Updated: Sep 2006
Published: Sep 1987

Northern India

Jammu to Srinagar

On the road from Jammu to Srinagar. This is the bit where the Indian tectonic plate hits the Eurasian plate and starts to push up the Himalayas.


Srinagar is the main town in the hilly bit of Kashmir.

Weeding the lake

Srinagar is built on the shores of Dahl lake, and a houseboat on the lake provided us with pleasant accommodation for a week or so. I presume that this harvested vegetation is used for fertilising the market gardens around the town.

Boy on Dahl Lake

I took a boat out for a paddle one morning and found this scene.

Kashmiri shepherd

A scene from a walk from Pahalgam to the Kolahoi glacier and back.

Kashmiri man and child

On the Kolahoi glacier walk we met a small group of people and horses winding their way up from a very steep valley.

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Kashmir morning

On the way back to Pahalgam from the Kolahoi glacier.

Srinagar to Leh 1

The road from Srinagar to Leh was blocked by military roadblocks at various points. It's a fairly contentious part of the world, and India has clashed with both Pakistan and China in this area. Fortunately, things were quiet when I was there, but the road was temporarily blocked at this point for a few hours on the trip to Leh.

Srinagar to Leh 2

While Srinagar and Leh are both in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the scenery and culture are totally different at each end of the road. Leh, in Ladakh, is on the Tibetan plateau, in the rainshadow of the Himalayas and has a predominantly Buddhist culture.

Thikse gompa

A gompa is a Buddhist monastery. The Thikse gompa is set on a hilltop outside Leh, and it's an impressive sight.

Leh srinagar

To get back to Srinagar we got a ride with one of these trucks. As with the bus trip on the way up, the road was closed for a few hours at one point, but as soon as the road was reopened, all the trucks took off in a swirl of dust and diesel smoke.


Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh, is where many Tibetan refugees fled after the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959. The Dalai Lama lives here.

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Jodhpur fort

Jodhpur, in Rajasthan, has a spectacular fort on a hilltop in the middle of the city.

Near jaisalmer 1

From atop a camel near the Rajasthan town of Jaisalmer.

Near jaisalmer 2

Tourist and lens flare in the deserts of Rajasthan.

Monk at Leh Gompa, 1987
Leh is the largest town in Ladakh, a section of the Tibetan Plateau and, as far as I know, is currently part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Although it's governed by India, it's unlike the rest of the country in most respects - it's on the dry side of the Himalaya for starters and the culture is predominantly Buddhist.
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On the train to Chandigarh
Matthew (nearest the camera) and David were my main traveling companions during my 1987 trip to India. At this point we'd finished the northern part of our trip around Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, and were heading back down the very windy railway towards Chandigarh.
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Indian Photographer