Upper Mustang 上幕斯唐 5 - Lo-Manthang, Nymphu, Chhoser Cave

Lo-Manthang (3720m)

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Lo-Manthang is the only living walled city of Nepal. Built in 1830 by the first king of Lo, Ame Pal, the wall is 2472 feet long and 26ft. high, has 14 towers of 40 fl. high along its periphery. During the reign of the Mustang Rajas, the towers were guarded by armed guards to defend the town from bandits and enemies. The only entrance to the town is through a huge wooden gate located to the east of the township. The city is divided into four traditional wards with names referring to shrine of four deities, namely Mahakala, Tara, Dipangar Buddha, and Maitreya. These wards take turn to perform various religious and social tasks of the town.

About 1100 Lobas (people of Lo) live in the 180 mud houses of the walled city, and surprisingly, they observe a form of caste hierarchy. As a result, mainly the Bista (the nobility and royalty of Lo) and Gurung live within the walled city while Ghara (black smith), Shemba (butcher) and Emeta (musician) mostly live in the settlement beside the Lo-Manthang River.

洛曼唐是尼泊爾唯一仍生活在城墻裏的城市,像是中世紀生活的重現--城墻、王宮、馬背上的生活。城是洛的第一個國王於1830年建造的,牆有2472呎長,26呎高,具有14座40呎高的城塔。在王權統治的時代(現在是民主統治,國王比較是精神上的代表),城塔上有武裝士兵守衛,對抗外敵或土匪。聽來好像很久遠的事情,也就上個世紀,當康巴人流亡到這裏時,也與洛的人起過磨擦,拿著槍跟國王嗆聲,不過後來畢竟是同族同文化的,很快就相安無事,去和“外敵”談判的還跟康巴頭子成了好友。進出城只有東面一個大木門。城內分爲四區,各以藏傳佛教本尊的名號爲名:瑪哈嘎拉、度母、彌勒佛等,各區輪流負責各種宗教和社區工作。

城內現在約1100人口,180戶土房子。這裏和尼泊爾其他地方一樣,有種姓階級制度,只有叫Bista的貴族和Gurung的住在城內,其他像是打鐵的、屠夫、樂師等,都算是低下種姓,只能住在城墻外。
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Livestock husbandry combined with agriculture is still the mainstay of the local economy. Seasonal migration for trade to the southern Nepal and North India, and barter trade with neighboring Tibet supplements household income. With the advent of tourism in Lo in 1992, few local people have also started taking up tourism as a new economic profession. I arrived at a time when people weeding in their farm land outside the wall. They are among the happiest people I have ever seen. The work is tough yet they were all working happily together with lots of singing and tea in between. When someone’s horse ran away, all the people on the road would try to help. Life may indeed be tough here but it doesn’t seem to strip people away from having fun in life.

Despite of growing tourism, so far they have been able to keep the traditional way of life quite intact. When I wanted to see people weaving, my guide easily found two family members doing it – his sister-in-law was weaving an apron and his grand aunt was weaving some textile to make pants. Fortunately I didn’t stay in a hotel but someone’s house. Every other morning I’d hear them whipping cream from the milk of a cow kept downstairs (ground floor of the house while people usually live upstairs), the remaining milk would be dried to collect chula (something like extremely hard cheese), the vegies I love (mustard) was likely picked from their garden somewhere…at the same time you can buy Pepsi, Red Bull, various Chinese cookies unheard of in Shanghai in all the shops around. And the crown prince even built a nice brand new library and nursery for the residents. So far they keep good balance between modern convenience and traditions. Maybe one day it’d be like Monte Carlo in Himalayas.
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經濟來源主要是畜牧及農業,冬季則到尼泊爾南部或印度北部做生意,還有跟西藏邊境的貿易貼補家用。這裏商店裏往往有些我在中國從來沒看過的餅乾糖果汽水類的東西,還有在旅程路邊荒僻的喝茶地方,常常會看見一種綠色鐵盒裝著的89/90壓縮乾糧,他們當餅乾吃,後來網上一查才知道是中國軍隊研發用來做飛行救急乾糧的,可惜一直沒機會去嚐上一塊。從1992年開放觀光以來,也有少數年輕人開始從事跟觀光有關的工作,像是嚮導一類的,特別是送去印度藏族學校的年輕人,英語比較好。

我到的時候正是田裏莊稼初長,家家戶戶忙著除草的時候。走在田裏,東一措、西一措人,各家選一天各自把田裏的雜草拔掉,有錢一點的會雇上幾個鄉親幫忙,田裏工作很幸苦,有年過七十的老婦人也自己在田裏做一天(因爲她兒子被我拉著四處游玩)。不過,他們是我見過最快樂的人。生活不易,但是大家高高興興的做著,田裏通常歌聲不斷,做一會兒還一起喝個茶。誰家有事,別人也都會幫忙,像是馬跑了,大家就幫著趕。

雖然觀光客人數在攀爬,但是目前為止似乎傳統生活方式還被保持的挺好的。像是我說想看人織東西,導游馬上就能找出家裏有兩人正好在織布-嫂嫂在織圍裙、姨婆在織布要做褲子。我住的地方也是幾乎每天早上就聽到拿牛奶打奶油(酥油)的聲音,牛奶來自於晚上睡在樓下的一頭牛,白天大概都放出去吃草,打完油的奶水煮一下後拿去晒就變成像是硬起司的奶渣;因爲我吃菜,他們就去自家不知在哪兒的花園摘芥菜來煮……每天都會看到很多新鮮事。同時,店裏却又買得到百事可樂、紅牛這些東西。這裏還有王子建的一座幾乎全新的圖書館和托兒所,環境好的不得了。交通能改善的話,繼續發展下去,倒是有望成爲喜馬拉雅山的蒙地卡羅。
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  • 3 monasteries inside the walled city 城內有三座寺: Jhampa Gompa, Thupchen Gompa, Chooede Gompa

Lo-Manthang’s culture is deep rooted in the religious sentiments of its people. The township abound with many stupas, mani walls and monasteries. Prayer flags flutter above all houses- conveying mantra/prayers to all corners of the world. The Lobas are exclusively Buddhists and conform to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism after replacing Bon centuries ago.

Of the three monasteries, Jhampa Gompa is the oldest, built in 1387 and believed to be a replica of Ghangtse’s Jampha Gompa in Tibet. The 3-storied Jhampa Gompa is an exemplary piece of art. It amply exhibits Lo-Manthang’s great architectural depth of the past. The uniqueness of this Gompa lies in gold painted tantric mandalas entirely covering the interior of the wall of the 1st and 2nd floors. The main hall is painted with double register of mandalas interspersed with smaller mandalas. Due to the Sakya influence, many of the mandalas are Hevajra related. There is currently a Italian led team training locals to maintain the paintings. The sheer size of the Gompa itself is an attraction – 55 ft high, 150 ft long and 80 ft wide. One will be surprised to know that the wall of the Gompa is 5 ft and 4 inches thick!

洛曼唐的文化深受宗教影響,這裏隨處可見佛塔、瑪尼牆、寺廟。經幡飄揚在每一座房子的屋頂,將祈禱隨風傳送到世界的每一個角落。幕斯唐王國的人都是佛教徒,以薩迦傳承爲主。

城裏有三個寺廟,最老的是強巴寺,第1任國王建於1387年,據信是仿照江孜的一座強巴寺建造的。三層樓的強巴寺從建築的外觀就很值得一看,大氣龐然–廟高55呎,長150呎,寛80呎,廟牆就有5呎4吋厚,真的是王室氣派。寺廟最特別的是 一、二樓裏面的墻上畫滿了精細的壇城圖案,由於薩迦傳承,所以很多是喜金剛的壇城;成百上千個壇城,每一幅都是精品。去的時候有一個意大利人領導的團隊,正訓練當地人修復壁畫,聽說他們已經做了很多年了,讓人欣慰的是逐漸訓練出一批具有技藝的當地年輕人。
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Thupchen Gompa is the 2nd oldest Gompa, built in the early 15th century by the 3rd king of Lo. Despite being smaller than Jhampa, Thupchen is equally rich archetype of Tibetan art. The main hall Dukhang has beautiful ceiling and wall paintings painted of natural color and gold and silver paints, bearing various images of Buddha and other deities. The wooden beams in Dukhang carry Buddhist mantra engraved in it and the ceiling has beautifully placed rafters. Walking around the high ceiling hall with gigantic wall paintings somehow reminds me of those Egyptian temples down in the southern Nile.
圖千寺是第二老的寺廟,為第3任國王建於15世紀初期,雖然比強巴寺小,但是建築亦頗具藏族特色。主殿非常高,壁畫是用金、銀、天然礦石所繪 的巨大佛像。走在高高的大殿,看著巨大的壁畫,讓我想到尼羅河南部的埃及神廟。洛曼唐真是個神奇的地方,一下想到蒙地卡羅,一下想到埃及,偏偏又是如此的西藏。

Chooede Gompa presently is the main Gompa of Lo and also the center of religious activity. It was built in 1757 and now under the leadership of the crown prince. It is the only gompa with residing monks and also a school for little monks. This gompa houses beautiful Thangka and images, including Mahakala and Vajra Kilaya (the main deity of the Tenchi festival). Tenchi is the most popular festival, literally meaning “prayer for world peace” in Tibetan (Tempa Chirim), lasting for 3 days usually in May/Apr with activities including religious dance drama depicting the killing of a demon, seed sowing ceremony for good harvest, monk’s dance and prayer for a prosperous New Year, huge thangka hanging here etc. In the gompa, there is also a small museum in the monastery housing various ritual objects collected around Mustang.
確德寺是現在洛德主要宗教活動中心,建於1757年,現在由王子領導,是唯一有僧人居住、還有小喇嘛學校的寺廟。廟裏有漂亮的唐卡,特別是瑪哈嘎拉和普巴金剛的,普巴金剛是當地”天企節“的主要禮敬對象。“天企節”是幕斯唐的主要節慶,藏文是祈求世界和平的意思,共有三天,依藏曆日子在四、五月時舉行,節目包括金剛舞、求豐收的慶典、晒大唐卡等。在確德寺還有一個小博物館,收藏幕斯唐各地的文物,值得一看。
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  • Palace 王宮

The Raja (king) and Rani (queen) live in Monkhar – the four storied white-washed palace located in the middle of the town. The palace was believed to be built by the first King of Mustang in the 14th century. The present Raja is his 22nd descendent. It is possible to request to visit the Palace. Just remember to present a silk scarf to the Raja if you get the permission.
王宮是國王、王后居住的四層樓高的白色建築,是由第一位國王在14世紀建造,那時候就有那麽高的房子還真是挺厲害的。現在的國王是第22任。可以請求進去王宮裏面看看(還真是難以想像國王得管這種小事,還好觀光客不是太多,不然煩也煩死了),不過得到允許的話,要記得帶一條卡達獻給國王,表示禮敬和感謝。
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  • Namgyal Gompa, Summer Palace and Ketcher Dzong at Chhunup 南嘉寺、夏宮

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Namgyal Choede Thupten Dhargyeling Monastery
 was established in the 15th century in the Ngor tradition. Namgyal houses the collection of four great monasteries in the surrounding Lo-Manthang, these four were founded in 1310, well before the Ngorchen’s birth. If permission granted, you should visit their Mahakala room. The monastery got revived not long ago with a new monastic school built for poor and unprivileged children in the Upper Mustang. When kids grow older, they would be sent to other schools for further education. This place is like the village center for people living around. I was sitting inside the Khenpo’s office, watching non-stop locals coming in to make phone calls, including a father asking his son studying in Pokara to “play less football and study more”.
南嘉寺建於15世紀,也是薩迦哦派傳承。從洛遠眺,可以看到處在一山頭上的南嘉寺,走路半個小時可到。寺廟獨特之處在於收集了原本在洛曼唐四周四個寺廟的文物,那些現已廢棄的寺廟初建於1310年,甚至在哦千大堪布出生前就建了。若能得到允許,瑪哈嘎拉護法室值得拜訪。南嘉寺本來亦已沒落,後來新來了一位堪布大力整頓,現在還蓋了一座小學收留當地貧困學童(大了再送到其它地方繼續就學)。現在的南嘉寺儼然是附近居民的生活中心,雖然在小山上,我坐在堪布辦公室裏,就見著駱繹不絕的村民進來辦事、打電話--估計電話不普及,我很好奇他們都說些什麽,就問了,剛好講電話的那個在打電話給他在波卡拉讀中學的兒子說:足球少踢,要多念書!不管種族、收入,父母能說的好像都差不多。

Not far away from Namgyal, in Thinker village of Chhunup, you can find the Summer Palace of the Raja. Ketcher Dzong is another place to visit, which is the 1st palace built by Ame Pal in the early 14th century. 南嘉寺附近不遠的聼可村有國王的夏宮。要進去參觀的話,得在洛曼唐就得到許可。附近還有一個碉堡是第一個國王在14世紀初期所建的第一座宮殿。
 

Nymphu (Nyphu)

Nymphu Gompa is half inside the cave, though after renovation, you can’t tell too much of the cave trace from the outside. Nevertheless, inside the temple, in addition to the chapel, there is an adjacent, neat cave for monks doing retreat.
尼阜寺是個一半在山洞裏,一半在外的寺廟,不過經過整修後,從外部已經看不太出洞穴的痕迹。倒是進去內殿後面,還有個相鄰的小洞,寺內僧人做閉關用,整理的整潔舒適,看了就覺得在那裏閉關很好。
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Chhoser is famous for its cave culture. In the past, a whole village lived in one cave and the 5-storied Jhong Cave (Chhoser Cave) with over 40 rooms is a standing proof.  秋瑟這個地方以洞穴文化著稱,過去曾有一整個村子住在一個洞穴中。現在供人參觀的洞穴進去後,就有五層樓,四十多個房間,當年也有整個村子躲進去逃避匪難的記錄。
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Further up from the monastery, there is another place with caves nowadays used by shepherds to keep goats in winter time. Unlike the Chhoser cave, the caves here were more likely used as monastery. In one of the cave, you can still see some damaged by beautiful paintings of mandalas and buddha images on the ceiling. In front of these caves, there were also three stupa ruins. The weathering exposed the numerous Tsa-tsa (mini stupas made of clay) and small buddha images inside one of the stupa. When we were checking those ancient sacred objects, one of them fell to me which happened to be a Virupa one, and it’s the only Virupa one as far as we can see. So this becomes a special place for me.
尼阜寺再往上走還有一個地方有許多洞,不同於秋瑟的居民洞,這裏過去應該是出家僧衆修行處,山洞崖壁前有三座已風化侵蝕嚴重的佛塔,山洞裏還能找到一個洞穴留有殘存壁畫的遺迹,從畫工看來,原來也是具有相當水準的作品。有一座佛塔外部崩塌到裏面的擦擦(泥土製的小彿塔)和小佛像都已經露出,我們觀看這些可愛的小佛像時,一個掉到我這裏,撿起來後發現是少見的畢哇巴像(其他以長壽佛爲主),而且看了一下只有這尊是畢哇巴,很高興,堪布說我可以拿走,不過我覺得這是尼阜人的文物,還是留在那裏讓以後去尼阜的人也可以見到可愛的畢哇巴。
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My arriving day happened to be the horse racing festival of Nymphu settlement. At night, there were 15 families gathering together singing, dancing and drinking the local beer ‘”Chang”. Nymphu Khenpo kindly got me into that private gathering. I was very grateful as they warmly welcomed me and continued their happy gathering. Later when most adults, both men and women, were all a bit high because of the alcohol, one guy came to me and said “we welcome you here, you can stay as long as you like…there are many families here, but only 15 of us gather every year. because we want to teach our children to know how to sing and dance these songs from our ancestors…” It was very touching, thinking of how they cherish their culture and strive to pass on to future generations. The lyrics of the songs are such classic Tibetan that my guide from Lo-Manthang said he can’t understand it. And some ladies were putting on antique dresses that they don’t know how to make anymore (their skirts a bit like Ladakh style but longer). This reminds me of Kyegu where, years after the culture revolution, no one knew how to do their traditional song/dances except one old guy and he single-handed help to pass that knowledge to other people so that their art became almost miraculously preserved. Same, in this tiny village in the Himalayas, people also treasure their own culture so much.
到尼阜的那一天,正好碰到村裏的人在舉辦賽馬節,說是比賽,其實更多是大家一起騎馬到一個約定的地方吃吃喝喝唱唱跳跳。晚上,聽說有人聚集在某一家在唱歌,好心的堪布就幫忙安排我去那裏看熱鬧。他們人都很友善,雖然莫明其妙來了一個外人,當自己人一樣地給我地方坐、吃、喝,然後繼續唱歌、跳舞、喝自醸的“羌”(青稞酒)。喝到我覺得大部分人(包括旁邊坐的老太太們)都微醺了,主人家有一位會講英文的男子過來跟我說話,說歡迎我加入他們,然後叨叨叙述說村子裏很多戶人家,但是就他們這15家人年年賽馬節時聚在一起,因爲要讓祖輩傳下來的文化流傳,小孩子可以在這個時候學會這些歌舞,然後代代相傳,說的很感人。不知這十五家人是不是最早來此定居的一批人,我的嚮導說他們唱的歌是古老的藏文,他(來自洛曼唐)聽不懂,還說這些尼阜婦女身上穿的漂亮裙子都是祖先傳下來的,現在已經不知道怎麽製作這些帶有反光變色的毛料織物了。的確,尼阜婦女的傳統裙子跟一般藏裙不太一樣,有點類似拉達克的,但是更長些。幕斯唐這一路過來,每一個村鎮的服裝都有點不同。這個晚上讓我想到玉樹,當年因爲文革,嘉那活佛創作的歌舞都失傳了,還好有一位記憶力超強的老先生(現在八十多了),就他一個人記得那年輕時學過的歌舞,將它們又重新教給玉樹的人們,真的是千鈞一髮。總之,在幕斯唐見到這裏的藏族雖然相對貧窮,雖然生活日漸現代化,但是都還很珍視自己的文化,真的是很讓人感動。
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Walking along the major trading route with Tibet, Chhoser can be reached in about 3 hours from Lo-Manthang. 從洛曼唐沿通往西藏的貿易路綫徒步,約三小時可以到尼阜。

Snow Leopard Cave (4600+m)

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This cave was newly discovered in 2007. It’s a partially collapsed cave containing a collection of 55 paintings dated from the 12th to 14th century, depicting an unusual topic: the 84 mahassidhas. Unlike the murals in the monastery, the Mustang cave paintings reveal a strong Indian influence. The access to the cave was once difficult but the locals have made tremendous improvement with rope etc. to help the tourists. Still, be prepared for a hour of good walk after leaving your horse.
雪豹洞(當地人叫的是另一個名字,不過現在想不起來了~)是在2007年才發現的。半塌的洞裏有55幅12-14世紀的壁畫。獨特之處在於畫的主題罕見,是84大成就者,而且畫風具有强烈的印度風格,跟印度阿姜塔相似,非常的特別。之前到雪豹洞的路非常難走(冬天是拿著冰橇上上下下的),現在當地人修了一條比較好爬的路(某些地方要有些膽量就是了),下去的地方還弄了一條纏有牛皮的鐵索,所以已經大幅改善,就是從下馬的地方還得再爬上一個多小時。
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Click for more pictures 更多相片點入https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=12c681d04f03de08&page=play&resid=12C681D04F03DE08!699 (Nepal photo album @bellachao.spaces.live.com)

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a simple wandering being on the less beaten tracks in samsara

2 Responses to Upper Mustang 上幕斯唐 5 - Lo-Manthang, Nymphu, Chhoser Cave

  1. renee says:

    您好, 可否請教您到Mustang是透過哪家旅行社安排的呢? 謝謝

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