錫金蓮師洞 Guru Rinpoche Caves in Sikkim

打算要寫這篇已經兩年多了,懶散至今。

This writing had been a victim of my procrastination during the past 2 years. The disease hasn’t been cured completely so let me post some pictures and do a preliminary write-up for the time being.

札西頂: 一切的中心 / Tashiding – The Center of All

121008 NorthCave 08(LR)01

仁增果登說,整個錫金是聖地,札西頂又是這神聖壇城的中心點,四個蓮師洞則分別位在札西頂的東南西北四個方位。

According to Rigdzin Godem, Sikkim is a holy place and Tashiding is the center of this sacred mandala while the four Guru Rinpoche caves are situated in the four cardinal directions.

121006 TashiDing 11(LR)01 121006 TashiDing 03(LR)01
121011 Tashiding 001(LR)01121006 TashiDing 12(LR)01

二世欽哲是在這裡荼毗的,有舍利金塔在此,還有一座見即解脫佛塔等等諸多殊勝的佛塔,因此要去蓮師洞和從蓮師洞回來時,都會上札西頂來朝拜。

Since Tashiding is such a holy place, plus all those sacred stupas, it is a must to come paying respect and offering prayers whenever on our way to and from the caves.

121006 TashiDing 69(LR)01121011 Tashiding 16(LR)01-2
121011 Tashiding 14(LR)01121006 TashiDing 68(LR)01

在這裡做煙供和供養功課是最快樂的時候,很容易就在這裡待上一整天。
Making offerings and prayers here was such a happy thing to do. I can easily spend a whole day here.

121011 Tashiding 15(LR)01121006 TashiDing 02(LR)01 121006 TashiDing 80(LR)01

札西頂有十億個空行城市,很多岩石上有空行足印、通往秘境之門等等的聖跡,要請人說明才看得出來。有一位幾十年前從康區玉樹來的人在這裡刻瑪尼和佛像,若是會講藏文,老人家還蠻樂意介紹的。

Tashiding is said to be the place with 1 billion cities of dakinis. There are a lot of sacred imprints on rocks, such as foot prints of dakinis or the door to the hidden lands.

121006 TashiDing 05(LR)01121006 TashiDing 76(LR)01
121006 TashiDing 01(LR)01121011 Tashiding 11(LR)01121006 TashiDing 52(LR)01

南蓮師洞 Southern Cave: Lho Khandro Sang Phuk

洛·康卓·桑埔,這個是最多人來的,從車子可以開到的公路邊走下來只要十多分鐘。

This is the cave with easiest access and hence most people only come to this one. It only requires a 10 minutes walk down to the valley from where you can park the cars.

121010 South Cave 021(LR)01121010 South Cave 016(LR)01
121010 South Cave 013(LR)01121110 Cave 003(LR)01

洞在地下,要鑽過很狹窄的通道才能進入最內的蓮師修行洞室。

The cave is slightly underground but not very deep. You just need to crawl through a very narrow passage to enter the inner chamber. The last passage is said to be the image of a particular deity. I won’t name which one so that you can look at the rock and use your own imagination.

這個通道據說是某本尊的形象,哪尊我就不說了,大家自行觀修吧。

121010 South Cave 006(LR)01121010 South Cave 002(LR)01

洞穴所在的河邊有溫泉,大石旁就有幾個泉眼,從河底的細沙內冒出,可以泡腳。到季節時,還可去旁邊搭起的竹棚內泡湯~~

There is hot spring from the river. You can sit by that big rock and soak your feet. In high season, the cottage will be open to allow a bath I think. Somehow  I never came here in that high season.

121010 South Cave 017(LR)01121010 South Cave 019(LR)01

 

東洞 Eastern Cave: Shar Chog Bey Phuk

121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 006(LR)01121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 020(LR)01

這個東邊的蓮師洞稱作“霞丘北埔”,現在也有公路通了。從公路走下來也是十多分鐘,路很好走。

There is motor road to this Eastern Cave now so the access is very convenient as well. From the road, it is also a 10-20 minutes walk down.

121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 005(LR)01121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 021(LR)01
121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 008(LR)01 121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 018(LR)01
121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 015(LR)01121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 012(LR)01121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 011(LR)01

也是要鑽進地裡。但這個洞穴往下可以走到很深的地方,是那種可以不知在裡面走多少公里的洞。下面的路比較危險,不像南洞只是在洞裡爬爬就進去了。要走下去的話,一定要帶手電筒。

This cave is however very deep underground, the kind of place where it seems you can walk miles down there and get lost. A flashlight is a must if you decide to go down.

121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 014(LR)01121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 013(LR)01

這隻小狗從離開公路的居民家裡一路帶著我們走來;等我們從洞裡爬出時,它還乖乖坐在門口等我們。連我這麼怕狗的人都覺得它很可愛。

This cute dog had been leading us along the road to the cave and was faithfully sitting in front of the gate when we climbed out.

 

北洞 Northern Cave: Byang Lhari Rinchen Nying Phuk

Tashiding(LR)01北洞和西洞都沒有公路可到達,都需要坐車到附近的村莊,再徒步走上去。這個北洞,尤為辛苦。

去了之後,過半年才發現,這是拉尊·南卡·吉美取出伏藏《持明命修》(《山淨煙供》即是其中的一部分)的地方,於是很感激某人在西洞和北洞二選一時,選了這個北洞去。雖然辛苦,但是個吉祥緣起。

Northern Cave and Western Cave are not accessible by car and requires a one day trekking from the nearest village. The journey to this Northern Cave is especially harsh. But several months after I went, I realized it is where Lhatsun Namkha Jigme revealed the terma Rigdzin Sokdrup, “The Practice of the Life of the Vidyadharas”, from which the “Riwo Sangcho" comes from, hence I have been very grateful to the friend who picked this cave over the Western Cave for me.

第一天:札西頂 –拉章 / Day 1: Tashiding to Labdang

首先,從札西頂有吉普公車到一個叫拉章的小村子。那個山路很差,所以一定要吉普車才開的過去。

上圖是我們兩人的行李,背包是必須的,行李箱沒可能背上山,所以要換成軟包。札西頂的這個路口有去各地方的吉普公車,我們就這樣行李一放,進了路邊地下室的小餐館吃飯。我是很不放心行李就這樣扔在路邊,不過真的也沒被人拿走。札西頂真是個民風純樸的好地方!

So in order to go to Northern Cave, we took the public transportation from Tashiding to Labdang. The road was bad so even if you hire your own car, you will need to hire a jeep and someone who really knows the road.

When we went to have lunch before the jeep departed, we actually left our  2 backpacks and 2 duffel bags on the street unattended (just like what the picture above shows). I was a bit worried, but when we finished lunch, coming out of the restaurant, these bags were still there intact. That’s another reason why I love Sikkim. It’s just not like other parts of India where you need to watch out all the time.

吉普車上另一個乘客是拉章的人,他答應當我們的嚮導,所以我們到拉章之後,就在他家落腳了。

There was another passenger on the jeep. He is from Labdang and agreed to be our guide for the trip. So the jeep dropped us directly somewhere near his place, then we walked for 10 minutes into the mountain to his house.

121005 South Sikkim East  Cave 021(LR)01121006 Labdang 01(LR)01

這個尼泊爾裔嚮導的家簡直是個世外桃源。吉普把我們放下在路邊的人家,然後我們爬上崎嶇陡峭的山路,進山到了這個有五六戶人家的地方。他們全都是一家人,完全與世隔絕,各戶人家中間圍著菜園,養雞、養羊,完全自給自足。

其中有一戶人家裡剛好請了一位喇嘛在修法,我們尋著聲音晃進去,他們也不以為忤,給我們茶,讓我們坐在火邊享受這靜謐中的誦經聲。

The guide is Nepalese descend and his place is like a small shangrila to me. There are a few cottages together. Next door is his grandfather’s and others are his cousins’.  They grows a lot of things in the compound and have chickens, goats around.

We wandered into one of his cousin’s place as we heard the chanting of a lama doing a one-man puja there. They are all very nice people. They gave us tea and let us just sit there by the fire and enjoy the moment.

121006 Labdang 07(LR)01121006 Labdang 15(LR)01121006 Labdang 13(LR)01121006 Labdang Village 002(LR)01

右邊那個小房子是雞舍。天快暗時,他們就趕雞回去,雞自己會走上那根木條爬回家。雞回家後,人就把那木條移開,大概是要預防有什麼動物晚上會來襲擊雞兒吧。

Before it gets dark, the rooster and hens would walk over a wooden stripe  to get back to their elevated shelter. First time seeing chickens can be trained to do something.

121006 Labdang Village 001(LR)01121006 Labdang Village 004(LR)01

尼泊爾人的房子好乾淨,木地板是一塵不染的。嚮導把家裡最好的房間騰給我們睡,只有一張單人床,所以一個人要打地鋪。我看他們一家人都睡地板上,所以也許那張床說不定其實是沙發。好吃的晚飯也完全是尼泊爾菜。

The guide let us stayed in the best room in his place. The Nepalese wooden cottage is very clean, and warm at night. The family cuisine was also good.

第二天:拉章-山上 (9 公里) / Day 2: Labdang into the Mountains (9 Km)

121007 To Cave 04(LR)01北洞就在那山裡面的某一處,遠方的山頭還有雪。

2012年的雨季結束的晚,當地人還沒有清理去蓮師洞的路。錫金雖然海拔高,但溫暖潮濕,森林完全是雨林的模樣。雨季時,所有植物一長,就沒路了。我們是當年第一批出現來朝山的,那個嚮導小男生人也真好,竟然願意帶我們入山,我完全沒有想到他和他帶來幫忙的姪兒會有多辛苦。

Northern Cave is further inside the mountain from where I stayed.  Somewhere in the opposite range in the picture.

The 2012 rainy season lasted longer than usual. The local community  has not cleared the road to the cave yet. We were the first group trying to go that year. I was very surprised that our guide was willing to bring us in after I saw how much work he and his nephew had to do. They literally had to cut a road out of the jungle for us.

121007 Village to the Lodge 001(LR)01兩千多米的海拔,我們要走九公里的山路,翻過兩個山坳才能到蓮師洞。按一般人的腳程,單程要走五到七個小時,當天是無法來回的,所以晚上要在當地人為朝聖者所搭建的一個小屋裡過夜。

The altitude was 2000+m. 9 km to the cave, for the locals, it is a 4-5 hours walk, for city dwellers, probably 5-7 hours, so there is no way to do a day trip. You have to spend a night at a shelter house the community built near the cave.

一開始幾百米的路還有左圖的小徑,沒過多久就是茂密的雨林。嚮導兩人,一個人背著我們的一個大包和他自己的小背包,一個人背著自己的小背包拿著鐮刀從雨林中硬是砍出了一條路。

This kind of trail only happened in the very beginning. Once we got to the other side of the mountain, there was no trail at all. The guide just took turn to cut a one-man wide passage out of the thick rainforest.

有些地方,植物長得太茂密,還砍不出他們通常走的路,於是又折回,另闢他徑。他們的體力真的讓人咂舌,高海拔負重爬山已經很費力了,砍樹更是體力活。

121007 Village to the Lodge 005(LR)01121007 Village to the Lodge 020(LR)01121007 Village to the Lodge 012(LR)01

有些地方,則是路完全塌了,只能爬過鬆動的落石。這種時候,我都會很感謝在法國楓丹白露森林裡教我攀岩的英國同學。有些地方是必須沿著陡峭的山壁走,原本當地人會搭建一個右上圖的那種圍欄扶手,但因為今年還沒清路,很多這類棧道都塌了,只能念著阿彌陀佛想辦法貼著山壁爬過去。

In some places, we had to climb though land slides. Those are the times I’d thank Robert for teaching me rock climbing basics in Fontainebleau.

For the parts where the safety fence that locals built were completely out of shape, you can only chant mani and pray those grasses on the cliffs can provide you some support .

121007 Village to the Lodge 006(LR)01121007 Village to the Lodge 002(LR)01

But the view is good. At least in the beginning when you still have energy to appreciate and explore.

121007 Village to the Lodge 013(LR)01
錫金的蘭花很有名。Probably orchids.

121007 Village to the Lodge 015(LR)01121009 Cave back to Labdang 001(LR)01

看了蘑菇就覺得肚子餓。Cute mushrooms.

開始還有點閑情逸緻拍照,過了一半就只想著要努力在天黑前到達目的地。

特別是走了1/3路程,停下來休息時,才發現除了那割人腳的荊棘蔓草、黏了我一身的種子,還有無數多的血蛭在襲擊我們。

血蛭很小,就指甲月牙那個大小,它們會在快要有人經過時站在樹葉上,人一經過就跳上來,然後順著你的褲子爬到鞋子或褲管裡,有些還直接從頭上樹葉空降到身上。

不知道的時候沒什麽感覺,等我把血跡斑斑的褲管捲起,在別人幫忙下把那十幾隻抓掉,再啓程之後,只要有一隻進來都會覺得很癢,很想把它從自己身上攆走。但是走走停停也不是辦法,過一會兒就只能放棄,完全一個修心的過程。

121007 Village to the Lodge 024(LR)01 121007 Village to the Lodge 023(LR)01  121007 Village to the Lodge 022(LR)01

The real challenge was leeches. I didn’t realize there was such a thing until after 1/3 of the trail, I saw those blood coming out of one guide’s leg after he took out some leeches, even at that time I still thought it was due to those nasty sharp vines. Then those guys finally enlightened me by pointing at my own bloody pants. After I rolled up the pants, I saw leeches on my leg for the first time in my life – not one or two, but more than a dozen.

They were tiny. Most are not even 1 cm long. Yet they are vicious. Like motion detectors, they would know before you  come and stand up on the leaves, twisting and waiting for you. Once you pass by, they jump over to you, then they follow your pants or shoes to seek the soft skins to satiate their blood thirst.

快要進入目的地山坳時,那個山頭可能海拔比較高,突然血蛭就失去蹤影,在身上的也好像死掉了,雖然還咬在身上。

121009 Cave 9(LR)01

看到這個已經從拉章走了快9公里的牌子時,真是歡天喜地。其實離要過夜的屋子還有幾百米,蓮師洞還要1公里。

Fortunately when we got closer to the destination, probably due to the high altitude or something, the leeches all suddenly disappeared. Even those biting into you became inactive.

The shelter house is still several hundred meters from this sign and the Cave is probably 1 km away.

121007 Village to the Lodge 027(LR)01121007 Village to the Lodge 028(LR)01

最棒的是要涉水過這個小溪,順便洗腳、清除血蛭。雖然水溫低到腳一浸,就凍成紫色,但還是快樂無比。特別是這時帶的水已經喝完,拿空瓶裝溪水飲用,那個香甜甘冽,加持降臨,真是難以忘懷。

這時對血蛭已經有初步瞭解,它們喜歡咬皮膚薄、大血管靠近體表的部位,所以群聚之處就是腳踝那一圈和腳趾附近。據說若是等它們吸飽血自己會掉落,而且它們的唾液會有助止血。死在我腳上的洗掉後,血還是從它們咬出的那兩個小牙齒孔泊泊流出。

This stream before reaching the house was like heaven. We ran out of water so refilled ourselves with this cool and sweet nectar. Also, took the leisure to stop and wash off the dead leeches on my feet. Though it was freezing and my feet turned purple, but it feels great.

因為天已經開始暗了,大家也累了,所以我們決定今晚先住下休息,明天早上去朝洞後再下山。

我大概累斃了,小屋的照片一張也沒有。

基本上就是一個有屋頂墻壁能遮風避雨的地方,沒電沒水沒信號,不過屋外有接山泉的地方。嚮導在外面生了個火,煮了他們背上來的YY泡麵(我愛YY!)。吃完後,因為沒電,也沒事可做,於是就6點18分我們已經全部躺下睡覺了。那應該是我這輩子最早上床的一天。

當地人實在很好,開路、搭橋、建屋子之餘,屋裡還備了一些泡棉墊,可以拿來墊在睡袋下面。睡袋一定要帶暖的,我帶的小螞蟻睡袋說是0度ok,完全不夠暖,冷得睡不著,到半夜厚顔討了別人的一半睡袋來蓋。嚮導則是背了一床毯子一裹了事。

The house is just a roof with walls for people to tug in for the night. No power but there is running spring water outside.

Since it was getting dark, so we decided to stay put and wait until the next morning for the cave.

Our guides made a fire and cooked some instant noodles they brought up as dinner. Then we all tugged in at 6pm. You do need a warm sleeping bag. My light one, said to be good for 10 C, was definitely not warm enough.  The guides simply wrapped themselves in a blanket so I should’ve asked them to bring a blanket for me instead.

121007 To Cave 05(LR)01

第三天:北洞-拉章 (11 公里) / Day 3: Up to the Northern Cave – Back to Labdang (11 Km)

隔天,繼續努力。

今天上洞、下洞各1公里路,再9公里路回拉章,共要走11公里,雖說是下山,但其實還是很多上山的部分。

So today, 1 km to and from the Cave, plus the 9km to get back to Labdang, a total 11 km to go.
121009 Cave 3(LR)01121008 NorthCave 05(LR)01
121009 Cave 4(LR)01121008 NorthCave 06(LR)01

雖然一路都覺得是在很特別的氛圍裡,但到了洞裡就更特別了。特別到連我這麽鈍的人,都覺得空氣中漂浮著異常奇特的光彩和力量。

Although it feels walking in a special zone throughout the journey, the feeling got even stronger when getting closer to the cave.

121009 Cave 15(LR)01121009 Cave 21(LR)01121009 Cave 13(LR)01

洞是半開放的岩穴,嚮導幫我們掛上風馬旗。

It’s a half open cave. Our guides helped us put up some prayer flags.

121008 NorthCave 02(LR)01-2

看到前人不畏艱辛而背來的佛像、油燈,實在佩服不已。

I was amazed by all those statues and big butter lamps brought here by previous visitors.

121008 NorthCave 03(LR)01

做煙供、供養,還在洞裡把一天的功課都做完了。

Sang offering and various prayers. It feels like something flowing in the air, like an unheard song, invisible, vibrating, making your mind clear and joyful.

總覺得洞的深處隱約傳來空行歌唱的聲音。

121009 Cave 24(LR)01121009 Cave 14(LR)01

Though we started early, we spent a lot of time at the cave and it was almost 10 when we got back to pick up our luggage and had some breakfast. Next time I will spend more than a night there.

磨蹭到九點多才回到昨晚落腳的地方,吃了早餐,拿上行李回拉章。

依依不捨,下次要多待兩晚。

121009 Cave 12(LR)01121007 Village to the Lodge 021(LR)01

回去的路上,連小背包都讓嚮導幫忙背回去。即使如此,還是到晚上七點多,天都全黑了才回到拉章。我的腳程就是來回都要9個小時 [汗]

嚮導今天不用開路,走得飛快,估計三個小時就回家了。

很感人的是,大概下午四點我又餓又累,還加上可能失血過多而頭暈時,竟然其中一個嚮導又上山來,帶著水、熱熱的烤餅給我們吃。

Though I passed my little backpack to the guide, it still took me 9 hours to get back to Labdang. For them, since they don’t need to cut trees and make roads anymore, it probably took them only 3-4 hours to get back.

And they are super sweet. When I was tired and hungry on the road, one of them came back to us at around 4 pm to bring us some hot tea and warm roti!

因為他們先走了,天黑後很難認路,又沒有手電筒,友人拿著那天曉得能撐多久的手機當電筒,還好他算是很有方向感的人,於是帶我走出了大山。
121007 Village to the Lodge 003(LR)01121009 Cave back to Labdang 004(LR)01

第四天:拉章-札西頂 / Day 4: Labdang to Tashiding

121009 Labdang 9(LR)01

實在很愛我在拉章住的這個地方。
Love this place I stayed in Labdang.

121008 NorthCave 07(LR)01-2121009 Cave back to Labdang 005(LR)01

昨晚回來在嚮導家門口清血蛭所遺留的血跡,今天還清晰可見。

身上有32個咬痕,腳上估計一兩百個是跑不掉的。

最慘的是,別人都是血蛭拿掉後,20分鐘血就止了。我是一整個晚上都在試著止血。試了各式方法,到了半夜還有三處止不了。

On the previous night I took out those leeches in front of the guide’s house, my blood on the ground was still visible this morning. In total, I had 32 bites on my torso and 100-200 bites on my legs/feet. A great cleansing with all the blood I offered to this pilgrimage!

121009 Labdang 15(LR)01 這是拉章村的公車站。旁邊有個社區辦公室,一定要去那邊交錢支持他們的開路和維護聖地的工作,每人只收20盧比,5毛美金都不到。

嚮導也很好,雖然我們沒有事先講好價錢,但帶我們上山,加上兩晚在他家的住宿吃喝,也只收了我們兩人四千盧比(80美金)。不太好意思,於是多給了一千盧比的小費。

This is the jeep stop in Labdang. The community has an office nearby. They only charge 20 Rupee per person for their hard work on making roads and maintaining the shelter. Please do support them.

For my guide, even though we did not talk about price upfront, this morning he charged a very reasonable 4000 Rupees for the two of us, including brining us up there, home stay, meals and everything. So  I offered  a tip for their hard work. Make sure you can find this guide if possible. Too bad I forgot his name already 😦

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回札西頂的路上,佛光普照。

Beautiful lights on the way  back  to Tashiding.

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札西頂!Tashiding!!

Happy Losar at Chorten 美好的藏曆新年從見多智欽仁波切開始!

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A beautiful sunny day for Losar (the Tibetan New Year)  at Chorten Monastery, Sikkim, with presence of Dodrupchen Rinpoche. What a great start of joyful blessings for the new year!!

Today is also the last day of the Vajrakilaya Drupchen. Rinpoche was in the main shrine hall for about two hours in the morning, granting blessings to the participants.

Despite of all the crowds flooding the monastery, I coincidentally ended up sitting in a place almost identical to where I sat throughout the Sakya Center’s Kilaya puja,  hence being able to take some pictures.

第一次在錫金過藏曆新年。今天是藏曆新年初一。一大早,不到四點就有人開始電話拜年。

早上大家一起和酥油茶,吃麻花,老人家給大家加持和贈以吉祥語。今天還收了好幾個紅包(不過是在白信封內)。然後就出發到廟裡。

今天也是秋登寺普巴金剛竹千法會的最後一天,很多人從昨晚就待在廟裡,滿滿的人潮把大殿外那一大塊地方都佔滿了,完全擠不進去。其實穿着新衣服又帶著相機,也沒那本事去擠。一開始就在外面轉轉,還作為寺廟商店今年的第一個客人,請了幾個保佑健康的護身符預備帶回台灣給長輩。後來因緣巧合,混進了大殿,落腳在和德拉敦普巴法會一樣的位置,於是才照了些相片。

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After Rinpoche left, a lot of devotees came paying homage to his throne.
多智欽(多竹千)仁波切離座後,大批信徒前來頂禮他的法座。
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Tea and sweet butter rice for all. This was taken before the crowds spotting these goodies. Non-stop of hundreds of people around within 10 minutes afterwards. This may well be my expertise – subconsciously drawn to where good food is before anybody else.
寺廟提供給所有人的茶和酥油飯,照相時才剛擺出來,沒一會兒又人山人海了。我的特長似乎是能領先所有人找到好吃的。
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***

And the beautiful flowers at Chorten! It is orchid season now. I so worship the senior lama who takes care of all these flowers now.

May all sentient beings find beauty, purity, peace and happiness in all their perceptions.

進大殿前,主要就是在外面賞花。現在是錫金蘭花的季節,負責照顧花的老喇嘛實在太厲害了。

願一切有情眾生都能在自己的一切感知中,安住於美好、清淨與安樂。

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Sarva mangalam.

祿頂堪千仁波切八十四嵩壽秩慶 Luding Khenchen Rinpoche’s Birthday 2013/11/16

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這幾天為祿頂堪千仁波切修度母長壽法的法王子無著金剛仁波切、祿頂堪仁波切、主法上師塔澤堪仁波切和密續佛學院的兩位堪布迎請堪千仁波切至大殿接受大家的祝壽。
H.E. Dungse Asanga Vajra Rinpoche, Luding Khen Rinpoche, Thartse Khen Rinpoche, and the two khenpos from the Vajrayana Institute, who had been performing White Tara Long Life puja in the past two days, went inviting Khenchen Rinpoche to the main shrine hall.

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H.E. Dungse Ratna Vajra Rinpoche and family also came 法王子大寶金剛仁波切亦偕家人前來賀壽
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H.E. Dungse Akasha Vajra Rinpoche 法王子虛空金剛仁波切
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Two Jetsunmas, their grandmother and mother 兩位傑尊瑪及祖母、母親等兩位佛母
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H.E. Dungse Asanga Vajra Rinpoche 法王子無著金剛仁波切
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Luding Shabdrung Rinpoche 祿頂霞仲仁波切
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Joyful Completion of the Celebration 歡喜圓滿141116 Ngor_383 141116 Ngor_317141116 Ngor_389 141116 Ngor_396 141116 Ngor_398

願堪千仁波切長久住世,法體安康,法教廣傳,利益無量眾生。
Happy Birthday, Khenchen Rinpoche!

錫金的蘿蔔泡菜 Radish Pickle from Sikkim

前天在別人家喝茶的時候,他們家尼泊爾傭人正好在做泡菜,看著就覺得是很好吃的東西,而且材料普遍。

抱了一小桶上一批做好的泡菜回來,果然好吃。這兩天餐餐都吃,愈吃愈好吃。

趕緊把食譜寫下,免得忘記。下次回上海一定做一批跟好友分享。

The other day when we were having tea at someone’s place, it happened that their Nepalese maid was making radish pickle. We got a small jar of this super delicious pickle from the last batch. And the recipe seems simple enough that there is no reason not to try.

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1. 蘿蔔連皮切條,辣椒依自己喜好的量也切條,陰乾,去掉表面多餘水份。
Slice radish (without peeling) and chili, and dry the surface moisture

2. 白芝麻炒香後,磨成粉。(終於有一個食譜是能利用到果汁機附贈的那個磨粉機了)
Warm the white sesame seeds in a pan to bring the flavor and machine-grind them into powder

3. 蘿蔔和辣椒放進乾淨瓶中,加上芝麻粉、鹽 、芥子油拌勻,封住罐子,每隔幾天把罐子上下倒一下就好。
Put the radish and chili pepper inside a clean jar, mix evenly with the sesame powder, salt and mustard oil. Seal the jar, maybe shake the jar a bit every few days to ensure the ingredients get evenly seasoned and fermented, and just wait to enjoy your pickle in 10 days!

原來做泡菜這麽簡單,所以實在沒必要去買外面加了那麼多防腐劑和其他化學添加劑的罐頭泡菜。

It would be wonderful to have home-made pickles free from preservatives and artificial flavors! Can’t wait to make this when I go home.

***

P.S. Can also add garlic. Minimum marination for 10 days.

後記:可以加大蒜一起醃漬。至少醃個10天。

***

2013/11 第一次試作,趕著離開上海,所以只醃了5天,但是已經很好吃了。加了薑絲、蒜頭、尖椒,还有一点花椒,用的是菜籽油。

First time making it. Didn’t have enough time so only marinated for 5 days but super delicious already! I also added fine shredded ginger and some Chinese peppers.

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Revered Lepcha Priest at Sikkim Palace Monastery 錫金雷普恰族祭師於皇家寺廟接受表揚

Today a revered Lepcha priest came to the Sikkim Palace Monastery (Tsuklakhang) to receive a formal recognition on his contribution to the society. Lepcha people are the aboriginal inhabitants of Sikkim, mostly settled in North Sikkim. Most of them follow the Tibetan Buddhism while keeping their original Shamanism culture of  worshipping the nature. The tribal priests would perform rituals to honor and appease the mountain guardians but unfotunately the lineage is dying. The community are presenting tributes to two senior priests today while one of them passed away already.

雷普恰族(Lepchas)是錫金兩大原住民族之一,另一族爲布提亞族(Bhutia)。他們大多信奉藏傳佛教,但也維持著原本崇拜自然神靈——特別是山神——的民俗文化。雷普恰族祭師會修法祭祀山神、驅魔治病等,如今老一輩的祭師慢慢凋零,卻又沒有年輕一輩的人願意承接這個文化傳承。今天地方協會對兩位最資深的祭師表達感謝,一位已經去世,另一位則來到皇家寺院(促克拉康)現場。

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Some photos and clippings on the board to show the activities of these senior priests. The little monks also joined the prayers and helped with the setup.
看板上是關於老祭師們的相片和剪報。皇家寺院的小喇嘛也來參加,開始時大家一起唸祈願文。
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Then the old priest performed a ritual with smoke offering and throwing rice. After that, he blessed the Lepcha people one by one, especially for those born in the year of snake, to dispel all their obstacles for this year of snake.
然後老祭師修了一座法,包括煙供、撒米等等,之後用一把淨化過的樹葉爲前來的雷普恰人加持除障,特別是爲蛇年出生(本命年者)淨除今年的障礙。
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This is a Mahasiddha: Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, the revealer of Riwo Sangcho/Rigdzin Sogdrub,an extremely important figure for spreading dharma in Sikkim, and also a previous incarnation of the khyentse lineage. 這是拉尊· 南卡·吉美,他在錫金取出了著名的《山淨煙供》等諸多伏藏,是奠定錫金佛法基礎的一位重要大成就者,也是欽哲的前世之一。
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The committee members and the old priest. 委員會工作人員與祭師的合影。
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When I wandered around, the window of the mahakala room was open. The yellow curtain moved along with the breeze. I cannot help but wandering, if I had come here 55 years earlier, maybe I would have had the great fortune to have  a glimpse of Khyntse Chokyi Lodro here. His room was the 1st floor room at the photo to the right while the ground floor room belonged to his consort, Khandro Tsering Chodron. People are still doing circumambulations here.

閒逛時,二樓瑪哈嘎啦護法室的窗子正開著。不僅想到,若是我早來此地五十多年,或許會有幸能在此瞥見欽哲確吉羅卓的身影~
右圖中,二樓是欽哲·確吉·羅卓以前的寢室,一樓是佛母康卓·慈玲·雀諄的房間。至今還有人常年在這裡繞行。
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IMG_1672As usual, I have to talk about the food. The lunch they served was so delicious – paneer curry, ema datsi, eggplant tempura, pakora, daal,  vermicelli with green vegetables, masala potatoes, fresh pickle with grinded cheese…I forgot the food in Sikkim monasteries can be this delicious, and all vegetarian!

I have to admit that I had no idea what Lepcha is earlier this morning. I happened to run into some young people when going out and ended up attending this event, having great food and enjoying the flowers, sunshine and breeze at this beautiful premise.

May all cultural heritage be preserved and carried on with meaningful contribution to the humanity and benefits to all beings.

因為是我的博客,所以就必須談談食物和花草。

午餐在寺廟吃的——米飯、豆子湯、奶豆腐豌豆咖喱、不丹的起司燉辣椒、炸素丸子、瑪薩拉馬鈴薯、粉絲青菜、茄子天婦羅、起司蘿蔔泡菜……全素盛宴,我都忘記錫金寺廟的食物可以有這麽好吃了!

今天本來是要去另一個地方的,出門時遇到小朋友,就臨時改成跟他們來這裡,於是朝拜了寺廟,欣賞了春天的花草,又撈到一頓這麽好吃的。來的時候,連雷普恰是什麽都不知道~ 現在跟大家介紹一下,算我沒有白吃人家一頓飯。願所有文化遺產皆得具義延續,利益眾生。

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Super Organic Lettuce 有機到不能再有機的蔬菜

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The host family has this huge space on the rooftop for flowers, laundry, brewing etc. It is also a wonderful place for a cup of tea and reading in the late afternoon with breezes.

In addition to the flowers, ama-la also plants some lettuce! Hence I’ve been having these truly organic lettuce as part of my diet here.

I don’t think they would add any fertilizer or pesticide. These greens simply grow naturally under sunshine and rain falls. Everything seems so effortless here. In many ways I feel Sikkim is indeed a sacred land.

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我的午餐隔三差五的就會出現這老太太在頂樓栽種的生菜。不加肥料,不打農藥,淋著雨水、照著太陽長大,有機到不能再有機了。

現摘現吃。只要撒點胡椒,淋點甘蔗醋,幾分鐘內就可以被我吃掉一盤。不太吃青菜的老太太說不定會以為我比較像牛羊,而不太像人。

今天的午餐還有我最愛的蕨菜炒起司(我這麼喜歡蕨菜,也可能之前是雷龍之類的素食恐龍)、蘿蔔番茄湯,還有紅油竹筍。

人生美好!

They are always picked right before the meal time. With a little peppers and vinegar made out of sugar cane juice, I can literally finish a full plate within a couple of minutes. My mom used to say that I eat vegetable like a cow. This is one of the few things that I have to agree with her.

The other dishes today are my favorite fern with cheese and radish soup. Can’t ask for more in life!

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Love these prayer banners in the wind. Mesmerizing to watch them moving and the sky.

在頂樓曬太陽、喝茶時,可以對這些在風中搖曳的經幡呆望許久。

密勒日巴和蕁麻湯 Milarepa and Nettle Soup

130403 Gangtok_001 一整天都在讀《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》中的道歌。

早茶時晃進廚房,敦祝在清理蕁麻葉,預備給我作湯。

蕁麻算是錫金特產,一年四季似乎都看得到,但只有在當地人家裡才吃的到,餐館裡沒有這道菜。

蕁麻的莖葉上都有細細的刺毛,被刺到的話會又紅又腫,痛得不行(台灣叫作“咬人貓”),所以摘菜時要很小心。敦祝是一手小心拿著莖,一手拿剪刀把嫩葉剪下;阿姨處理的話,還會帶上手套,以免不小心碰到刺。剪完後,一把菜其實能吃的部分沒有多少。

然後應該是把切碎的蒜頭加奶油爆香,再加入蕁麻葉和一小把米燉煮,葉子會自然化掉,米釋放出的酵素會讓湯變濃,最後成了一碗綠色濃湯。

I have been reading some songs from Mila Grubum these days.

Today when I stepped into the kitchen during tea time, Dondrup happened to be preparing the nettle  to cook for me.

These nettles are certainly local specialty in Sikkim. No matter which season I come, I can always spot them in the market, unlike the seasonal bamboo shoots and squash sprouts.  Nevertheless I have never seen any restaurants offering this special delicacy in the menu so this is more like a family cuisine that is not easy to get for tourists like myself.

Once got stun by these stinging nettles’ stems and leaves, it can be burning painful. Therefore, Dondrup carefully removed the young leaves with a scissor. As you can tell, the edible parts are not that much.

Then I think he fried some chopped garlic with butter, then added the nettle leaves and a small amount of rice to make a soup. The leaves would melt naturally and the yeast from the rice would make the soup thick and almost creamy. I don’t really know how he made it as the next time I saw the nettle, it had become a bowl of green soup for my lunch.

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中餐是炒萍菇、炒豆莢、蕁麻湯,還有昨天的甜菜根南瓜胡蘿蔔湯。

晚餐是奶豆腐蔬菜麵片,還有蕁麻湯。

讀了一天密勒日巴的道歌,也喝了一天他賴以維生的蕁麻湯。道歌的境界不是凡人所能覺受,蕁麻湯倒是能夠體驗,這算是我以食物跟大師結緣的特殊方式吧。

願一切眾生都能證得同密勒日巴一般的成就。

So my lunch was this nettle soup with rice, fried mushroom, beans and the beetroot pumpkin carrot soup from yesterday.

Dinner was veggie paneer thukpa and the nettle soup – I think I am the only one eating this in the family. Guess the boys are not very into these green things.

Thus I had a day of Milarepa’s songs and the nettles he used to have.

May all sentient beings attain Milarepa’s realization soon.

My first “Holi” in India

昨天是印度的Holi節,號稱世界上最色彩繽紛的節慶,雖然我在山間小鎮,也感受到這個春天節慶的歡樂。大家拿著絢麗的彩粉或水互相潑灑,好玩極了!

Such a joyful festival in spring time. People were indeed celebrating wholeheartedly with colors even in this small town 🙂

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印度理髮師的按摩 Massage by Indian Barber

去年有位新加坡師兄説他在錫金剪頭髮時,發現理髮師給的十分鐘按摩很棒,他就每天花50盧比,享受那十分鐘的按摩。他還特別叮嚀説,他試過給100盧比按二十分鐘,但是後來十分鐘就沒力了,所以建議還是十分鐘就好。

於是我每次經過甘托克那條遍佈理髮小店的小路時,總是很想去試試。但是那些店,通常就兩張剃頭椅,一兩位黑黑的印度師傅站在那裡,偶爾的客人也都是男的,剃頭、刮面都有,總覺得不是女孩子去的地方。我要是坐在裡面按摩,只怕會引起路人圍觀,像是動物園一樣。

今天終於一償夙願。跟朋友經過了一家在商場內的理髮廳,雖然也是男師傅,但是理髮廳招牌寫著男女客人都收,而且天色晚了,旁邊店都已經關掉,建築內也沒有什麼人,還有朋友坐在旁邊監場,就決定試試。

果然不錯,按了有半個多小時吧,頭部、肩部、背部都按到了。力道也很足,比那些Ayurvedic 按摩舒服多了。200盧比,性價比極高。推薦給到印度旅遊的男同學們。

Finally  I tried the massage by Indian barber.

It was highly recommended by John from Singapore last year. He loved it so much that he went for a 10 minute massage everyday in Gangtok.

However, those small barbershops seem to serve only male customers. Plus with all the people walking by (usually wide open without doors),  I didn’t have the courage to try. 

Today we passed by a barbershop within a building. It was late so no other people around. Therefore I decided to give it a try with my friend’s company.

It is indeed very good, covering head, shoulder and back, over half an hour for 200 Rupees. For me, the effect is superior to the ayurvedic relaxation type of massage. Highly recommended for male travelers in India.

在錫金的中秋節:有機蔬食和隆德寺 Rumtek and Organic Veggie For the Mid-Autumn Festival in Sikkim

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Yesterday was the Mid-Autumn Festival for Chinese. Instead of moon cake and heavy feast, I had a feast with exotic organic vegetables, plus a visit to the Rumtek Monastery.

The day started with a 7am trip to the Sunday Farmers’ market in Gangtok where farmers in the neighboring areas would bring fresh produce to sell here.

因為星期天,附近農民都會帶菜過來賣,所以朋友早上7點就帶我去見識一下甘托克的農夫市集。
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圓圓紅紅的是錫金有名的“火球”辣椒,看著可愛,卻是世界上最辣的辣椒品種之一。

我是只要看到綠葉菜就很高興,所以錫金對我簡直就是天堂。印度其他地方往往只有小黃瓜、蕃茄、洋蔥、花菜、胡蘿蔔、菠菜、茄子,這裡從捲心菜、杭白菜、莧菜、香菜(芫荽)、西洋菜、白蘿蔔、南瓜、胡瓜……還有各式各樣不知名的野菜,看得我眼花繚亂的。

最重要的是,有我很愛的筍、蕨菜(大姐説共有五種)、龍須菜(現在知道了,其實就是瓜苗)和菌菇。

On top of the famous fireball chilies, there are all kinds of green vegetables, indeed a heaven for me! With my favorite bamboo shoots, ferns…(mushroom would only arrive after ~9am)

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好像是酒糟之類的東西,擁葉子包著販賣,看著就很討人喜歡。錫金是很注重環保的地方,這裡購物時給的袋子一律是紙袋或環保袋,沒有塑料袋。
Not sure what is this lady selling, but the packing looks nice and environmental friendly!

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朋友看到這個菜農剛擺出的小苦瓜很新鮮,所以來挑苦瓜。兩顆橢圓形橘綠色的果兒,也是苦瓜的一個品種~  右邊那個豆莢原來也是能吃的,我們挑苦瓜的時候,豆莢被甘托克蔬菜店老闆全部抱走了(這裡是批發市場),說是可以拿來生吃。

Two types of small bitter gourds. I have never seen that yellowish oval shape specie before. They looked more like fruits to me.

The giant bean pods are also edible. The lady purchasing them all (probably a local shop owner for retail) said people eat them raw.

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這個很像風信子的花兒是時令特產,朋友説是帶苦味的。買了一點回去,加了點洋蔥、姜、蕃茄炒給我吃,果然花的部份微苦,不過沒有苦瓜那麽苦, 花梗的部份倒是很香甜。
These Hyacinthus-like flowers are also edible. Stir-fried with onion, ginger and tomato, the flowers tasted a bit bitter while the stems juicy and refreshing like asparagus.

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這是蕁麻的葉子(左)和花(右)。因為是密勒日巴尊者在山上禪修時的唯一食物,所以我也弄了一把蕁麻葉回來,還沒吃到就是了。
Nettles leaves and flowers. A must-try for Milarepa admirers 🙂

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被拿來食用的花還很多,大黃花猛一看有點像金針花,不過我猜是某種瓜類的花。右邊那個乾乾的小花看來口感不會很好。左下紅色的是香蕉花。右下是筍,筍兒都是長條形的,非常鮮。

Some more flowers and fresh bamboo shoots. The red ones are banana flowers.

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去年在錫金吃到這個形狀的香蕉之後,覺得讚的不得了。我是從來不會主動買香蕉吃的人,但是這個形狀的香蕉有股誘人的芳香,平常那種黃色長年不壞的香蕉完全沒得比。

中間上面扁扁的蘋果看著很漂亮,竟然是福建來的。怪不得漂亮,亮晶晶的一層蠟吧。希望本地這些健康美味的有機農產品不會被進口的不自然大型農場產品取代掉。

最後是買了芭樂、木瓜和我的新歡——石榴。

Sikkim banana is very delicious with nice flavor, unlike the dull yellow ones we usually get in the ‘developed countries’ supermarkets. Pomegranate is my new love while the organic Bhutanese apples (even partially red inside) have been accompanying me since day one of this trip.

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這個是不丹來的有機蘋果,不是我們買的。從我來錫金的第一天晚上説好吃後,阿姨就放了一盆在我房間, 不時補上幾顆。每顆都長得不一樣,有的紅色果皮還會紅到果肉裡。不但甜,而且香氣距離一公尺都聞得到。

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最後離開市場時,看到有一車剛到的農民正要下貨(同一村的人會一起包車過來),於是搶到兩把之前沒有見過的白花。我在對街看見這花就衝了上前,到了花的面前,因為實在太完美了,一度悵然以為“原來是塑膠花”……但是再摸摸,真的是鮮花,有股野薑花家族的味道。

早起的鳥兒有蟲吃,雖然這個市集會持續一天,但是要買到新鮮蔬果或珍稀花卉,還是得趁早來,不然好東西很快就會被甘托克的商家給掃光。

Got these amazing white flowers after leaving the market. Freshly arrived with a jeep full of various products probably brought by people from the same village. We took most of them even before they reach the marketplace 🙂

***

吃完中飯後,去了對山的隆德寺。就是十六世大寶法王離開西藏後所建立的寺廟,土地是當年錫金國王供養的七畝地。

After lunch, we went to Rumtek Monastery. Local people said there was huge rain last night so much so that they were worried about their houses would get washed away! But it was sunny when we arrived.

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大殿入口上方的五隻雪獅很可愛,每一隻表情都不太一樣。
Cute snow lions, each with its own cute expression.
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朋友嘲笑我朝拜隆德寺具有特別業障,去年是沒帶護照,今年是帶了護照卻沒有帶上錫金通行證,還好他特別問了一聲,所以開到一半又折回去拿。晚點到的好處是正好碰到修護法的時間,所以瑪哈嘎拉護法室和多傑綽洛(忿怒蓮師相之一)室都在修法。還朝拜了度母室,以及最重要的:十六世大寶法王的舍利金塔 _/\_。

喇嘛很慈悲的讓我們進去隔間裡朝拜,可以直接頂禮舍利塔,還讓我碰了一條平常加持寶瓶會用的那種五色繩,一端是連在塔上的。前天讀貝瑪薩公主傳時,正好讀到她有一顆spiritual turqiose,還在尋思是什麽寶貝,十六世金塔上所鑲的青松石諸寶貝裡,就有一顆是赤松德贊王的命力石!旁邊一顆則是瑪爾巴夫人給密勒日巴去向瑪爾巴求法的那顆青松石~~哇,能親眼見到這些以前讀過的寶貝真的是很啓發道心!

We were a bit late than planned due to my stupidity of forgetting to bring the Sikkim entry permit and hence driving back again after we almost left Gangtok. The good thing is that, because of the delay, the monks were performing the daily Mahakala and Dorje Drolo rituals when we were there.

The highlight was the Golden Stupa containing the 16th Karmapa’s relics. Moreover, the stupa is decorated with many precious objects. So thrilled to see the life force turquoise of King Trisong Deutsen  and the turquoise that Marpa’s wife gave to Milarepa so that he could make some offering in order to receive teachings……to see these things only read on paper before is such a blessing!!

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120930 Gangtok food 005朝拜完後,去十六世大寶法王總管的兒子家喝茶吃餅乾。喝完一家後,又去了十六世大寶法王的姪女家喝茶。她家有六隻奶牛,所以奶茶和奶酪都好吃的不得了~~

Then we visited two families by the monastery.  Had super delicious tea and curd, made from the milk of their family cows 🙂

吃飽飽回家後,雖說是吃不下飯了,但是大姐做的起司餃子太好吃了,本來說吃兩個的,最後大概吃了十個吧,還有一大碗湯!人在異鄉的中秋節,還是飽餐了好幾頓!

Though completely full after the tea, cookies, curd……etc. it is still too hard to say no to the delicious home made paneer momo (dumpling). Initially I just wanted to taste two and probably ended up having ten momos plus a big bowl of paneer veggie soup. Even though being abroad, I was not deprived from the Mid-Autumn Festival feast at all!

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Actually it has been one feast after another feast everyday since I came to Sikkim. Sample pictures of the amazing family cuisine I have been having in the past few days :-p

其實來了錫金後,沒有一天沒吃好的。朋友家餐餐好料,也許我應該開始寫一本素食食譜~
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