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Matho218 photos

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Matho (223) Festival of the Oracles
Matho (223)Festival of the Oracles

Coordinates: 33° 59′ 56″ N, 77° 37′ 51″ E

Matho Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ladakh east of Leh, is the only example of the Sakyapa sect. It is known for its annual Oracle Festival, Matho Nagran, held on the 14th and 15th days of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. During this festival, the approximately 60 resident lamas elect two oracles, known as Rongzam, to serve a three year term. The purpose of these oracles is to attempt to predict the fortunes of the local village communities for the coming year.

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The two lamas purify themselves with months of fasting and meditation to make themselves suitable receptacles for receiving the oracles spirits. When possessed they are said to be able to perform many astounding feats such as cutting themselves with knives and walking around the ramparts of the top storey blindfolded with no fear of falling down the precipice below. While in this trance state they answer questions about the prospects for Matho and Ladakh for the coming year.

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Pictures taken with a Canon EOS1-Ds Mark III

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Agra …162 photosAjanta145 photosAlchi41 photosAlwar51 photosAurangabad21 photosBundi70 photosChemrey30 photosChittaurgarh69 photosDatia95 photosDeeg49 photosDelhi …308 photosEllora120 photosFatehpur Sikri107 photosGwalior48 photosHemis65 photosJaipur192 photosJaisalmer215 photosJodhpur254 photosKumbhalgarh8 photosKusum Sarovar75 photosLamayuru30 photosLeh79 photosMatho218 photosMathura37 photosNagda53 photosOrchha116 photosPhyang16 photosPushkar256 photosRanakpur140 photosRizong17 photosSaspol25 photosSpituk25 photosStakna8 photosStok244 photosTakthok26 photosThiksey62 photosUdaipur49 photosVaranasi161 photosZanskar184 photos