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Sanctuary

Nepal | Thursday, 4 July 2013 | 5 photos


Photographs from the Annapurna Sanctuary, Nepal - May 2012.

It was a bright sunny morning. As we entered the Sanctuary, the snow from the great mountains of the Annapurna Himal were glaring off so much sun that it was even hard to look at them. Suddenly clouds began rolling in creating a magical array of light and shade - the mountains, clouds, sun, water from glaciers melting off into streams, prayer flags, the wide views, emotions, silence - it felt like prayers were floating around in the air…

The Annapurna Sanctuary is a high glacial basin, an oval shaped plateau at an altitude of over 4000 meters, surrounded by a ring of mountains - the Annapurna Range - most of which are over 7000 meters. The feeling of being surrounded by such great mountains is overwhelming, giving you a deep spiritual experience. The only entrance is a narrow pass between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre, where the glacial run-off drains into the mighty Modi Khola River.

The Sanctuary is sacred to the Gurung people, one of the many native inhabitants of that area. They believed it to be the repository of treasures left by the Nāgas, the serpent gods. It is also believed to the home of several deities, from Hinduism and other older animistic gods. The peak at the entrance, Machhapuchhre is believed to be the home of the god Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow are thought to be smoke of his divine incense.

The immense natural beauty of the Sanctuary has made it one of the most popular trekking destination in Nepal in recent years.

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Prayers on the Peak - the Machhapuchhre at the background.

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