Monday, June 18, 2012

Photos: Their Monasteries are in the Clouds

This weekend, with the monsoon season finally lumbering into action, I went to visit Taktsang, the famous Tiger's Nest. After a 6am start, the adventure soon had to be diverted elsewhere as the main road from Thimphu to Paro became impassable due to landslides. 

Instead, we visited Chagri Dorjeden, the Buddhist monastery established by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. 

It was a breath-taking introduction to the temples of Bhutan.

Cars line up hundreds of metres back. An unusual sight in Bhutan. A landslide has made the road impassable.

A group of locals consider solving the problem themselves as it becomes apparent that help will be slow in coming this early Sunday morning. They begin to hammer at the enormous rock, hoping to roll more manageable pieces off the cliff.

We head back to Thimphu, stopping to take examine the traditional Bhutanese architecture and of the rice terraces.

Amidst the clouds,  hanging off the side of the mountainside, Chagri Dorjeden comes into view.

Two monks make their way up to the monastery.

We make a friend along the way who cheerfully accompanies us up and down the mountain. Traditional Bhutanese hospitality.

The deep green surroundings on the walk up are bursting with all manners of life.  After hiking up the steep trail,  the monastery finally comes into view.

We were allowed to enter without a letter of permission.

Mini prayer wheels.

One of the thousands of designs found on Bhutanese architecture. 

Two monks chat. 

A small candle prayer hut in the monastery.

More designs. Reminds me of the old British University style architecture.

And more designs...

To the top. Slippery steps.

Clouds and tree clad mountains surround the monastery into the distance.

Local visitors feed the left overs of their lunch to the stray dogs.

Journey completed. We make our way home.

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