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Nepal IX: Visit The Monastery Under Manaslu

Published: 25.1.2012
After a night spent in the loggia in the village Ghap we should go for long trip and therefore we got up early. On the way back was a lot of the sacred mani. Sometimes we met a poor Nepalese children and Zuzana gave to some of them the pens. We met first yak caravan and dzopke, carrying its cargo from Tibet. Dzopke is a cross between a cow and a yak.

These animals were bred for greater resistance against higher temperature differences. Cows can only tolerate warmer conditions and in the high mountains is already too cold for them. Conversely yaks are only able to survive at high altitudes, where it is cold. Down in the valley would have died from the heat.

To the target Lho village, which is situated at an altitude of 3180 m, we arrived about five o'clock in the afternoon. Lho is a unique village that it is incredibly beautiful view of the "horned mountain" Manaslu. And the outlook is even more beautiful when man wishes the weather as we wished. The next day, early morning, there was no cloud, and when we went to a Buddhist monastery, which stands on a hill above Lho, we could enjoy the spectacular view to the mountain.

We decided to make a trip to the monastery because we have a further point of our trip did not go so far. We therefore time that we spent the morning in and around Lho. The road to the monastery proved to be a really great decision. On the hill we reached "zig-zag path," lined with prayer flags. We met her at a group of young lamas who were smiling happily. When we got up, we photographed the first temple. Then Hari said one of the lamas, if we can come inside. We were not allowed. Inside a ceremony took place. As we see in a moment, today was not a Buddhist festival in the local church and therefore ran all-day prayer.


When we got inside, the magical atmosphere engulfed us induced tone singing and playing musical instruments. It was a prayer performed by music - singing llamas and the drums, trumpets and other instruments. Llamas, who were but one of the main lama children sat in rows and were facing the holy scrolls text by which they sang in chorus. One of the bigger boys sometimes walked with a vessel from which the fragrant smoke drifted, or colouring, which variously rippled. It was really wonderful. Hari, after coming to the temple bowed - hands clasped above his head highlighted, then moved from the chest and abdomen before the end, then lay face down on the floor and touched his head and hands of the country. The entire procedure repeated three times. I initially did not know if I would not imitate him, and I felt a little inappropriately, because all young llamas looked at us curiously. I'd rather not repeat the procedure but Hari and instead I just looked temple that was simply wonderful. The decoration was very varied and colourful, all the images of Buddha, murals and sculptures.

After a while of standing and admiring of this beauty, I notice on the edge behind of the Singing Lama, where sat some oriental-looking woman. She motioned for me to let go sit next to her, so I went and others soon joined. Something I tried to say in English, but she was not much to understand. All I understood was that today's feast is celebrated on this prayer in music and that we wish to launch their space. So I did. I settled comfortably cross-legged and absorbed a great atmosphere of prayer.

I do not know how long the ceremony could last, but I know that I could sit there all day. It was but a pause during which us the woman who, as we later learned, named Hannah, introduced the main llama, which results in charge of the local monastery. Then we went to her impulse photographed in front of temple - though I think everyone, so I mean even all the little llama who participated in prayer. It did not, however, that it seemed somehow enthusiastically. When the shooting ended, Hannah said that we have the pictures and video (since Milan was allowed to shoot during the ceremony), after returning home to put on facebook. She mentioned the facebook many times after and it was funny because none of us have any passion for facebook.

Hannah invited us for cup of tea. The main lama was there as well. We got sweet tea with milk, which I really liked, and have fun with the lama. Hannah translated for us. He was interested in different things - where we are, where we now and where, what is the climate in the Czech Republic and so on. He said there is still quite warm, but up in the mountains is a real winter. For me here, the temperature was just right. It was a nice chat. After a while he apologized that he must go to continue the prayers.

Hannah but still stayed and talked with us on. She said she is from Singapore and provides clothing for young lamas in the monastery. He said the charge altogether five Buddhist monasteries - two in Sikkim, Bhutan and two in the Nepal. I asked what little lamas eat and Milan commend me for this question, as Hannah said, they eat tsampu and to show us better what is it she made it for us. And she did. Tsampa is basically raw dough prepared from flour, sugar, butter and tea with milk. It tastes good and it's very rich. Llamas eat it morning and evening every day. For lunch then have rice or something similar. Hannah made three bullets of tsampy for us on site and prepared a cake together for the trip.

Another thing what we learned from Hannah, was that the lamas get up every day at four thirty in the morning and they learn four languages ​​- Tibetan, Nepali, English and Chinese. After tea she took us to the workshop by local artist, who produces small builds from coloured butter. When we parted, Hannah told us to speak with people about the monastery and when we will came there next time, we have to bring sweets for small lamas.

Text/Photo: Kristýna Bartůňková

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