I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet and describes a monastery in Tibet.

Drepung Monastery

I ate breakfast at the rooftop restaurant, with its breathtaking views. The meal was an English breakfast with tea or coffee — no bottled water to be found. I thought I had time to go up to my room, but I couldn’t get the keycard to work. This was rather unfortunate since I hadn’t put on sunscreen before leaving the room.

Afterwards, I…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet. The following is from my first evening in Lhasa, the capitol of Tibet.

Beijing Road, the main drag in Lhasa, the capitol of Tibet

The Yak Hotel, where I’ll be staying, is down the street from the Potala itself, on the main drag, Beijing Street. It is a wide and modern and clean paved street, again in sharp contrast with what I’m accustomed to seeing in India and Nepal. (Well, okay, Delhi has wide, clean streets in certain neighborhoods.) The…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet.

Drepung Monastery

A few yards past the big Buddha painted on the mountain on the way to Lhasa — the capital of Tibet — the driver took my tour guide, Gyantzing, and I past newly built summer houses. Although the houses have Tibetan-style murals, the walls are filled with capacious greenish glass windows; they are deserted little vacation houses presumably for Han Chinese. The architecture is contemporary despite the murals, and…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet.

Tibetan Buddhist rock paintings on the way from the airport

The Gonggar Airport south of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, looks brand new and shiny and empty. I realize it’s not tourist season, which doesn’t start until May, but I suspect that when an architect designed this airport and presumably a committee approved of the design, they were optimistic about how many tourists would visit Tibet. Those of us who had been on my flight seemed to be the…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet.

View from a temple roof in Tibet

From Kathmandu to Lhasa

I wrote in my journal on the flight to Lhasa. The guy next to me watched, so I added a plethora of gratuitously long words, in hopes that his English wasn’t fluent. That’s when I wasn’t gawking out the window at the Himalayas. I wished I could open the window to take good quality pictures of the Himalayas, but there would be a gust of…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet. This excerpt is about Kathmandu, Nepal.

Stupas, a stray dog, and monkeys at Swayambhunath

After visiting the breathtaking Boudhanath and Swayambhunath temples, we returned to the Vaishali Hotel, and the travel agent Naresh told me that my visa and all would be ready at five pm. I was happy to hear this after all the waiting. We walked back to his office, Blue Bird Travel. …


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet. This excerpt is about Kathmandu, Nepal.

Swayambhunath has SO MANY MONKEYS! Do not smile at ninja attack monkeys. Oh, yeah, it also has countless little reliquary stupas. And many merchants, but I still didn’t feel like shopping.

The Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, is up on a hill or small mountain. …


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet.

Smaller stupas at Boudhanath

In the morning Naresh and a driver first took me to the Boudhanath Stupa, which Samaya had told me is “full of spiritual energy.” I agree whole-heartedly. I truly enjoyed Boudhanath and sensed the energy that Samaya had mentioned, though I would have preferred live chanting instead of the recorded New Age-ish “Om mani padme hum” chant I could hear presumably coming from a merchant’s booth or shop.

After…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet. I arrived that day in Kathmandu.

Buildings near the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu

500 Indian rupees are about $10 in U. S. money. I didn’t yet know that 500 and 1000 Indian rupee bills are illegal in Nepal. No idea why… unless it’s because Nepal has a short man complex in its relationship with India. The time zone is only fifteen minutes different, supporting that impression.

Before I my walk in the Thamel District and ride…


I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet. I arrived that day in Kathmandu.

A building near Swayambounath Temple

I wandered the narrow, medieval, dirty, and potholed streets, full of white Western tourists and colorful shops. While I stood in front of a tiny shop and bought bottled water, the electricity went out. …

S. E. Wigget

I mostly write fiction, especially paranormal and historical fantasy, under either S. E. Wigget or Susan E. Wigget. I live with cats.

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