Large Buddhist Prayer Wheel, Rongbuk Monastery

(order ID # CT35-03297-C)

The interior of a prayer wheel is filled with Buddhist scripture. As the wheel spins (always clockwise!), these prayers are released to the heavens. Prayer wheels come in all sizes. Everywhere in Tibet you will see people with hand-held versions spinning them as they walk along. In monasteries you will find larger wall-mounted versions for people to spin as they pass by. The wheel pictured here at the Rongbuk Monastery is in its own protective outbuilding, and is mammoth. When I visited the room, there was a faithful woman patiently spinning the wheel for hours on end. I shot this at a shutter speed of about 1/4 second due to the dim light. I like the way the time exposure captures the motion of the wheel and its attendant.

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