There are many memorable moments when one treks in the Khumbu. From flowering rhododendron bushes, to mountains that seem to stretch to the stars, to glaciers cracking and calving and feeding rushing rivers and streams. But perhaps even more fascinating than the dramatic landscapes are the Sherpa people who reside here. Living in a harsh and rugged land their lives are filled with hard work and few pleasures. But they are happy and cheerful people, grateful for small acts of kindness and happy to engage with you as best they can given language difficulties.
I was especially struck by the deep Buddhist faith of these folks, a trait shared with their neighboring Tibetan brethern, which you’ll see manifest as colorful strings of prayer flags throughout the region, prayer wheels, monasteries and, in certain places, etched rocks like the ones you see in today’s highlighted photos. These stones are called ‘Mani stones’ and they are placed at pilgrimage routes or outside of Buddhist monasteries. Mani stones can be large rocks, stone plates or even small pebbles which have a Buddhist prayer inscribed on them.
The photos show a collection of Mani stones above the town of Namche Bazaar, framed by the looming mass of a snow covered peak. A uniquely Himalayan landscape.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)