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Thiksay Monastery

Janhavi Sharma

Thiksey, Jammu and Kashmir, India

There are various reasons one must visit the Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh, where all three of these images have been made. The architectural grandeur, ancient buddhist paintings from Tibetan folklore, the detailed sculptures, metal ornamentations, wood carvings, mandalas; there's heaps of art for you to absorb and be inspired from. But it's the experience of attending their morning prayers that I recommend the most. It's the most meditative, calming ritual to start your day with.

The low hums, bells and dongs and trumpets create an echoing sense of presence in you, make you feel awakened. The prayers continue for more than an hour, and softly the sun rises around you, giving you that much-needed warmth you've been missing. I remember walking around the place after the prayers, talking to the monks, who by the way, are great conversationalists once they know you're curious and interested. I'm not particularly religious, but I do feel there's something to such places of spiritual relevance, that makes you feel better. More connected. More strengthened. 

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