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Himalayan Sanctuary



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Sacred Places
Photograph by Mattias Klum

Stupas, or shrines, cling to the rocks just below the Hanle monastery. Above, at 15,000 feet (4,600 meters), snow frosts nearby peaks well into springtime. Scholars John Crook and Tsering Shakya write that the location of such holy places is no accident: "Often hanging, as it were, between field and sky, remote yet accessible to the villagers...they are placed where the powers of sky, wind, rock, and river interact...where the smallness of man and the shortness of life is evoked with chilling certainty."

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Kodakchrome 200
Lens: 300mm f/8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @  f/16
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Unrecorded
Lighting Techniques: Natural light
Special Comments: While taking this photo I thought about how sad it is that this monastery is literally falling apart. It's in such a far-flung place and the monks just don't have the resources to maintain it. Hanle is truly a historical and cultural monument worth keeping, but in a few years we'll lose it.


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