Views of Labrang
This is the monastery seen from partway up the hills on the front side
– opposite this shot – and if you look closely, you’ll see a group of
Tibetan woman picnicking on the grass. Lots of people (though
surprisingly few of the foreigners) wander up into the hills for a
better view of the monastery compound. Maybe the foreigners’ schedules
are simply too pressed for time…such a pity, in this place!
After this you will see a ton of shots of various aspects of the
temple. Notice the prayer wheels in the background of some of them.
You’ll see me and/or Dao standing beside prayer wheels, or the how
structures that house them in the background while we’re standing in
the wheat fields. These are part of a very long pilgrim’s trail that
runs around the whole temple and includes many more than a thousand
prayer wheels, all of which are turned by pilgrims truly following
this path. (Once you start turning them, it’s bad luck or something
like that to stop without turning them all, so I never started: just
took photos!) The wheat fields are shared by the townspeople, who work
them together pretty much (he told me his brother worked them since
he’s still in school). The pilgrim’s trail, and the town in general,
is a whole other world…just picture seeing hundreds of people
streaming through the path and turning the wheel, nonstop all day,
many of whom are true pilgrims, who take two steps then prostrate
themselves, all the way up the valley and all the way around the path.
Quite amazing, really.