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Monastery Photography Blog

Just before leaving for Bhutan…

April 26th, 2015

Novice Monk BhutanI’m in a hotel in Bangkok on my way to Bhutan for this months 15 day photo tour to Bhutan.  Got to get up at 3am tomorrow morning for the flight to Paro which should take about 4.5 hours, including the stop at Guwahati airport in India.  Last time we got stuck on the runway in India for about 6 hours waiting for the fog to lift from the Paro Valley so the pilot could see the runway and not actually crash into the mountains.

It’s certainly an exciting descent, going through 3 valleys with the edges of the cliffs brushing the wingtips… Not the sort of thing you would want to do if the valleys are filled with dense fog!  Anyway, the 6 hours on the runway turned out to be very interesting as we were in the plane with about half the government of Bhutan (in economy class), who seemed to be a lovely humble bunch who were more than happy to chat to the wide eyed curious foreigners about the working of their little Himalayan country.

I can’t say I’m actually hoping it will happen again, 6 hours in sweltering Assam province of India in a metal tube in the baking sun with no A/C was not something I am keen to repeat, but still, sometimes the most amazing things can come out of trying circumstances.

What does all this have to do with the image I am posting?  Nothing really, other than it was shot in Bhutan and I am on my way there now…

The image is actually of a young novice Monk studying his lessons in the tenuous warmth of the early morning sun at the Gangtey Goemba, a tiny Monastery in Central Bhutan in the Phobjikha Valley

A Demon Enters the Bumthang Tshechu

January 19th, 2014

A Demon enters the dance. Prakar Lhakhang Tshechu, BhutanA Demon enters the Bumthang (the Prakar Lhakhang Tshechu in the Chumey Valley of Central Bhutan) Tshechu from the Monastery door, Heralded by the sounding of the drum and a gong by two novice Monks.  A third young Monk serenely watches the Demons Dance during the Prakar Lhakhang Tshechu in the Chumey Valley.Demon Dance of Bumthang Tshechu

This Dance is the last dance of the last day of the Tshechu and is marked by wild spinning and leaping.  The demons are chased off one by one in wild leaping displays of flashing whips and clanging discordant drums, it is the most primal and spectacular dance of the whole Tshechu, well worth the wait.

Both images shot with the Hasselblad H4D-60 and Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens

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