I am here
It’s several hours after sunset, and I just wandered through the dark alleys around a monastery filled with thousands of exiled Tibetan monks deep in rural India. The air is filled with incense and the smoke from the fires neighboring farmers light to keep the insects down. Large cows meander through crowds of red-robed monks and lamas. In the courtyard in front of the main temple, several hundred monks are gathered for a highly ritualized debate, with nearly the physicality of a boxing match and the rhetorical intensity of a political stump speech (So it seems anyway, my Tibetan is limited to “hello”). I’m told it will go on for hours.
I’m not the most religious or reverential person in the world, but the magic of this place is undeniable. This is a view into a world that few outsiders really get, and I feel privileged to get it.
I’ve also been awake for for nearly 2 days (getting here is rough). So I’m off to bed.
More later, and hopefully pictures.