|The meditation temple is in the patch of snow in the center of the photo, in the gray part of the mountain.|
|The meditation monastery at Terelj.|
Snow covers the "road" up to the parking area.
From there on, it is all uphill. Through the gate and then up a long concrete walk lined with Buddhist inscriptions and translations. At the end of this walk is a gazebo, inside of which was a huge prayer wheel with--I kid you not!--a roulette wheel on top.
Spin the prayer wheel and wherever the arrow stops, that's the number of your Buddhist saying on the signs we just walked past. Mine was 80:
Now the pathway is covered with snow, melting snow, slippery melting snow. A suspended bridge is crossed gingerly as warmer air under the wooden slats has loosened the packed snow and a footfall in a certain way means you feet fly our from under you and, arms akimbo, your fate is in the hands of the mountain spirits. Or maybe Buddha, but it seems to me that if Buddha gave a whit about your aching butt and bones, he would see to it that the snow was melted away.
|Yusef, the one and only.|
Across the bridge, things get even dicier. The trail is narrow and icy. We finally arrive at the foot of the steps that lead to the temple itself, and they aren't any easier, though the snow is mostly gone from them, perhaps courtesy of this shovel.
But first, lying on a patch of dried grass, enjoying a good nap in the warm afternoon sun, is a female dog and two puppies. All three wake up to greet us.
|Tummy scratches and she's my friend for life.|
Up the stairs and into the temple, where I point to a rendering of an exceptionally thin deity. Yusef explains he ate only a certain plant, which turned his skin green. Judging from another painting, he also didn't cut his toenails.
|Looking down the valley though a window in the temple.|
|The green deity. Note his rib cage.|
And, look whose photo (plural, there were many) I find there. This temple is of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
We circle the temple itself on the outside, turning the prayer wheels, then start up again to a small building. This journey is really treacherous. Like the suspended bridge, the snow does not adhere to the wooden slats. Add to that, many of the slats are either broken, rotten, or missing.
Inside the little stone structure, are these:
|Bet he had a hard time finding shoes that fit.|
And it was all downhill from here. Slipping and sliding, I am glad when the two of us make it safely down the paths, though we opt to to walk in relative safety UNDER the curved bridge rather than across it.
The dog and her puppies follow us far down the trail to the gate as we drive off down the valley to find lunch.
|A view from the temple. Turtle Rock is far in the distance, barely visible left of center in front of the mountains|
|Still there. Not sure if they are sad to see us go, or making sure we really leave.|
|That's the back side of Turtle Rock.|
|A hidey hole way above the temple for the monk that really wants some solitude?|