Himalaya Watch

People, issues. Debates, perspectives. Details, nuances. A crisp view from the top.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Exotic Manang: Photo-essay-1

(In collaboration with Dr. Awaz Khadka alias Manange Buddha)

Manang and Mustang are some of the most exotic tourist destinations in Nepal which combine both the pleasure of a breathtaking Himalayan beauty as well as a peek into the unique cultural tradition of the high Himalayas. Moreover, a trip to remote parts there reveals some relics of historical importance; foremost of them being the signs reminding the Khampa rebellion that once shook the polity in Kathmandu. 

A doctor by profession and serving in the district hospital in Manang, Aawaz Khadka has a keen sense of photography and he sees to it that the weekends are not wasted by just roaming around the district headquarters. Photos taken during his various trips in the high Himalayas soon drew my attention and he promptly agreed to let me publish some of his exotic photographs in my blog. This is the first in the 'Exotic Manang' series and more will surely follow.

In this beautiful array of photos, Khadka in a trip to a reclusive village of 'Phoo' gives a vivid impression of the geographical details as well as the glimpses from the ordinary life in the high Himalayas. Of special note are the boards mentioning the Khampa settlements, relics of the clandestine CIA-sponsored rebellion of the Tibetans against the PRC that started at 1959. 

Through all the difficulties in their daily lives, the Himalayan people have done everything to preserve their tradition; three miniature temples in sight here 
Phoo village? Nearly there
How beautiful is too beautiful? One is tempted to ask when such scenes materialize in real life
The Himalayan peaks are not that far!
The flora covered by frost; or is it snow?
Here comes a single house in the Himalayan wilderness
What is the height of physical luxury? The back of a yak, perhaps
Where ways part, just like in real life
Through the ravine, there passed a trail................ And they travelled
A caravan passes through a snow-covered trail
And life is not always about crests and troughs; there are plateaus too.......
Horses enjoying the Himalayan wilderness, in their own way
Abandoned Tibetan settlement at chyakhu on the way to Phoo: must be the relics from the Tibetan uprising

Two horse-riders trying to pass a difficult terrain
Gateway to Phoo: made of boulders like all Himalayan gateways
Finally, here is the oasis in the desert: Phoo village in its complete beauty

And finally, the photographer in his usual eloquence.
The photographer in the moment of ecstasy in the high Himalayas

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