Sunday 22 July. Shey Palace.

It’s a short drive down the Leh-Manali highway to Shey where there are celebrations to mark 800 years since the founding of Shey monastery. Teachings are being held in front of the new gompa, a forest of parasols is keeping off the sun. Ladakhis and Tibetans love to party, there’s an air of festivity, two young men use leg power to turn the brightly painted ferris wheels.

Shey is famous for a huge stupa field built by Deldon Namgyal. It’s a spectacular setting with the Stok mountain range in the background. In the late afternoon, 800 cotton tubular balloons are released, hot air from a small fire carrying them over the mountains. A beautiful sight.

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