Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bussing It Upper Class in Nepal

The inside of a Nepali bus is always overcrowded, hot and uncomfortable. The roof of the bus is usually less overcrowded, less hot (thanks to the breeze) and uncomfortable. We took a ride in the upper class for our last bus ride in Nepal, and came away with some new bruises and a wonderful sense of relief due to the fact that there were to be no more Nepali busses on this trip.

The strange faces we a re pulling are probably due to the fact that the bus has just swerved to avoid hitting another car or a sleeping cow or a child using the road as a toilet. When you're on top of the bus and it swerves, it feels far more dramatic and precarious than when you're safely nestled inside, hence the rough heads.

Angie settles into the groove of things

Temples and Monasteries of Lumbini - Mahayana School

Tibetan Bell

Our transport

South Korea (under construction)

China and South Korea

Vietnam (due for completion in 2006)



Work in progress

The German Temple - Lumbini

Funded entirely by an exceedingly wealthy German woman, this temple belongs to an order of monks from Kathmandu, who use it as a kind of holiday home when it gets too cold up in the hills. It's the most impressive temple fo the lot in Lumbini.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Temples and Monasteries of Lumbini - Theraveda School

Being such an important site, Buddhists from around the world have built temples in Lumbini. The temples and monuments are funded by foreign entities; sometimes governments fund them, sometimes Buddhist organizations supply the cash, and sometimes a wealthy individual supports the project. This creates a kind of Buddhist embassy zone, which is a fascinating showcase of the religion’s role in cultures around the world, and the ways in which those cultures have influenced Buddhism.

Sri Lanka



Japanese Peace Pagoda

Lumbini - Buddha´s Birthplace

Buddha was born just outside Lumbini somewhere around the 2nd, 3rd or 4th century. It’s one of the four main pilgrimage sites for Buddhists in this region of Nepal/India. It´s really, really... really hot.