Posts Tagged ‘mcleodganj’

karma | mcleodganj

May 14, 2021

Karma, plant specialist. Photographed in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala.

Loesel on Losar | dharamshala

February 16, 2021

tibetan losar dharamshala

Lungtok | mcleodganj

August 29, 2020

ngawang lungtok tibetan

I am Tibetan. That’s the biological part because I was born to Tibetan parents. But what makes Tibetans Tibetans and Chinese Chinese? What comprises an ethnic group? What separates one ethnic group from another? And what comprises a country or a nation? Keeping all that in mind, I think I would happily be Tibetan. Keep being resilient and one day go back to my country with all the basic human rights. Tibetan culture and Buddhism have a lot to offer to the modern world.

Here in Dharamsala, I work at ANEC, an NGO. We aim to be a holistic space for any kind of discourse and dissent in exile community.

How would you describe your hometown and Tibet?
I am a third generation born in exile. My family is from central Tibet. I only have ideas about what Tibet looks like through photos and videos but i hope to go there someday. For now it’s Dharamsala, Dhasa, little Lhasa.

If there was only one thing people could know about you, what would you like it to be?
I like eating apples.

Photographed in February on Tibet heritage celebration day in Mcleodganj.

Tsultim & Kathup | mcleodganj

August 28, 2020

tibetan tibet dharamshala

Tsultim & Kathup on Losar at The Dalai Lama temple, Mcleodganj. Students of Sowa Rigpa(Tibetan medicine) and astrology.

local himachali man | Mcleodganj

June 18, 2020

himachal style himachal man style

tashi & thelgyel | dharamshala

May 25, 2020

tashi and thelgyel

Tashi & Thelgyel, photographed on Losar in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala.


January 4, 2019

woman from Tibet | Mcleodganj

December 2, 2017

street fashion dharamsala india tibet

street fashion dharamsala india tibetstreet fashion dharamsala india tibetWoman from Tibet at the Dalai Lama‘s teachings.


Photographed near the main temple. Mcleodganj. September 2017.


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Norbu Tsering

August 26, 2017

street fashion dharamsala indiaNorbu Tsering in traditional Tibetan attire.


Mcleodganj. July 2017.


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August 26, 2017

street style dharamsala india

Dechen in traditional Tibetan attire.


Mcleodganj. July 2017.


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dolkar & choeyang

July 19, 2017

street style dharamsala india tibet fashion

Dolkar with her sister in traditional clothes on the day of Dalai Lama‘s birthday celebrations.


Mcleodganj. July 2017.


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I like Eric Clapton & The Weeknd

July 19, 2017

mcleodganj dharamshala

Aga from Amdo, Tibet.

“I came to India from Tibet in 2005. We were 9 of us and we walked through the Himalayas for about 23 days. During the day we would rest and discuss which way to take in the night. We had packed Tsampa and cheese for the journey but when it got over we ate snow.

In the photo I am wearing the traditional Chuba that we usually wear in winters back at home.

I like Eric Claption and the Weeknd. Right now I am listening to some speeches by Gosher, a Tibetan monk.”


Outside the Dalai Lama Temple, Mcleodganj. 2017.


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Sharon | dharamsala

September 6, 2015

street style dharamshala india

Likes lemon curd cake, Russia, and Sunlight.

Dharamshala, 2015.


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June 7, 2014

street fashion dharamsala

street fashion dharamsala
Tenzin, 19. Tibetan. Works as a waiter. Likes whiskey. Lives in McleodGanj.

When I was in school everyone called me Genji because of my haircut. You know that film?

Crows Zero?

Yes. You watch it? Everybody thought I looked like him so now sometimes I say that’s my name.

Photographed in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala in November 2013.

Dharamsala Sadhu

May 27, 2014

indian sadhu street
Shaivite Sadhu//follower of Shiva.

Photographed in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala in November 2013.

Gaddi Women | Dharamsala

May 13, 2014

gaddi women himachal

gaddi women himachal
Gaddi women in McleodGanj main square.

Photographed in November 2013.

Vows of Individual Liberation in Red

July 20, 2010

One of the things that struck me the most, when I stayed in Dharamsala, was the abundance of color all around that somehow seemed to be in perfect harmony with the projected minimalism of life.

In reality, the color of a monk’s robe is not just plain red but varies in many shades of red, ranging from maroon to crimson to deep wine.

The color “red” had become the traditional monk robe color in Tibet mainly because it was the most common and cheapest dye at one point of time. Also, red is considered a ”poor” color in Tibet so the idea of wearing red symbolizes deflecting attention from oneself and focusing on compassion & kindness towards other beings – one of the main principles of Buddhism.The Buddhist robe is said to be more colorful than other sects. Interestingly it is also one of the oldest styles of fashion that is still in existence despite 2500 years having passed by since this type of attire came to be.

The simplicity of wearing such robes also symbolizes the vow taken to lead simple lives. A monk’s robe is like his uniform in a way – a symbol of his non-status that he no longer partakes in a material world. It is interesting to see that a symbol of such self imposed insignificance has become so significant with time.

Tibetan monks wear a shirt and a skirt instead of a one-piece robe. A shawl-type robe may be worn as an outer layer.
The basic robe consists of these:
The dhonka, a wrap shirt with cap sleeves. The dhonka usually is maroon or maroon and yellow with blue piping.
The shemdap, a maroon skirt made with patched cloth and a varying number of pleats.
The chogu is something like a sanghati(the outer robe), a wrap made in patches and worn on the upper body, although sometimes it is draped over one shoulder like a kashaya robe(the upper robe). The chögu is yellow and worn for certain ceremonies and teachings.
The zhen is similar to the chogu, but maroon, and is for ordinary day-to-day wear.

There are a number of stories explaining the blue piping. The most common one is that it commemorates a connection to China.

The shaved heads symbolize the renunciation of worldly things. It helps the monks overcome vanity on the path to a simple enlightened life.

They talk about global warming, space shuttles, and Bollywood. Many have nothing and want nothing except their homeland back. Most of them renounced everything they had to embrace the simplicity of  a life dedicated to a religion that preaches selflessness. Everyone else including local Indians & many travelers around them complete their large circle of family, love, friendship, and support.

The controversial 17th Karamapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most revered leaders and a probable successor to the Dalai Lama.

Conversation classes are hugely popular in Mcleod Ganj. A typical description of a conversation class is English-speaking travelers converse with monks/tibetans  in English in order to improve their spoken English. These conversation classes are held every day for an hour or two, 5 days a week. Teaching and learning at these classes work both ways. Volunteering travelers talk about their city life & day-to-day experiences, and learn about the tibetan way of life, their struggles, their dangerous journey over the Himalayas, the sacrifices they made, and their rehabilitation in a foreign land.

Poster for a *Conversation Class* held at one of the NGOs I was volunteering at.

The monastic life feels like a big alternative spiritual get-together.

Here Comes the Umbrella

June 17, 2010
It was a long, cold, lonely winter, and it felt like it’d been there for years..but then out came the sun and The Beatles said, “it’s alright.” Smile returned to people’s faces. The sun shone, and people sipped lemonade, but when came the rain, people ran and hid their heads, and The Beatles said, “when it rains and shines, it’s just a state of mind.”

These photos were taken during the months of August, September, October in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala. It was considerably cold throughout. People looked happy when the sun shone, rain always brought with it a bit of gloominess, and life got colder with the dark winter fog.  Just a state of mind? I can’t be sure.
Meanwhile, the cost of these umbrellas remained unaffected, ranging from 60Rs. to 250Rs.


February 16, 2010

Photos from Jogibara road/Temple road in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala.

Scarves on Temple Road

February 16, 2010

The commonest of all scarves. If you don’t have it, you are not a traveller. These scarves sell for about 150 Rupees on Temple Road. And last time I checked; one can find them in Sarojini Nagar Market for about half the price.

Most of these photos were taken during the Dalai Lama teachings. The teachings are about Buddhism, ethics, and interfaith harmony, and they happen almost every month for about 3 to 4 days. In the beginning, I didn’t think much of the teachings. I felt they were not for me. But during my last month I decided to attend one just for the experience. The Dalai Lama said the most simple things…most obvious things..but things that we have forgotten or we overlook as we stay busy in this fast changing world, and I was glad I attended.