Photos Nepal 2008 Religion

The two main religions in Nepal are Hinduism (over 80% of the population) and Buddhism. Both religions work well together with no apparent sign of conflict. The main cities are predominantly Hindu with large temple complexes. Religion plays a huge role in daily life. This can be seen before 6a.m. at some of the Hindu temples in Patan where young and old assemble in vast throngs to worship. The public Hindu funeral pyres of Pashupatinath show how ordinary people face life with few hang-ups. Apart from the impressive Bouddhanath stupa in Kathmandu the main Buddhist areas are high in the mountains near the Tibetan border. We were able to attend ( but not photograph ) a number of ceremonies and received blessings from village lamas to protect us upon our climb over the high Thorung-La pass. At the entrance to Buddhist villages the kani gate acts as a guardian to keep out evil spirits. Along tracks long mani walls topped by hundreds of inscribed stones guide the trekker. In villages and elsewhere you pass ( always on the left-hand side ) prayer wheels and, from houses, monasteries and peaks, immense bands of prayer flags carry messages skywards. Lamas are very approachable - the one in the photo made Sue a cup of tea from meltwater! To see the photos click here.

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