In this week’s episode the expedition moves up into Kashmir briefly, looking at its peoples and their work at silk rugs, before heading high into the mountains of Ladakh, where we see film of the capital Leh.
Around Leh the team visits the local Anshi, or traditional doctor, and on to a funeral to observe the last rites, and look at life in a small Gompa (monastery) housing 20 bonzes, or Tibetan-tradition monks.
We also follow the Head of the monastery visiting the lay supporters and performing rituals in the specially set-aside room, and look at the layout of the House with animals on the ground floor, the kitchen in the middle and the living quarters above.
From Leh, the team treks 70 kilometres to visit the most sacred monastery in Ladakh at Alchi, which is full of the most amazing, and amazingly well-preserved, statues and murals, including giant mandalas. We also witness the 2-day Spring Festival, with the traditional dances and music.
From a Buddhist and cultural perspective some of the most interesting material is in this episode of the Silk Road Series, and it also struck me that the Japanese have made a film that is independent of the CCTV arm of the expedition, and are able to speak at length from their own Buddhist background, and the connection the culture has with Japan.
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