07 Jun - 08 Jun 2011 Kargil

South Asia
Republic of Incredible India, the world's biggest democrazy
Jammu & Kashmir
Kargil (c. 2,700 m above sea level)
Hotel Naktul +919419509492 brokenstrings84@yahoo.com
Very basic but adequate double room with shared bathroom for only INR 250.- or US$ 5.50 per night.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Naktul in Kargil and for directions:

Learning about an interesting set of three Ladakhi cultural practices that keeps the population from growing more than the arid land can support and to prevent a farm from being divided up and thus being unable to support a whole family: (i) polyandry, where one woman marries all the brothers of a family to prevent the family's land from being divided, in combination with a large number of gompas (Tibetan-Buddhist monasteries) which can take many monks and nuns and thus keep the population at a stable level, (ii) khangbu, where father and mother retire into a small house once their eldest son marries and takes over the management of the farm, inheriting the main house along with it, and (iii) primogeniture, where the inheritance after a peasant’s death, primarily the agricultural land, passes to his oldest son in order to keep farms large enough to support a family.
Leaving Kargil at the first light of dawn, enjoying the second leg of our trans-Himalayan bus journey (232 km through Ladakh’s mountain desert, numerous military checkpoints, 11 hours), from Kargil/Ladakh over the 4,093-m high Futu-La Pass, traversing the Ladakh Range, to Leh/Ladakh, thus crossing the divide between a predominantly Islamic culture and Ladakh’s centuries-old Tibetan-Buddhist culture, driving through a barren moonscape studded with chortens (Himalayan Buddhist relic shrines or memorial stupas) built to honour the Boddhisattavas (Beings of Wisdom, who supposedly lived many lives before attaining Buddhahood) and turning our first prayer wheel in a clockwise direction at Mulbekh’s 9-m high 7th-century CE rock sculpture of the Maitreya, the future Buddha.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2011 Map Konni & Matt

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Konni & Matt Travel Photos

Facing India
© Konni & Matt

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