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ENGLISH STUDY MATERIAL
B.Tech – 1st Year

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UNIT I – HEAVEN’S GATE
Introduction: Pico lyer is one of the most revered and respected travel writers alive today. He was born in England to Indian parents in 1957. Describing himself as “a global village on two legs”, Iyer Consider himself a citizen of the world. Pico lyer in “Heaven’s Gate” describes his travel experiences in Ladakh. A land of freezing winds and burning hot sunlight, Ladakh is a cold desert lying in the rain shadow of the Great Himalayas and other smaller ranges. Little rain and snow reaches this dry area, where natural forces have created a fantastic landscape. Surrounded by rugged mountains this land is completely different from the green landscape of many parts of the Himalayas. The Culture and Heritage of Ladakh: Even after twenty-five years of travel to the place, Ladakh did not lose its fascination and wonder for the author. The landscape of the Nubra Valley appeared to be the most pristine and surreal Iyer had ever seen. A huge flat plain land extended up to snowcaps on all sides. At a few places two-storeyed white buildings like fortresses appeared together. They were silent in the middle of apricot trees and willows. Marmots, wild asses and Bactrian camels added romance to the landscape. The sky was so blue that it almost hurt the eyes. The temple, Diskit Gompa, rose high into the heavens. The Buddhist city on a hill was rich and the chapels were fragrant with centuries of melted yak butter. It was an endless stretch of noiseless valley. The barren mountains and snowcaps gave the impression that it was an unvisited land. This land of blue-skied purity was also one of the most cosmopolitan trading posts in the Himalayas. Ladakh was found to be a compact, otherworldly and highly magical place and a secret treasure. Ladakh is said to be a test case of what is good as well as what is bad. It seems to be a place of paradoxes. Both good things and bad things happen here. Ladakhis life style: It is both traditional and modern. With barley and wheat irrigated by snow, the lifestyle was still pastoral. Here people with ancient faces are working in the fields.

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Some of them found going to temples as if they never heard of Paris. He also found musicians sitting on the ground among the poplars, playing at intervals while a team of elegant men in black robes took on a team of elegant men in white in a traditional archery competition. He further came to know about social life of Ladakh in Andrew Harvey’s book ‘Journey in Ladakh’. He read that people of Ladakh live as they used to live several centuries ago, in whitewashed houses amid fields of Barley and wheat irrigated by glacial snowmelt. The author experienced both western influence on youth on one side and the other side steps to preserve significance of local forms of music and festivals. He went to the Desert Rain Coffeehouse for an ‘Open Mike’ night where Ladakh’s fashion conscious teenagers are found fluent in every verse of ‘Hotel California’. Development of Tourism in Ladakh: Leh is the capital of Ladakh. The main bazaar road of Leh was a crowded and noisy place. Pico Iyer saw women quietly sitting along the sidewalk selling vegetables. Among them, he identified the faces from Lhasa, Heart and Samarkand. At the mosque he saw Muslim elders some of whom were Indo-Iranians having blue and green eyes. They claimed their descent from Alexander the Great. For the entire settlement there were a few dusty and mud-colored buildings, an abandoned palace and a few temples on boulders and hillside. There were two trade routes. Workers in the best hotels provide cold water twenty-four hours. There was no street lighting. There were Internet cafes at every corner but they do not...
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