Updated with link to new video on YouTube: Max China. Find below and enjoy.
‘To walk or go about or around, especially ceremoniously’
Xiahe is a Tibetan town in Southern Gansu where pilgrims converge from afar to do the Kora/Pilgrim Path. As part of the surrounding wall, this is a three kilometer clockwise journey of the most colourful prayer wheels that go the entire distance around the old town and Labrang Monastery.
This warren of small white buildings is home to more than a thousand monks studying at the Labrang Monastery. I admit to giving in after only half an hour when my right arm just couldn’t take it anymore. However people were still striding past, spinning with an energy and mumbling prayers that would no doubt take them all the way. Just when you thought you were done, at regular intervals there are many other temples and also buildings with larger prayer wheels requiring a bit more elbow grease to get them going.
People also walk around the town in the same clockwise direction, the path taking them high up round the back of the buildings to an amazing view. They regularly stop to kneel touching the walls with their forehead facing towards the temple as a sign of respect.
I admit I’d forgotten the devotion that Tibetans place into Buddhism. Even the elderly who walk hindered by age using a stick to help them with their mobility will take the Kora. One woman shuffles forward on her belly with wooden blocks under her hands and knees then sits upright to say a prayer every few meters.
Its going to take her days to get the whole way around.