Landscapes of Ladakh
The recent cloudburst that has wreaked havoc over Ladakh has generated a lot of concern. Furqan Khan revisits the eternal beauty of the region.
Nestled in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas, Ladakh or the ‘land of passes’ has been the centre of Tibetan-Buddhist culture for ages. Over the years, it has attracted devout Buddhists from all over the globe, as well as photographers and adventure lovers. The recent cloudburst and heavy rains that played havoc in Leh- Ladakh and around were unusual, unseen and unpredicted.
This tragedy came as a shock for me as I was there only a few days before the incident. While there have been frequent incidences of cloudbursts in the greener Himalayan states, the effects were worse in Ladakh because the region is devoid of vegetation—it is a cold desert where it rains very rarely. Ladakhis have adopted a way of living that suits the dry climate. Houses are built from mud and so even the slightest amount of rain can cause great damage. Needless to say, a cloudburst had a far more damaging effect. It will perhaps take months and years to reconstruct it. I wonder if Leh- Ladakh will ever be the same again.
When Shooting the Remote Beauty of a Land like Ladakh
- Do not get overpowered by the beauty of the place. Stay calm, think and compose your shots.
- Have a sense of ‘responsible tourism’. Never litter, Carry a paper bag to collect your waste. Dispose it in the correct place, like in garbage bins.
- Be sensitive to ecological problems and endeavour to photograph and highlight them.
This article originally appeared in September 2010 of Better Photography.