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Journey to the Himalayas

Delhi, India

On the morning of November 10 we arose at 6am to begin a journey from GAV in Delhi to Dharmsala and McLeod Ganj in the Himalayas about 15 hours drive north of Delhi. It's not quite 500km but the speed limit is 60km all the way. These two villages are very close together and the Dalai Lama lives at Mc Leod Ganj. 400,000 Tibetans sought refuge there when the Chinese invaded Tibet in the 1950's.

The drive took us north from Delhi through two states, Haryanya and The Punjab. Haryanya is one of the poorest states in India and the Punjab is the richest. The contrast, like the country, was breathtaking.

Australian white gums line the highway through the two states..

The Government imported them in the 1940's to beautify the highway. There are hundreds and thousands of them and ofcourse they are constantly reseeding so are multiplying every season. Most of them were 30 feet or more. The vision was surreal.

The difference in the states was evident as we crossed from Haryanya to the Punjab which is the Seikh state. It was cleaner by far and seemed more organised than the previous state.
Our driver pointed out The Golden Temple and said we should visit it. We ended up visiting it on the way back to Gav..

We arrived at Dharmsala at our accomodation at Osho Nisarga Foundation. It was total luxury. Until then we knew nothing about it. We met the owner,Manilum, a lady who was familiar to me. In the room there was a photo of the Bagwan Rajneesh or "Osho" as he was later called. I don't know if anyone remembers this guy but he was that bearded dude who originated from India but set up camp in United States in the US in around the 1950's.
He used to drive around with not one but a fleet of Rolls Royces. He was controversial because of his free sex mandate.

The US tax and police departments investigated. Eventually the police charged him with the attempted murder of his doctor and he was deported back to India. He died before they brought him to trial for other offences. His personal assistant Ma Sheela his personal assistant was in the headlines for a short while after he died.. Then she went to India and maybe Osho Nisarga?
The next morning we met the staff.
They were pleasant.
We just did our own thing.

We had planned that day to drive to Mcleod Ganj.
The drive was up into the hills.
High mountains that envelope you.
McLeod Ganj is a sacred place.
We found market stalls selling beautiful gems and clothing for a very cheap price.
That afternoon we visited the Buddhist Temple and witnessed a ceromony by the buddhist monks.
It was a burning ritual and monks played old intruments made from human thigh bone and large shells.
The next day we visited Norbulingka in the Kangra district east of Dharmsala which is an art school that teaches its Tibetan students ancient tibetan arts practices in Sculpture, painting and textiles.
Ancient Tibetan art is extaordinarily detailed.
The students practice Like a devoted monk.

One student I spoke to said he began his course at 15 years of age and spent 6 years as a student. He is now a professional and continues to work and paint at Norbulingka.
Tomorrow we head back to Delhi.

permalink written by  Eric Broome on November 16, 2006 from Delhi, India
from the travel blog: Journey to the Arts End
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Gday, Eric. After you guys left on Nov 10th, Carol and I stayed on at GAV for 2 days and then we returned to the US as planned. We've been wondering how your trip to the north went and am anxious to read the rest of your posting on your experiences. Sorry our time was so short before you all left, but we both enjoyed meeting all of you on our first day there. Sunil and Mattie were the perfect hosts. Say Hi to all for us, and keep up the blogging!

permalink written by  Michael Spicer on November 17, 2006

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Eric Broome Eric Broome
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I am a fine artist from the mid north coast of NSW, Australia. I work with different media including photography, painting drawing and. For me, art making is about the process. My work is abstract style. It is included in collections and has been shown world wide. I have also made site specific...

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