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Buddhism has influenced the life and thinking of the people in Ladakh owing to its widespread presence in this region. The locals come across as irrepressibly happy, with a strong sense of self and remain connected to their land having developed a close bond with their natural surroundings. Within Ladakh it is a common practice to create mounds of carved Mani stones inside monastery areas, roadsides, or decorated with goat or yak horns at the entrances of homes. The universal mantra of the Avalokitesvara Buddha ‘Om Mani Pad Me Hum’ is etched into these smooth stones with hammers and chisels. Monks carve them occasionally as a form of 'Sadhana' or meditation; local villagers make them in their spare time in winters. It could be a form of punishment, an inner calling or a method of contemplation. Every stone that is made is added to the mound making it bigger with time. The locals and lama’s make these works to express their faith within Buddha.
For more details: http://dsource.in/resource/practicing-peace