Hemis Gompa

Despite it’s remote location, 43km from Leh, Hemis Gompa is Ladakh’s most famous and most frequently visited monastery. It’s famous for it’s mask dance festival held in the summer, which no doubt attracts even more crowds (although I would like to see it one day). This was the […]

Chemde Gompa

Chemde lies 45km south of Leh. Nestled on a pyramidal hill, the approach to the monastery will get every photographer itching to get out and capture the scene. This was the third gompa I visited on my day-excursion from Leh, seeking out the monasteries that lie south of […]

Stakna Gompa

Stakna is another hilltop monastery 25km from Leh, built in 1580. I attempted to access it from Hemis, but unfortunately the road was not great so never actually got to see it up close. As a result, welcome to my shortest blog post ever ! 🙂 You’re best […]

Shey Gompa

I set aside a day to tour the Gompas that lie alongside the Indus river running south from Leh. This made for a perfect day excursion, with plenty of time to explore each monastery and be back in Leh before the evening. My gompa hopping list for the […]


“Leh, Ladakh – you must go to Leh, Ladakh !”. I’ve lost count how many times I was told this during my work visits to Pune over the last 10 years. I’d never heard of the place, but knowing it was in the foothills of the Himalayas and […]

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid, situated in the heart of Ahmedabad, was built in 1423 by Ahmed Shah. The interior consists of more than 200 slender columns, unusually for this period they were not recycled pillars from Hindu or Jain temples, but specifically carved for the mosque (although the masons […]


A short distance from Ahmedabad lies Dholka, and for me possibly one of the highlights of my tour around eastern Gujarat. Dholka is a treasure trove of medieval Muslim architecture and yet nobody seems to visit it even though it can be easily reached by car in less […]


Champaner lies just 50km east of Baroda, so can be combined in a day trip from Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The former city was founded in the 8th century by King Vanraj Chavda of the Chavda Kingdom. Some attribute the name “Champaner” to his desire to name the city after […]