tiger’s nest

the tiger’s nest (paro taktsang) is an iconic monastery in bhutan. guru rinpoche introduced buddhism to bhutan in the 8th century. according to legend, a tigress carried guru rinpoche on her back up to the peak of a mountain, where he meditated in a cave for three months. monks subsequently founded the monastery around the site of the cave in 1692. it underwent expansion and renovation over the years, and now contains a variety of beautifully-decorated sanctuaries that are, of course, off limits to photography. (as a photographer, it is sometimes difficult to remember that things are worth looking at even if i can’t shoot them, but i made the effort here.)

the monastery is in a ridiculously remote site 900 meters above the valley floor.  it took us about four hours (with many stops for photographs and gasps of air) to reach the entrance. however, this gave us multiple opportunities to photograph amazing scenery that included strings of prayer flags. prayer flags are pretty common around bhutan; they are banners inscribed with copies of buddhist mantras that people hang to spread blessings on the wind to the surrounding area. sometimes they are hung gracefully, and sometimes strings of them are hung together so heavily that they look like laundry on the line. some are hung for good fortune; others are hung as prayers for the deceased; and others make nice frames for portraits.

i have more prayer flag photos, but for some reason blogger.com keeps hanging my computer up when i try to upload them … 

next (hopefully): dancing animal spirits

Author: cohn17

Photographer and baker of macarons.

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