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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Oct 2, 2016 - Dharamsala, Indes

Lien à l'album photos en ligne / Link to the online photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/7Prsr5rodxxVbWbB8 Dharamsala est une ville du nord de l'Inde, située dans l'État de l'Himachal Pradesh. Elle est parfois appelée la petite Lhassa car elle est la terre d'accueil du 14e Dalaï-lama, Tenzin Gyatso, actuellement en exil du Tibet. Notre séjour dans ce haut lieu du bouddhisme est tombé au hasard durant la présence du Dalaï-lama en ville. Sa présence ajouta donc une note d'effervescence et de fête avec la venue de milliers de visiteurs pour...

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Nov 14, 2015 - Tibetan Buddhists in Dharamsala

I was so optimistic about going to Dharamsala; I had done a lot of reading about the Tibetan government in exile and the backpacker scene there. What I found there was a wonderful community of Tibetans, and a long-lasting friendship with a backpacking family; Michelle, Jason, and 10-year-old James Marshall (sound familiar?). James even maintains his own website (something I could never get Christopher to do). First, India reared its ugly head. We arrived to the bus station in Simla almost an hour early (based on the suggestion of our host)....

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Dec 8, 2013 - Drive back to Delhi

We left at the crack of dawn for the 12-hour drive back to Delhi, after a breakfast of Tibetan warm freshly made bread, butter, and jam, and a cup of black tea. Our last views of the Himalayas were stunning, but the sunlight shining on the snow-sprinkled crevices of the mountain peaks. We’d learned how to rotate seats in our Toyota, nap a bit, and enjoy the countryside. Our driver Ammad is a real pro! We admire his skill in challenging conditions of mountain roads and complex traffic in small villages, weaving among the cars, trucks, cows,...

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Dec 7, 2013 - Dalai Lama's Summer Palace

We visited the Bir Sherap ling Monastery in a nearby village, and traveled on to the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbu Lingkha. It was a beautiful place, with streams of water embraced by green plants. There we also so the special handicraft of making quilted tankas (hangings of beautiful fabric with centers depicting various Buddhist stories of important personages or events). Beautiful handwork!

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Dec 6, 2013 - Meditations for Nelson Mandela & Library

Just learned in the morning about the death of Nelson Mandela. Such an international icon! Here Indian television was acclaiming him of the same statue of Ghandi. We dedicated a special meditation to him and his family. Teachings at the Monastery by Geshe Drakpa Gelek continued. In the afternoon I walked around the Monastery Complex and enjoyed the views and the prayer wheels along the route. The visit to the Tibetan Library and Archives was amazing. Centuries old books hand written in gold leaf, and a talk from the library director, which...

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Dec 5, 2013 - Avaloshittvara-Patron diety

This morning I went again to visit Avaloshitlava, the patron diety of Dharamsara, in the Namgyal Monastery Temple. She’s one of my favorites. After breakfast we received teachings on the Dharma once again from Gieshe Drakpa Gelek. Then after lunch we had a free afternoon for relaxing and shopping. The evening was a delightful performance of traditional music and dance at the Tibetan Center for Arts & Culture. The brilliantly colored costumes from around the different regions of Tibet were spectacular, and the dances were full of energy and...

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Dec 4, 2013 - Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in Exile

After breakfast at the Namgyal Monastery we received teachings from Gieshe Drakpa Gelek, a well-respected teacher and scholar there. He spoke in Tibetan, and his translator was quite fluent in English. After lunch we went to the Tibetan Traditional Herbal Medicine Museum, which had detailed paintings of many different herbs and plants, alongside the prepared herbs and an explanation of their use. We walked a short distance to the offices of the Prime Minister, Labsang Sangay, who was elected as the head of the Tibetan government in exile...

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Dec 3, 2013 - Countryside Monasteries-Dzangsar Shedra

The countryside on our 2.5 hour drive was lush, with rivers and streams meandering through the green mountains. The major crop being grown was tea—in low green clumps like bushes close to the ground. We visited another Tibetan Children’s Village where, among others, there is a special program for teenagers who have just come from Tibet. The program has been very successful, and the teens are highly motivated, and work together to give one another support. After a tour of the grounds which had large poinsettia trees, we were served Chai and...

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Dec 2, 2013 - Namgyal Monastery & Tibetan Children's Village

The option of early meditation in the Kalachacra Temple lured us out of bed about the time the sun rose over the mountain peaks. Central to the meditation was the recitation of scriptures of the Kalachacra Tantra, ending with a wish for the happiness of all being on the earth, free from suffering. A good wish with which to start the day. After breakfast, we took a walk completely around the Namgyal Monastery grounds. We passed, hidden high on a cliff and protected by barbed wire, the residency of the Dalai Lama. On our walk we saw monkeys...

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Dec 1, 2013 - Arrival in Dharamsala

Beautiful rose clouds reflected the sunrise over the high mountains and into the green valley this morning as we walked down the narrow, steep street to the Namgyal Monastery for breakfast. Black tea and homemade bread and jelly warmed me up, while others enjoyed the more traditional Chai. (I have to avoid the milk.) After breakfast we visited the two temples of the Monastery—the Kalachachra Temple and the Avalokitesvara Temple. He/she is the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and the patron Bodhisattva of Dharamsala. The original sculpture was...

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Nov 30, 2013 - Delhi to Dharamsala

The drive from Delhi to Dharamsala was 10 hours in 8 taxis for our group of 34. In Delhi the traffic patterns are amazingly complex, and as we approached the mountains, the roads narrow and curving. By the end I was blessing our driver Amand in taxi number 4. Driving here takes a lot of skill and maneuvering! Someone described it as “organized chaos.” Glad to get settled into the Sekong House hotel for a good night’s sleep!.

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Mar 20, 2012 - Dharamsala -Day 2

I had to escape from another hotel in order to go for an early morning walk. The front door was locked and no sign of a key or anybody available to let me out. This time I managed to climb down from the first floor balcony onto a fence below. I had seen a line of mules coming down the path between the houses opposite our hotel so I decided to wander that way. I came across a couple of the mules grazing on grass at the side of the path and as I went past one of them he bucked and kicked back just catching me on my right calf. Fortunately it...

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