Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Monasteries

Went to a few monasteries with some peeps from the guesthouse a couple days ago but not before having breakfast at Leh View restaurant. This is the view from the roof (yes, they have tables on the roof.)

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Still haven't arranged for a trek. It's all very expensive. Been shopping around for shawls and somehow was convinced into buying a carpet for $550 (from $950, these guys were really desperate) even though I knew I couldn't afford it or didn't even really want it. Something about getting a good bargain and the prospect of turning a profit on it.... But if I can't sell it I'll have a really nice silk Kashmere carpet. So, yeah, hopefully I'll be able to sell it.

Between the carpet and the shawls I have overspent my budget. So when I get to Benares I better figure out a way to sell the shawls or carpet online or I might be going home early and selling them at Xmas time (which wouldn't be so bad) -- set up a little stall in the mall. I think I bit off a bit more than I can chew, though. An Israeli guy was kinda keen on getting in on the action. He said he'd be able to come to the states for next Xmas season. And no doubt I'll still have some by then.

But anyway, the trip to the Monasteries was really nice. The atmosphere of these temples built in and on hillsides is really quite to my liking.

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In one of the temples there was a giant Buddha. 25 feet high or so.

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Artisans reviving the outside and inside of two different temples.

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Hmm... a bit scary
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We sat in on Tibetan monks chanting, drumming and horn blowing. There were many children among them. Some were throwing things at each other, but none of the adults seemed to be minded by their occasional hourseplay. I guess children are allowed to be children in India. The view looking out from the temple since I wasn't able to get a good pic inside the low light.

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Really I was quite impressed and moved by the whole affair.

Top of a temple
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Inside one of the temples.
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Whenever you enter a new temple there are these prayer turn thingies. You are asked to turn them clockwise only.
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Well, I had a picture of me praying to the gods in my New Zealand blog so I only thought it appropriate to have one for my India blog.
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Thanks everybody for showing so much interest in my travellog and posting so many comments!

Health update: My hand heals slowly. There is still a deep line indentation where it landed on the rock. Last night woke up a few times in the middle of the night with a queasy tummy that has been off and on all day. Not worried about it tho.

Nori did you make it to Veranasi yet? Check in with an update!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

ooh! you are so lucky, jake. it looks so so gorgeous. thanks for posting so many wonderful pics! stay healthy.

Daniel Schmolze said...

This blog delivers. Two thumbs up!

I start my "community clerkship" tomorrow: two weeks studying MA health care policy with *no* classes. Total heaven. I plan on being in GB as much as possible and finally taking some pictures -- the foliage is really starting to kick in to high gear.

Take care amigo. Stay healthy, and keep the postings coming.

jackson das sampson said...

we all had a hearty chuckle at the "prayer turn thingies" remark.
looks nice up there.

looking sharp. take care yo' hand.

-b

Steve said...

Is your carpet one of the ones pictured below? We are perhaps interested.

When I was in college I spent one fall with a high-school friend traveling in Europe, and we took a ferry to Morocco. We wandered about, and at one point engaged a local guide, who took us on a tour of the old part of the town. The final tour stop was the local carpet weaving factory, where we saw many people tying knots in intricate carpets. Then to the show room, where we were told that we could buy several carpets, and take them home, and sell them in the US for twice what we paid. Also, they said that because the carpets were "hand made works of art" there would be no import duty, and they would take care of the shipping. Our guide had helpfully told us before we entered the factory it was not the custom there to bargin for price, which in hind site seems an unlikely custom for the region. (Perhaps he got a cut of any carpets we bought, and thus had incentive for us to pay as much as possible.) Anyways, the carpets were very beautiful, and we were foolish, and bought three between the two of us--my friend just wanted to sell one for profit, and I wanted to sell a large one and keep a small one.

Months later, when I was back at school, I got a call to come to air freight at JFK to fetch the carpets. There I was billed about a hundred for COD freight, and about a hundred for import duty; it seems the customs people were not aware of the "hand made art" exemption. We ran some ads in our respective college town papers, but found no takers for any price that would include profit.

So, we still have some pretty carpets. But I think your carpets will be different.

venivedivicky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
venivedivicky said...

hey Jason,

Cool pictures man...I'll mail you the pictures we clicked at the party 2 days before we parted...And good going on the carpets...do make time and drop in to bangalore

-Vikram

Anonymous said...

Jason, the thingys are called prayer wheels. Find out what they represent. IRC