A Spiritual Journey

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visiting the monastery with my niece Khushboo

Have been off travelling for a while and building out the home base at Delhi. Couldn’t take it anymore needed a break and hit the road. Thought I’d head to Tibet and meet the Dalai Lama – but hey visa and then I realised his holiness the Dalai Lama resides here at India – fairly close to where I live and no visa needed. Packed up and headed to Dharmashala and here I am waiting to meet his holiness.

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TheMonastery

It was then that a chance call from a relative living in Macleod Ganj to spice up thing’s for me. They asked me to come over to see the paragliding championship’s taking place in their city. I flew in on the morning Spice Jet Flight from Delhi into the beautiful Valley. I was welcomed by the Shivpuri Family who had a beautifulhouse at the hillock far away on the mountain’s. A family of four with two dog’s , tortoise , parakeet’s and a rock garden to boast . I felt at home immediately and had a hearty Kashmiri Lunch . 

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a shrine to the monkey god too

The next day Sunny (Chandan) the elder son of the family took me for a tour and the guy was quite a hipster! MacleodGanj is where all the Tibetan Monasteries .I visited the Namgyal Monastery where i learnt how to do a special prayer by prostrating to the buddha .It was like doing push up’s ,  a prayer and an exercise all in one. Then a quick de tour of the Dal Lake at Naddi and a dip in the holy pool of the Bhagsu Nag temple. Here i jumped into the icy water of the pool after performing my prayers. (At the temple pool) All the activity had gotten me hungry so I asked Sunny to take me to the German Bakery near the MacleodGanj town centre .We ate a chicken biriyani and had fresh lime soda. tik-mcl1

I strolled into the by lanes near the Dalia Lama Temple taking pictures and chatting with the local’s . The buddhist temples are very bright in colour and they prefer red and gold as their primary colours . I made a wish after spinning the wheel in the temple and then did some shopping for Khushboo (daughter of Mrs Shivpuri) , bought her a little purse made out of a yak . At the Namgyal Monastery , I submitted a request letter asking to meet with the Dalai Lama and handed it to his secretary who assured me that they will get back to me in a few days . His holiness is in Macleod Ganj for a few weeks and i have a good chance to get an audience with him.

Next day me , sunny and Khushboo went to explore the Norbulingka Monastery which is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama .It was like heaven lot’s of flowers , walk way’s , garden’s and a water fall in the middle . At the centre was the prayer room with a huge statue of the buddha , with circular roof’s , which reminded me of the architecture of the Buddha Temple’s in Korea. Then their was a doll’s museum , a workshop where tibetian artist created sculptures from bronze  . A near by museum talked about the struggle of the Tibetian people from Chinese operation . How many had self immolated themselves to bring the world’s attention to their plight and how ruthlessly the Chinese were trying to finish them off and erase their culture and heritage .

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The busy town square

Next was a stroll to the Aghanjar Mahadev Temple in Khaniara Dharamshala. I chatted to the local priest their and told him that i was a Bollywood actor and i had acted in my film’s like Rab ne Bana di Jodi with Shah Rukh Khan , he nodded “ Sorry sir i am south indian , we only know Rajni Kanth .” that was the end of our conversation i guess . Now of to have dinner with this great Kashmiri family , who are making me feel really at home.The Namgyal Monastery

 

Next day me , sunny and Khushboo went to explore the Norbulingka Monastery which is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama .It was like heaven lot’s of flowers , walk way’s , garden’s and a water fall in the middle . At the centre was the prayer room with a huge statue of the buddha , with circular roof’s , which reminded me of the architecture of the Buddha Temple’s in Korea. Then their was a doll’s museum , a workshop where Tibetan artist created sculptures from bronze  . A near by museum talked about the struggle of the Tibetan people from Chinese operation . How many had self immolated themselves to bring the world’s attention to their plight and how ruthlessly the Chinese were trying to finish them off and erase their culture and heritage

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among the by lanes & don’t miss the Scream masks!!

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the usual urban city spaces !!

A view of the monastery !!

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“I was here” picture mandatory from where the lamas live !!

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