Tattooed monks


Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini, Nepal

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Nepal is host to many marvels, but the small town of Lumbini just across the border from India is an ancient pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world. Here, over two and a half thousand years ago, Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama. Just yesterday, avid crowds filled the streets in exalted celebrations of Holi, the annual festival of colors. Today, the place felt calm and serene. And as I strolled towards the temple dedicated to the Mother of Buddha, I was greeted with a kind smile by these two monks from Thailand. Unlike me, they had no signs of colorful paint on their clothes, and (so I guess) they also didn't feel the mild hangover from greenish "Holi cookies" I enjoyed the day before. But as I looked closer on the elder monk's bronzed skin, I realized that he was covered – from neck to toes – in hand-etched Sak Yant tattoos: ancient, sacred prayers and geometric shapes, believed to give the wearer strength, protection, and magic powers. #nepal #discoverearth #lumix #tattoo #picoftheday #instagood #igdaily #followme #blackandwhite #photooftheday #monks #buddhism

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