I have spent 6 weeks in the Boudhanath area in Kathmandu after staying in the rather crazy Thamel district where the bulk of tourists end up and where noise is rampant. You gotta like it.
If you like things really chill and you’re not against a good old spiritual vibe along with more pleasant city surroundings then Boudhanath is where you might wanna end up when you hit the Nepalese capital, whether or not on your way to do some trekking.
It is a very sacred place for Tibetan buddhists but it is also a favorite hangout for the youth dressed in the latest fashion fooling around with each other under the almighty piercing eyes overlooking the Boudhanath area.
‘Skin & Bones’ originated in Kathmandu when I stumbled upon this kind butcher who was busy doing his job. I found it to be an interesting play of elements in this paradox: a gentle man, the animal killed and the schoolbag of his kid hanging on the wall.
Sera monastery is one of the ‘great three’ Gelukpa (the lineage of the Dalai lama) monastic universities of Tibet, located just north of Lhasa. The other two are Ganden and Drepung monasteries.
The origin of the name ‘Sera’ is attributed to the fact that the site where the monastery was built was surrounded by wild roses in bloom. (se ra in Tibetan language)
During the 1959 revolt in Lhasa, Sera monastery suffered severe damage, with its colleges destroyed and hundreds of monks killed by the Chinese invader. Sera was one of the strongest pockets of resistance against the Chinese. After the Dalai Lama took asylum in India, many of the monks of the Sera monastery who survived the attack moved to Bylakuppe in Mysore, India.
The Sera monastery in Tibet and its counterpart in India are known for their energetic monk debates on the Buddha’s teachings. Sera monastery developed over the centuries as a renowned place of learning, training hundreds of scholars, many of whom have attained fame in the Buddhist nations.
The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the communist Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War.
Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a 1975 population of roughly 8 million.
The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals.
Tuol Sleng is a former high school which was used as the notorious security prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge. It was one of at least 150 execution centers in the country, and as many as 20,000 prisoners there were later killed.
The prisoners were photographed before being locked up and little did they know about their fate. Some of them even gave their best smile to the camera as if posing for the school photographer…