Good luck stones

Good luck stones

In Ladakh or Tibet wherever you go you can find small heaps of flat stones arranged one above other.
Generally these heaps are surrounded by prayer flags and deities. Nowadays people who visit those places make them as an act of memory. They call them "Good luck stones". Here my friend Thiagu is arranging one such heap on the banks of Pangong Tso, the heavenly lake in Ladakh. After he finished I asked him for whom he had built that. He said "You". I was moved, naturally.

For the interested souls I am presenting this writeup about these stones. I got this information from my friend Apoorva chowdhury (The Wandering Hermit).

The trail is often marked by old votive cairns which have been erected of loose stones to propitiate the spirits that rule over mountain and dale. They also mark out the trail in the absence of roads and one encounters them everywhere in the Himalayas and in the often desolate terrain they mark out routes of stones or small cairns are placed on top or near dangerous spots of the land such as roadsides, mountain passes, bridgeheads, and other places of potential danger to people and livestock, are worshipped by travelers (and, nowadays, also by road menders) who, by offering stones, scarves or personal items pay homage to the local deity or spirits that they have traveled safely so far; they also pray for a safe return and a profitable outcome of their undertaking whether it is pilgrimage, business or another reason.In their most rudimentary form – a pile of stones – the cairns are the oldest structures which mark the dwelling place of a deity or deities; and this elementary type is known as" lHa-tho". these structures should be passed to the left, in a clockwise direction

Sticks, or branches of trees are inserted into the base with banners, with symbols of devotion, such as prayer flags, silk scarves, coloured cloth, tufts of wool, twisted or braided ropes, and other items of empowerment and protection fastened to them. This assemblage is held together by ropes and ribbons. In other cases the stone structure is topped by a cluster of plants, and the entire bundle is wrapped in silk scarves or ropes.
lHa-tho/Lab-rtses can be found in Tibet, and in adjacent Himalayan countries: Nepal, Bhutan; as well as parts of India, Sikkim, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahoul; but are also native to Mongolia and the Altaic area where they are called Obos.

Thanks, Apoorva.

Actually this culture of arranging stones is found widely in mountains all over the world. I have seen a photo taken in Europe depicting these stone piles. You can see it here.
flickr.com/photos/von-marazzi/2981630822/in/set-721576034…

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ارسال شده توسط Ezhil Ramalingam on 2008-11-21 15:42:17

برچسب شده: , ladakh , pangong , lake , thiagu , goodluckstones , The Perfect Photographer , SOE