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jana

Two Hobbits in North India

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temple1.jpg

one of the people who didn't want to be photographed but got photographed anyway. :manic:

 

temple-buddha-cookies.jpg

things you learn about the buddha: he likes butter cookies. who'd have thunk...

 

temple2.jpg

i love the fact that they make these drawings on the roads. this is of a lotus. in hinduism, we have drawings like these, but they're usually made with powder or white paint. you can see some of the modern south indian styles in hobbie's pics.

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temple-boy1.jpg

this little pudding of a boy was SO cute!

 

temple-boy3.jpg

pudding being useful by shutting a door that doesn't need to be shut.

 

temple-boy4.jpg

pudding inspects door.

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temple-irma1.jpg

hobbie slyly taking photos.

 

temple-irma2.jpg

is this the face of a woman who smuggles photos?

 

temple-irma3.jpg

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temple7.jpg

monks doing the ceremonial rounds, called kora. i think you're supposed to do it three or five times a day. if not, definitely twice (morning and evening).

 

temple6.jpg

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now for the trek photos.

 

trek1.jpg

we actually walked all along the path that you can see and we crossed over to the next mountain to stand under a pretty spectacular tree that you can see in miniature to your right (near the green christmas tree-ish trees. what can i say? i'm an articulate kinda girl.)

 

trek2.jpg

the aim was to reach a waterfall, which is supposed to be very pretty. my aim was more straightforward: to not freak out. (i have mild vertigo.)

 

trek4.jpg

you see why i wrote "when we got back to india"?

 

and then there was a waterfall.

 

trek-waterfall.jpg

 

trek-waterfall2.jpg

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along the way, there were randoms who wanted to take photos with hobbie. naturally, i demanded a picture too for my "randoms with hobbit" archive.

 

trek-irma-randoms.jpg

 

so from the waterfall, hobbie decided that she could spot a path to go on to the next mountain so that she could unleash her inner shaman and stand under what was, admittedly, a pretty spectacular tree. this meant a) going off the path, b) crossing a stream, c) going higher up, d) coming down the way we would go up. on the plus side, i didn't hyperventilate. on the down side, i was so focussed on not hyperventilating, i didn't take photos. but then we reached the tree, and it was all very much worth it. plus we spotted some ADORABLE little puppies with their mum. mum was on one side of the stream, trying to convince the two little ones to cross. they weren't entirely sure (i related to them very well). ultimately though, they, like me, managed.

 

back to the tree, which is actually in the courtyard of what seemed to be a guesthouse.

 

trek-shamantree-hut.jpg

this seemed to be like an outhouse to the main structure. i love the way they've used the building materials.

 

trek-shamantree-irma1.jpg

hobbie and her tree.

 

trek-shamantree1.jpg

it really was an amazing tree. especially when you stood under it and saw the light coat and slip off the naked branches.

 

trek-shamantree2.jpg

 

trek-shamantree4.jpg

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trek-shamantree5.jpg

'tis true, i did go a little nuts photographing the tree. thank you god for digital cameras.

 

trek-shamantree6.jpg

 

trek-shamantreeirma2.jpg

love hobbie's streaky hair next to the bark.

 

trek6.jpg

we drew the line at climbing up to that one.

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trek8.jpg

real mountain goats.

 

trek9.jpg

once again, no idea what it is. but we figured mad was our best bet. :manic:

 

trek10.jpg

yup. still in india.

 

trek11.jpg

 

trek12-irma.jpg

i would obviously find a place for us to take a break.

 

trek13.jpg

 

this will give you a sense of how high we climbed.

 

view.jpg

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post-trek, we got breath and life back by sitting at a cafe and drinking hot water.

 

cafe1.jpg

sunset in a cup.

 

cafe2.jpg

 

cafe3.jpg

monks like coffee too.

 

then on another day, we decided to go down to the place where the tibetan government in exile is housed. it's like a government campus with different departments housing different ministries. unfortunately, the day we went was a holiday. so that wasn't much point. on the way back we took what was supposed to be a shortcut. it was not on the main road, which is full of crazy drivers. the shortcut, on the other hand, was STEEP. i think i might have died if it had been a few steps more than it ended up to be. hobbie, on the other hand, was entirely unfazed. very galling to think she's the one who had been so terribly sick a few days ago while i, the supposedly healthy one, was huffing and puffing at the door of death. the only thing that kept me alive was the idea of taking a photo when i didn't have to worry about sliding to my death by dropping 1800 ft down to sea level. hobbie, on the other hand, had enough energy to cheerfully give the prayer wheels a go. incredible.

 

prayerwheels-irma.jpg

 

prayerwheels1.jpg

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time for a random photo:

 

love-tibet.jpg

table graffiti, "Love Tibet".

 

inspired by the fact that we (read: me, the indian hobbit) didn't die in the process of the uphill climb of the previous day, hobbie and i decided to do an early morning kora.

 

dawn.jpg

 

hobbie, being particularly brave, washed her hair.

 

kora-irma.jpg

 

and then we headed into the wonderland of mountains and prayer flags.

 

kora1.jpg

 

kora-prayerflag.jpg

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kora4.jpg

 

kora8.jpg

 

kora10.jpg

 

kora11.jpg

this lady is holding a traditional mini prayer wheel in her hand.

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kora12.jpg

 

kora13.jpg

 

prayerwheels-irma2.jpg

hobbie and the giant prayer wheel.

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allow me to introduce you to one of my favourite foods EVER: momo.

 

momo.jpg

 

it's a steamed dumpling stuffed with herbed mincemeat that is served with a light broth.

 

momo3.jpg

streetside momo seller.

 

some would argue that the one silver lining of the chinese occupation of tibet would be the fact that tibetans came and brought their momo-making magic with them, as a result of which it has become one of the more popular snacky foods. :manic:

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back to the mountains, or what i call "peak spotting".

 

peak-spotting1.jpg

 

peak-spotting3.jpg

 

peak-spotting4.jpg

 

peak-spotting7.jpg

 

peak-spotting6.jpg

 

peak-spotting11.jpg

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