A Quick Guide to Chiang Mai: Part 1

A number of my friends have been to Chiang Mai and they sing praises of this city which made me feel excited about my trip but at the same time, a little concerned that I might have too high expectations of the city. Chiang Mai is known as the “Rose of the North” in Thailand and during the short drive from the airport to the hotel, I instinctively knew that this “rose” was going to be pretty. My initial reaction was how small the city was. Forgive my ignorance, I knew Chiang Mai was a smaller city than Bangkok but

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In Pictures: Rumtek Monastery of Gangtok

The first site that I visited in Gangtok was Rumtek Monastery. Rumtek Monastery is situated about 24km southwest of Gangtok, and is the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage, also known as the Black Hat sect. The Karma Kagyu order was founded in Lhasa, Tibet, in the 12th century by His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa who is the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. The sixteenth Karmapa fled to Sikkim in 1959 during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, after which His Holiness established the Kagyu order in Sikkim and built a new monastery on a land donated

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An Evening at Temple of the Tooth, Kandy

Temple of the Tooth in Kandy – no visit to Sri Lanka especially Kandy, is complete without visiting this temple. The temple is actually a royal palace complex, a former palace of the Kandyan kingdom, and it houses the relic tooth of Buddha. The relic is very significant in the politics of ancient Sri Lankan kingdom that whoever holds the tooth governs the country. The Temple of the Tooth is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The first time I came to Sri Lanka in 2009, I had visited this temple during the day. Here’s the entrance of the royal

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wesak day buddhist temple brickfields wesak float lights

In Pictures: Wesak Day Celebration at Buddhist Maha Vihara

In Malaysia, Wesak Day is a public holiday and was celebrated on 13th May recently.  Wesak or Vesak Day is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in many countries all over the world. It is sometimes called “Buddha’s Birthday” as it commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and his departure from the human world. I visited the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur – a Buddhist temple founded by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Thevrada Buddhist tradition. There was going to be an 8km Wesak light and float procession at night, so I

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