Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Work: A Bhutanese Nun

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Here's one of my favorite portraits made last month during my Bhutan: Land of the Druk Yul Photo~Expedition. I met this nun while she was circumambulating the Jambhey Lhakhang goemba in Jakar, spinning the many prayer wheels in its walls.

Circumambulation of temples or deity images is an integral part of Hindu ritual. It is also practiced in Buddhism, as in this case here. In Islam, circumambulation is performed around the Kaaba in Mecca in a counter-clockwise direction.

The Jambhey Lakhang is one of 108 Buddhist temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, and it's revered as one of the oldest landmarks of the arrival of Buddhism in Bhutan, explaining the number of pilgrims who visit it all day.

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