LAND OF FLYING LLAMAS
NANGCHEN - TIBET
“Hundreds of years ago the Llamas at this monastery flew to ceremonies” said the High Llama looking up from his bowl of Momo’s. “Modern Llamas have lost those powers of great concentration”
Nangchen is a remote county located in Yushu Prefecture in Kham, Tibet. One of the 5 original kingdoms of eastern Tibet - Nangchen has a high percentage of Tibetan people and more monks and nuns per capita than anywhere else in Tibet. Nangchen may have lost it’s flying Llamas but has some of the best-preserved Tibetan culture remaining.
In 1994, the French explorer Dr. Michel Peissel described Nangchen as, “The remotest, largest, and most secretive of the many little kingdoms of the much-feared Khampa tribes,” and, “… no doubt the last of the truly unexplored old Tibetan kingdoms.”
A hermitage cave
Hermitage cave interior
A High Llama gives blessings to nuns
A remote stupa
The Buddhist idea of impermanence - or mi rtag pa - runs through every aspect of life here. Buddhist monks and nuns grapple with impermanence through their religious practice and it also shapes the lives of ordinary Tibetans.