There is a lovely small Monastery I always visit on my Bhutan Photographic tours each year, on the slopes of the Phobjikha Valley in Western Bhutan. Normally it’s very quiet and serene with just a few peaceful Monks and a stunning view down the valley. As I have been going there for quite a few years, we usually get invited in to photograph the morning prayers in the small temple, a special privilege not normally granted (see this post). Not this year.
During many of the festivals in Bhutan (a country with lots of festivals), they act out their traditional stories in dance. Most of the stories are quite incomprehensible to the uninitiated without a guide explaining them, but they are fantastic to watch and exciting to be a part of the enthusiastic crowd as the dancers whirl around the coutyard with their costumes flaring out in bright vibrant colours and patterns.
Monasteries, Dzongs and Festivals
For many of the festivals, especially those in the Monasteries and Dzongs (temple fortress), the dancers are often the local Monks. During my recent photographic tour of Bhutan we all saw many temples and Dzongs, but generally photography is forbidden within the inner sanctums of the temples themselves (fair enough i reckon, got to have some privacy). Well imagine our surprise when we were standing (quiet and respectful) outside the temple door of the Trongsa Province Dzong watching while the Monks rehearsed their dances, when one of the senior Monks invited us in to take photos!
The light was streaming through the ancient windows behind the Monks and falling onto the old planked hardwood flooring creating a stunning backdrop to set off the deep red and saffron robes of the whirling Monks. It was a magical experience, and was very hard to leave.
Bhutan Photo Tour 2013 dates released
The itinerary and the dates for the Bhutan Photography tour for 2013 have been finalised and booked. I have reworked the whole itinerary and reduced the numbers of this photographic tour down to a maximum of 10 people to ensure a better and more rewarding experience for all. You can read about this exciting new photo tour to Bhutan right here.