MY FAVOURITE PHOTOS FROM NEPAL
One of the great things about travelling is the people you meet.
My dear friend, Bibek Pandey, who is a sherpa/mountain guide in Nepal, recently sent me some amazing photos he has taken from Labuche Peak high camp at night. It was simply stunning with the huge moon, and the orange mountaineering tents with the magnificent Himalayan Peaks silhouetted in the background partially covered in mist.
It got me thinking about some of my most favourite photos I’ve taken in Nepal which I wanted to share with you.
Kathmandu is such a stunning and diverse city. I can’t wait to get back there! Here’s me at Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in Nepal and considered to be the holiest Tibetan Buddhist site outside of Tibet.
Thousands of Tibetans and Nepalis buddhists circumnavigate the stupa in a clockwise direction in what is know as a kora. It really is quite a sight with their beautiful colourful dress as they chant and swing their prayer wheels. I’m standing on the upper section of the stupa, so you can imagine how big it is!
I took this photograph around 9 a.m. The beautiful Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most holy Hindu site, was already filled with activity. Located on the banks of the Bagmati River that runs through Kathmandu, it’s always abuzz with pilgrims & sadhus (Hindu holy men).
Contrary to popular belief and according to the 2011 census, the majority of the Nepalese population are Hindus (81.3%). The rest are: Buddhist, 4.4%; Muslim, 3.0%; Kiratist (indigenous ethnic religion), Christian 1.4%, Sikhs 0.1%, Jains 0.1% and 0.7% follow other religions or no religion.
Hindu’s cremate the dead on raised platforms by the river as you can see from the second platform where one cremation is underway. Despite the sombreness, it really is a peaceful and fascinating place to visit.
Ever wondered why sherpas are so strong?
Here’s me on top of Bibek’s shoulders after we have trudged through deep snow for over 6 hours up the Thorong La Pass (5416m) on the Annurpurna Circuit. At the top, I insisted Bibek carry me on his shoulders and, being the gentleman he was, he obliged!
The 1600m descent down to Muktinath village in the vast Kali Gandaki Valley is arduous and this time was icy and slippy. At one stage, we had to traverse across a huge rock and ice avalanche which had happened only a few days earlier. It was unstable and could move at any second. However, I had views of the magnificent Yakgawa Kang peak (6481 metres) which kept my spirits up!
Another of me at the top of the Thorong La Pass, but this time looking backwards towards the Annapurna Ranges. It was my second time on the circuit and the conditions were in complete contrast to the first.
The Annapurna Circuit is a magnificent trek that traverses the Annapurna mountain range in central Nepal. It takes on average 16 to 21 days to complete the circuit, which is between 160 – 230 kilometres, depending on what motor transportation is used and where the trek ends.
The trek starts in the warmer lowlands, through farmland and across rich pastures, before ascending into forestry with prayer walls scattered along the route and with the magnificent Annapurna range towering in the distance.
The most challenging part of the trek is spending a very long day crossing the Thorong La Pass (5416 metres). The night before is spent at Thorong Phedi (4450 metres) or high camp as it is known, an outpost perched on the mountainside, where a solitary, basic but adequate, guest house stands.
One of the beautiful sights you will see on your way to Everest Base Camp. The stupa, next to Tengboche Monastery, stands at 3,867m. On the right is the stunning Ama Dablam mountain and just left of centre peaking up from the back is the top of Everest.
One of my favourite photos as it shows the vastness and solitude of the Himalaya and the many surprises you come across.
I’m walking through the Everest memorial (dedicated to those who have died on the mountain and those who bodies remain) on the way to Lobuche (4940m) where we stayed the night. This is a section of the trek up to Everest base Camp. It had been a tough afternoon’s walk up a steep mountainside from Dingboche.
I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments which is your favourite photograph and why!
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