Sunday, 2 April 2006

Buddhism in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a very multicultural city, with many Bengalis, Nepalis, Tibetans and many other groups in the city. Especially the many devoted Buddhist refugees from Chinese-annexed Tibet add a lot of colour to the town as can be seen from these pictures.

Me in front of a bewildering display of prayer flags at a Darjeeling hill top. Some hole Buddhist and Hindu temples can also be found here, but in my view the many flags (of which only a fraction can be seen on this picture) are the real attraction.

One of the many colourful temples in the region. This one is more than 100 years old, so it actually predates the Chinese invasion of Tibet. It houses some very holy scrolls.

Here I am taking a go at the Prayer Wheel outside the above temple.

One of the largest monasteries, inaugurated in 1993 by the Dalai Lama himself. It is a very impressive sight, and even more beautiful up close...

...and the young monks are very curious and friendly towards strangers.

The Japanese peace pagoda, placed here by a group of - you guessed it - Japanese Buddhists. A huge number of similar pagodas have been placed all around the world, to promote world peace. They don't seem to be working entirely as intended...

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