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17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Incantation of the mystical mantras, Thikse monastery, Leh

Mystique is as essential a feature of Tibetan Buddhism as are its more discernible forms of divinity. The ambience of the assembly hall at Thikse monastery, situated around 19 km east of Leh, seems to elevate you to the pedestal of the mystical divinity even before you realized how. The assembly hall is lit barely enough to enable you to savour the vibrant shapes and colours of Thangka paintings, hundreds of years old, that adorning its walls. In the pin drop silence of the hall, the genteel murmuring of scriptures by this monk seemed to seemed to ring a superior incantation in my ears.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2019
Date Uploaded: 10.2019
Photo Location: India
Camera: NIKON D7100
Copyright: © Vikas Bajpai