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Photographer's Note

My photos today have nothing to do with the new year, but I would like to wish everyone on TE a safe and prosperous 2019 anyway.

And now to the photos:

This is from Jakar, the main town of Bumthang district in central Bhutan. Bumthang is regarded as the cultural and religious centre of the country and is filled with monasteries, temples and other public expressions of Tibetan Buddhism, including stupas of different kinds, prayer flags, prayer wheels and holy mantras painted on walls or carved on rocks.

A stack of stones like this one seen outside a temple is regarded as a kind of stupa. Generally a stupa is a building containing the relics of a person who had reached a high level of religious enlightenment. But stones laid upon stones by devout people as a token of their faith, or just to memorize their visit, will also be thought of as a stupa.

There may among these stones be those that have the holy mantra "om mani padme hum" (see WS #2) carved on them. More often such carved stones can be found separately outside temples or small roadside shrines.

Here is a larger version.

More expressions of Buddhist faith can be seen in the WS photos. One shows a small gathering of devout people, the other shows holy words painted on a rocky hillside.

All these photos from 2003 were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9519 W: 508 N: 18516] (82158)
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