali, we start heading to Tso-Pema which was about 5 hours trip, we reach Riwalsar (Tso-Pema) the next morning we visited the holy sites all day. Due to the time constraint we left for Delhi and reached there the next early morning and we flew back to Kathmandu the next day in the morning. The next first thing we did in Kathmandu was eat Thakali Dal Baat next to airport and feel like back home.
About a month trip to India with friends was really an experiment to rejoice and remembered.
Compiled by Mr. Losang G. and Venerable Losang Khetsun