09.06.2010 25 °C
Kate "knocked us up" (knocked on the door) at 7.30 for an 8am breakfast of porridge, toast and omelette which was a brilliant start to set us up for a morning of sightseeing and afternoon of shopping!
The Enchey monastery was first on the list of stops, built on the site blessed by a tantric master known for his ability to fly. The main temple room was ornately decorated in a rainbow of colours and room posed a full blown assault of the senses. A kind man explained about the 'wheel of life' to us as we were looking at a painting outside the main door, it was the transition through life to heaven and hell. There was a room full of oil candles that devotees lit for a prayer and a little room with a holy man in where the devotees can go to pray for things for themselves. The man earlier had explained that people pray to Buddha for world peace and happiness and to the holy man for themselves. We walked around the building three times spinning the hundreds of prayer wheels, thinking about the bad in the world the first time and the good for the last two.
Back into the car and to the 'Flower complex'. I had no idea what to expect and it didn't look very large from the outside but the inside was a blur of colour- lots of orchids and some other flower. Sam had fun getting lots of close-ups and it kept everyone entertained, me more so as I'd bought some pink candyfloss!
For the third stop we visited the "Namgyal Institute of Tibetology" which housed relics and information about Buddhism. There were lots of statues, posters, human skull cups used to store holy 'nectar', human thigh bone trumpets and some religious scripts in the usual loose leaf form bound in cloth. We spent a while reading the signs and avoiding the Indian people who didn't find it all at rude to stand in the 30cm gap between you and what you are reading before walking up the road to a chorten. It was built in 1945 and contains religious objects such as a set of the holy books and mantra. There are 108 prayer wheels and several people were busy spinning them and chanting "Om Mane Padme Hum" translated as "O Jewel in the Lotus".
In the afternoon we caught a taxi with Gee to 'the market' which meant the shops. Kate and I did a bit of souvenir shopping and when the boys seemed to be getting bored we stopped for tea and cakes in a cafe. On the way back to the hotel we noted that the crazy traffic and bad wiring on electricity poles (which resembles something not dissimilar to birds nest) are two things that haven't changed in India in the last 25 years since Kate and Dave were last here!!
We went back to the hotel and freshened up before another night of dinner in the dining hall filed with beautfiul orchids (some even as wall decorations hanging from a fixed piece of wood!) The food was lovely too, Tibetan style with lots of vegetables and sweet and sour chicken- yummy.