Friday, April 1, 2011

Photo Phriday - Bodhnath Stupa, Kathmandu

Writing is what pays my bills. So, in my leisure time, I'd much rather be drinking scotch and playing Mario Kart that updating this blog. Yes, that's my excuse for the lack of posts lately.  But that's all about to end...

Hereforth marks the origins of idreamofdurian's "Photo Phriday". At the end of each week, no matter how sick of the written word or cramped my typing-fingers may be, I will share a photo or two from my travels. I've been traveling extensively for the last 4 years and have a generous backlog to draw from. This means that just because I post a photo from Beijing or Belgrade does not mean that's where I am at the moment (hear that, mom?).

So, without further adieu, here we go:  Bodhnath (Boudhanath) Stupa, outside of Kathmandu  



This Tibetan Buddhist temple is one of the largest stupas in the world and easily the most beautiful site I visited in Nepal. Sure, the square surrounding the temple was lousy with pizza cafes and souvenir shops offering instant-enlightenment, but even that couldn't detract from the mesmerizing sight of hundreds of monks and exiled Tibetans circling the temple counter-clockwise, spinning prayer wheels and humming mantras.


 
When a temple is this photogenic, how do you choose just one? (click for full size)


Om mani padme hum

The area around Bodhnath is home to many Tibetan monasteries, but based on all the shopping bags I like to think this guy is new recruit. Maybe just one hour earlier he was cooking momos or driving some spoiled western tourists like me to the temple, then decided "forget this BS, I'm going to be a monk".  A quick shave of the head, a new purple robe, and a plastic bag full of essential monk-gear from a souvenir shop (prayer wheel, prayer beads, mantra book) and a new life has begun! Or maybe I'm just projecting...

24 comments:

  1. That is exactly what I thought about the picture of the monk too. I was like, plastic bags? Really?

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  2. I bet he also leaves the tap running when he brushes his teeth!

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