Happy 2017!

happy new year - buddhist prayer flags on a simple graphic by alison read

A belated Happy New Year! The kids are back in school, the sun is shining, there are humpback whales swimming about in the sea outside and all is well with the world! Happy 2017 indeed!

The story behind the shot

This image of Buddhist prayer flags is taken from a larger photo, shown below.  It was taken at the top of the great Buddhist temple, Swayanbhunath, in Kathmandu.  Also known as ‘The Monkey Temple’ after the huge number of monkeys that guard the temple, it’s one of the most iconic sites in the Nepal.  I visited Kathmandu in 2007, when I was working for the Nepal Trust, the main office of which is in on the slopes below.

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The earliest record of work on this site dates back to the 5th century, and it’s been an important Buddhist site since the thirteenth century. It’s a stunning location, high up above the city, with views stretching out across to the Himalayas.

Sadly, the temple suffered catastrophic damage in the 2015 earthquake, like many of the ancient monuments in the capital. The extent of the damage can be seen in the opening image of this video   The specific area of this photo can be seen directly behind the main stupa.

The Nepal Trust has a proven record of providing support to impoverished communities in the remote Himalayas, and they have several projects focussing on earthquake recovery.  For more info, and to find out how you can make a difference, click here.

Here are a few more of my favourite shots from our visit to Swayanbhunath.

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The tiny guy on the ladder shows the scale of the great stupa of Swayanbhunath
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Baby monkeys – can you look at this and not go ‘Awwww!’?
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It’s all in the eyes! A smaller stupa behind the main site.
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Al and I on our way to the top

 

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Even monks can’t resist the lure of a great photo op!

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