In another installment of Piyush's amazing tours, Pam and I headed out to explore the Tibetan Village Settlement while my mom was in town.

Piyush is the founder of Indomania Culture Tours, and I've written before about the Pottery Village tour (here, here, here, here and here).

On this trip, we set out to help Piyush with a bit of a trial tour, to give him feedback on what should be changed, etc.  His bio and info page on the tour and settlement itself can be found on his Facebook Page.

The entrance to the colony is quite non-descript and if you were to drive by it, in passing, I am willing to bet you would not notice it.

As we walked through the pathways and sauntered down the alleys, we were all struck by the vivid and vibrant blues and greens of the walls. My kind of color scheme!

The acting secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress (forgive me for not having written down his name!!) led us on our tour and was quite delightful.  He was engaging, knowledgeable and informative.  Plus, his hair was wicked cool!

[Edited with an update from Piyush :: Hey Naomi... Thanks for sharing this.  And the cool dude is called Lobsang Dorje :) ]

The prayer wheels were possibly my favorites.  The concept is enchanting and really special, the more I learned about them.

Prayer wheels are cylinder-shaped wheels made of brass and copper, and filled with a Buddhist mantra known as "Om Mani Padme Hum" written on paper and placed inside.

Outside of the entrance to the temple, was this HUGE prayer wheel.

At the end of each rotation (made while you physically walked in a circle, while holding on to the wheel), a bell rang.

Worth noting?  The Dalai Lama has declared that animated GIFs, internet based prayer wheels AND apps are viable options for prayer wheels!  One app, called A Poetic Universe offers wisdoms when the prayer wheel has been turned three times, but only when you go in a clockwise direction!!

All along our walk in the settlement, we saw prayer flags displayed from all of the buildings and rooftops.  Prayer flags are found all over the Himalayas and are used to bless the mountains, countryside and people.

Prayer flags come in five different colors, representing the elements the the "Pure Lights."  Flags are arranged in order, blue, white, red, green and yellow.
Blue symbolizes sky/space, white symbolizes air/wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth.

Prayer flags are meant to promote wisdom, strength, peace and compassion. Instead of believing that the flags carry prayers directly to gods, they feel that the mantras and blessings will be blown by the wind and spread to all those around. The Lung ta (horizontal prayer flags) when hung in high places - carries the blessings, prayers and mantras to all those who come in contact with the wind that has passed over the surface of the flags.

She was delightfully and methodically counting her prayer beads.  108 in all, her fingers were gracefully flipping through each one, bead by bead, as she hummed her mantra.

Just outside of the colony, lies an area that almost feels like a suburb of the Tibetan Settlement.  It is a quiet area that houses local Indians who have set up homes and shops on the land between the river and the Tibetan colony, so as to form a sort of collaboration with the Tibetans.  

Whether it be the castoffs and waste that the Tibetans offer free to the Indians as recyclables, or the produce and greens that the Indians offer to the Tibetans, they are constantly working together.

This guy was hard at work.  He looked to be digging a trench.  He was so proud to show his smile and pose for a bit before setting back to his task at hand.

I'll write later this month about the school that is housed inside the colony.  It was a special experience, but Piyush thinks that he will not include it on future tours, so as not to distract the children/students.  

It was something to share though.  Keep an eye out for that post!

6 of you said:

caitlin said...

Fun! Funny too because I remembering driving by a while back and thinking that I have to come back. I'll definitely try the tour. Thanks for posting this.

deb said...

I thoroughly enjoyed our time there! Your photos are fabulous!

marina marangos said...

V interesting and one for this year.x m

FrancesC said...

I also want to visit there! And I've been wondering where to get Tibetan prayer flags to take back to the US for a friend....

Denise said...

Miss reading you :) I promise to catch up. You should take a trip to Dhaka to see us :) ... or me there. We'll wish, ok ? Love this post. We visited a Tibetan community in Nepal - beautiful and peaceful people. The best was watching the ladies play with our girls. Love your photos, as always. xo

Piyush said...

Hey Naomi... Thanks for sharing this.
And the cool dude is called Lobsang Dorje :)

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