30 Oct 2012

Workshop on Stupa conservation

LEH: A training cum workshop on Chorten (Stupa) building and conservation began at Leh on Thursday. The training workshop is organised for 15-days by the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) with financial supports from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Jammu and Kashmir Government as granted by Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora.
The training workshop was inaugurated at HCHF’s office at Lonpo House by renowned research scholar, Gelong Thupstan Paldan who gave detailed introduction about the significance of different types of Chortens.
He expressed concerns over the use of all kinds of materials while building different stupas in today’s time because the centuries old monuments, which are still in good shape and attract thousands of visitors, are made solely with the use of local materials. Yet they have survived for centuries despite being in one of world’s most inhospitable climate with occasional heavy rain falls and snowfalls.
While welcoming the participants, secretary, Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation Dr Sonam Wangchok said that the land of Ladakh is dotted with countless religious and historical monuments built centuries ago by Ladakh’s ancestors and it is the duty of this generation to preserve them in its pristine form for future generations.
“The training workshop on Chorten building and conservation is a part of several successful and important activities taken up by HCHF in recent years,” added Dr Wangchok. Masons from different villages of Ladakh will be trained by two octogenarians Chorten experts, Tsering Tundup and Gelong Paldan Sonam, during the two week-long training. Several renowned scholars, Geshe and architects are expected to give special presentations related to monument conservation in Ladakh.
To impart hands on training for the masons, conservation of some old and historical Chorten in Chemdey would be under taken during the workshop and the participants would be taken to several historical sites in different villages of Ladakh where historical monuments need urgent attention for immediate restoration and preservation.
In today’s era of modernisation and development, different historical monuments are being damaged while executing construction of roads and buildings and many historical monuments are at the verge of extinction.
Keeping this urgency in mind Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora had asked HCHF to come up with a proposal for training masons and to bring awareness about preservation of historical monuments which are the signs of a vibrant culture that has thrived in Ladakh for centuries despite harsh climatic conditions.
Courtesy: www.statetimes.in                                      October 26th, 2012

23 Oct 2012

Tibetan finch rediscovered

Reported on the BBC site observations of Sillem's Mountain Finch have not been recorded since 1929. However, in June this year a French nature photographer took photos of a single bird seen with a flock of Tibetan Rosefinch, the image has since been confirmed as the 'lost' finch. So, if you are trekking at altitude in Ladakh it may well be worth looking out for a Sillem's, don't just dismiss flocks of Rosefinch, Brandt's or Plain Mountain Finch, look closely for that rare Sillem's Mountain Finch!