For The Love Of Ladakh : Talking About The Awe-Inspiring Stakna Monastery

Stakna Monastery, LehThe monastery sits atop a hill, peacefully | Photo: Kaushik Ghelani

Photo: Kaushik Ghelani

Nestled peacefully on the top of a hill, Stakna Monastery in Ladakh is a traveller’s and photographer’s delight.

Cocktail Zindagi Network

Some travel experiences change you from within and you just cannot help it. When you capture the sight in your camera it stays in your mind forever. That is a similar experience that happened with Kaushik Ghelani, a popular photographer whose works have been published in various renowned magazine across the globe.

The legendary Indus river | Photo: Kaushik Ghelani

Narrating his experience about how he captured this award-winning photograph of the Stakna Monastery, he begins by saying, “It was a chilling morning around 8-25 AM on 25th February. The legendary Indus river was semi-frozen at -6 degrees. I was walking in the Indus Valley around the beautiful Stakna Monastery. The monastery lies along the shallow waters of river Indus at about 25 km from Leh. It is this very Indus river which flows into the five rivers of Punjab, the Ravi, Sutlej, Beas, Jhelum and Chenab, merging in the land of Pakistan, before flowing into the Arabian sea.”

Stakna Gompa camouflaging with the landscape | Photo: Kaushik Ghelani

He talks about the history of the ancient monastery, “The Stakna Monastery was founded in the late 16th century by the Bhutanese scholar, Chosje Jamyang Palkar. Stakna means, ‘Tiger’s Nose’ because it is built on a hill shaped like one. This monastery stands as a symbol of Buddhism, proudly displaying the rich cultural heritage of India. Stakna Gompa is also known as the most colourful gompa in the Ladakh region. From the roof of Stakna Monastery one can have a striking view of Indus valley that most will never forget.”

He has captured the above image on a Canon 7D MK2, Canon 100-400 IS2, f/9, 1/125 secs Exposure, 100 ISO and 0.3 step to capture maximum details. Focal length was 114 MM.

Offering a tip for budding photographers, he says, “Wide vision is important to capture wide frames even while using a telephoto lens. It is not necessary that a wide angle lens will always work to capture a better landscape.”

Quick Fact: Stakna Gompa is a monastery of the Drugpa sect of Buddhism, housing approximately 30 monks.

Photos: Kaushik Ghelani

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Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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