First two weeks of May, 2014, Leh city, the ancient capital of the Ladakh kingdom, wakes his way out of a long winter. The two roads that connect this city to the outer India, which travel by the highest mountain passes in the world, are still closed at that time due to the lasting snows. Yet, its population, around 30'000 people, is preparing for three major unrelated events: the last phase of the india general election on May 16th, the beginning of the hiking touristic season, and the Kālacakra initiations next july, given by the Dalai Lama, one of the most important buddhist practice.
Young buddhism students in Lamayuru, 100km west to Leh. Buddhism schools are numerous. All the east Ladakh is influenced by the close Tibet, and thus is strongly devoted to Buddhism. Traditions and spiritual practices are deeply rooted in the daily routines.
Buddhist monks are full part of the society and are by no way isolated. This monk is waiting for the general election results, which update regularly along the day of May 16th.
At the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) local headquarter in Leh, the crowd is growing.
This old Leh habitant looks at the last results. At that time, the Congress' last round count reduces BJP advance.
Homestays are the main touristic housing infrastructure, and is crucial for the habitants incomes. This man offer two bedrooms in the Temisgang village.
Sumdo village is strongly isolated. Again, the men are mostly absent here, and only come once in a while from the city.
Larchman is the only child here, he shows me where the dog sleeps.
This young boy, called Larchman, came from Tibet to help with the domestic yaks in Sumdo, a two-house family village mostly living from the selling of apricots, barley and their homestay.
This young woman and her mother, are the two other main habitants of the village Larchman came to help. She's peeling poplar wood poles, a widespread material used in the constructions.
Ladakh is considered as a cold desert. Although the surroundings mountains that landlock Ladakh are heavily covered by snow, Ladakh by itself has no monsoon, and receives very few snow, or rain.