Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, the UNESCO world heritage site of Bodhnath stands proudly, and very colourfully, on the eastern side of Kathmandu. Boudha, the small village which surrounds this Stupa, has long been the home of a considerable amount of Tibetan exiles, allowing it to be one of the few places left on the map where Tibetan culture is accessible and vibrant. From the moment you set foot inside the grounds, the colours of the prayer flags, the sound of pilgrims shuffling around the stupa and the smell of Tibetan food cooking is quite overwhelming.
For those of you who have been following my posts here, you will already have realised that I am a total perfectionist (hopefully you see that as a good thing!); Bodhnath taught me a whole new level of patience and welcomed me into the world of neck pain. Many photographers I met here simply walked around the stupa, taking images as they went, and moved on to the next place on their lists. Me on the other hand, no that would never do, I sat there waiting for the perfect blue skies that I knew Nepal was capable of producing, and not only that I waited for the right amount of breeze. Now I’m sure many of you reading this will now think I am a little crazy, but if you can capture the colourful prayer flags blowing just the right way, highlighting the stupa and casting long and beautiful shadows and finally helping the composition, you’d do the same!
Waiting in this small village was no problem at all – the people are extremely welcoming and friendly, it’s very peaceful and last but by no means least, I discovered a café that made the best Thukpa in the world, in my opinion anyway! There are also lots of other photographs to take here besides the stupa, I have always found Buddhist prayer wheels really beautiful and every stall here seems to sell a wide range, so at least when the sky is overcast it lets you get some great shots of these instead. And then go and eat again!
If you have any questions about the settings used to take these photographs or would simply like to know more about the location, please leave a comment and I will respond as soon as possible.
About the author: currently based in the UK, Kimberley Coole is available for assignment or commission both locally and internationally, specialising in travel photography. Kimberley was chosen as a Travel Photographer of the Year 2012 finalist and received a commendation from the judging panel. Her photographs are represented exclusively by the world’s leading stock photography agency, Getty Images, and have been featured in numerous publications.
This is her website