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gompaThe Tibetan Monastery or “Gompa” of Spituk overlooks the Upper Indus as it flows out of Chinese Tibet and towards Baltistan in Pakistan. The Indus here is the geological dividing line between the ancient Karakorum mountains and the younger Himalayas (40+ million years old and growing: Mount Everest rises 2 inches every ten years).

We’re in Indian Tibet here, a region called Ladakh where Tibetan culture flourishes freely. Wheeler Expeditions first explored Indian Tibet – including running the remote Zanskar River tributary of the Upper Indus, one the world’s most thrilling whitewater experiences – in 1992. We’ll explore it once more next year. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #128 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)