Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My World

I've been doing some work and touristing in Nepal for the past three weeks. These are a few pictures of a hike around Dhulikhel. I last visited this town on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley and hiked to Namobuddha shrine and monastery in 1989. A lot has changed - but a lot remains the same.

From Nepal Mar - April 2010

Because of the general unrest in the country, I decided to hire the services of a guide. He was great. In addition to walking on trails which didn't follow the dusty main roads, he knew a lot about development and the education system in Nepal. He is the head of the school committee for the community managed school in his village. We had a lot to talk about.

Above: Prem on the stairway leading to the Kali temple.

The beginning of the hike went straight up the stairway to the temple. Once there, we had to walk carefully as the army had set up a camp around the temple, complete with razor wire and fortifications to protect the nearby cell phone tower.

That was certainly a big change. However, the fields and the labor of the farmers preparing their fields has not changed much.

From Nepal Mar - April 2010

View of Namobuddha Monastery from afar.

From Nepal Mar - April 2010

When I was there in 1989, there was only one building at the top of the hill, where a few old monks and nuns greeted us. Now, the monastery extends around the hilltop and on to the next hill. Several hundred monks are in residence and it's possible for foreigners to stay there and meditate. Next time...

From Nepal Mar - April 2010

Above - view of prayer flags from the top of the monastery.

From Nepal Mar - April 2010

View of the Namobuddha shrine, on a shoulder of the hill below the monastery. The story itself comes from the Jataka Tales, the 500 incarnations of the Lord Buddha before his rebirth. The tale of Namobuddha is from his last rebirth before his final re-birth. The Boddhisattva was walking near this place and came upon a starving tigress and her five kittens. He was so distressed to learn of her suffering that he gave up his own body for her and allowed them to kill him and consume his flesh.

The shrine allows people to think of his sacrifice and his loving kindness to care for all sentient beings.


Sylvia K said...

A wonderful look at your world! Your photos are beautiful! Love the ones with the prayer flags! Thank you for sharing this with us today!


J Bar said...

The flags look amazing like that.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Ann said...

The prayer flags are so remarkable.

luna miranda said...

very interesting post and photos. Nepal is one of my dream destinations--someday, i hope.:p

Anonymous said...

Fabulous view of the monastery! Great shots.. those prayer flags are so cheerful.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thank you for the tour. Was it safe to go up there?

Glennis said...

An amazing act of self sacrifice. I love all the flags at Nepali temples.