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Report 1932: Ladakh Takes Your Breath Away

By Eleanor from UK, Spring 2011

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Page 19 of 25: Alchi Village

photo by Michael

Prayer wheel

Alchi is in a side valley of the Indus River. It is reached along a side turning from the main Leh to Srinagar road. This drops down over a bridge and runs beside many old chortens.

Alchi is made up of four small villages. The road runs above an old village with a large prayer wheel and many chortens. Narrow paths run from the road into the village. There is a rocky promontory in the middle of the village with two old mud brick houses climbing up the sides of it, looking like small palaces. There is no record of the history of these buildings. The other houses are small with sheds and yards for the animals. There are no walls or trees in the village as the fields surround it.

We spent a very enjoyable hour before breakfast walking around the village. People were just beginning to wake up and were washing and brushing their teeth in the irrigation channels. Cattle were being let out to graze and people setting out to work in the fields. Groups of people were chatting around the large prayer wheel on the main road.

Beyond is the main village with guest houses and a small row of shops. The road ends here with a parking area for cars and the start of the track to Alchi Choshkor which drops down past souvenir shops.

Alchi Resort

We spent one night at Alchi Resort. This is in the main village, within walking distance of Alchi Choshkor. Entry is through a large gateway off the road. There is a large reception building with dining room and kitchens. The dining room is a bright and attractive room with a bright red ceiling and painted beams. Food was simple Ladakhi food but good.

The bedrooms are in smaller semi detached buildings (white with red doors) scattered around site which are surrounded by rough, rather unkempt gardens. These are reached by paths with steps which are difficult to see in poor light. There is a small ‘bandstand’ with seats.

The bedroom was clean but very basic with two single beds (hard, although we had our best night’s sleep here) pushed together, three small tables, wardrobe and two plastic chairs. A candle and matches were provided. There was an attached bathroom with rudimentary shower. A thin towel each was provided when asked. Hot water is only available in the mornings and electricity from 8-12pm.

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