'Lung - Ta' or horizontal prayer flags spanning across a high hill in Lamayuru
Prayer flags form the identity of the city, no photo from Ladakh is complete without them
Bridges in Ladakh are also draped with numerous prayer flags as a mark of auspiciousness
'Darchor' or the vertical prayer flags. This particular one is outside Stok Palace in the courtyard
Prayers flags at the Lasthang Monastery, Byama
Even with no sign of human life be rest assured to find a prayer flag fluttering in remote parts
Ancient circular prayer scriptures written in the bodhi script are placed inside the wheel
Traditionally decorated prayer wheels at the Monastery in the Leh market
Prayer wheels have to be turned in the clockwise direction to collect good karma and wisdom
Prayer wheels on the stairs leading to the Diskit Monastery
A small table top prayer wheel that can be turned by spinning the protruding metal rod
A local waiting for a ride into the city in the prayer wheel room on the road to Hanle
Buddhism has influenced the life and thinking of the people in Ladakh owing to its widespread presence in this region. The locals come across as irrepressibly happy, with a strong sense of self and remain connected to their land having developed a close bond with their natural surroundings. As a common practice lending an identity to the region one can find prayer flags and prayer wheels everywhere.
Originally written on cloth banners the Indian Sutras were shared with other regions across the world as prayer flags. ‘Lung–Ta’ the horizontal, rectangular prayer flag and ‘Darchor’ the vertical flag are the two different types that can be seen all over Ladakh. The belief is that if hung in high places the blessings depicted on the flag will be carried all over the region. When the wind touches these flags the air is sanctified and becomes pure, emanating good vibrations.
Prayer wheels are cylindrical bodies made from metal or wood, containing verses of spiritual text and mantras written in the bodhi script on circular parchments, which are then sheaved into the cylindrical body of the wheel. Each clockwise rotation of the prayer wheel is said to negate bad energy and add good karma to a person’s life