The (Buddhist) Stairway to Heaven

You see these steps cut out on a tree log? Buddhists believe if you can walk these from the base to the top without holding on to any support, you will be assured a place in heaven in your after-life.

I took this snap at Jispa, en-route to Ladakh. I did not make much of it then – it seemed a local design for steps going to the roof of the house. I saw this again at the Alchi Gompa (monastery) on the way from Leh to Zanskar and interpreted it as steps going to the upper floor of the temple. And then I overheard a guide telling his clients of the power of these steps to get you a ticket to heaven. All you have to do is climb these in a manner that would be one fine balancing act. It is not as easy as it looks.

No one has confirmed this to me. Nor did I attempt climbing one. Let me look for lesser challenging ways to get to heaven. I am in no hurry anyway.

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