Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Spinning, Weaving & Monkeys

Our next stop was one of my favorites for the day…..a Tibetan Refugee camp where they were weaving rugs….from scratch!!!

When we entered, we were bombarded by the whirring of spinning wheels being worked around the room……


All of the women were seated on cushions on the floor and many were using their feet to help keep tension on the wool while it wound……IMG_2706

This lady slowed the process down to show me exactly how she was working the wool with her hand wheel…IMG_2708

This smiling woman was taking the spun wool and winding it into large skeins that would be taken to the dying area…..IMG_2709

Here is the view around the room…..


Next the wool was dyed and left to dry on the roof of the nearby building…..IMG_2720

Afterwards, hundreds of skeins of deep colored wools were stored in a nearby room….DSC06154

Well, I was already enamored with the place, but then we moved into the warehouse across the compound and encountered at least 30 large looms with women quickly weaving gorgeous rugs……IMG_2725

Once again they were all sitting on pillows on the floor and their fingers were FLYING!!!IMG_2726

This sweet woman slowed the process down to about 1/10th speed so that I could actually see what she was doing…..IMG_2728

Each loom had a pattern attached a bit higher up from where she was working.  You can see on this photo how she is following the intricate design…..IMG_2730

You can check out the full speed version here…..



Look at the wonderful colors of the yarns…..IMG_2732

We walked into the warehouse where the completed rugs are stored and were very much interested in purchasing one.  However, we felt that it would have disrupted the group tour if we had stopped to make a purchase, so we left it.  But I am sure that we will regret that decision before it is all over!!!

Back into the tour bus (which had a huge “TOURIST” sign on the front), and down the road.

Traffic on the road was once again slow as more and more vehicles were running out of fuel.   Buses, however, were crowded to the gills with people hanging out of doors, windows and even sitting on top…..DSC06070

Our final stop for the day was to Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple…..atop a hill on the West side of Kathmandu.   It is a Buddhist temple, although it is revered by Hindus as well.   It also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The First thing that caught our eye were the prayer flags……IMG_2737

The color of each flag represents a type of prayer and the flags are always displayed in the same order….Blue (space), White (air), Red (fire), Green (water), and Yellow (earth).

The second thing that we noticed were the monkeys, including this Mama who moved down to the fountain for a quick drink…..

IMG_2740…before being attacked by her young offspring…..IMG_2743

This was a cute grouping of the Rhesus Macaque monkeys……IMG_2749

As we moved higher up into the temple site, we started seeing less Monkeys and more Monks!!!  This was a colorful Buddha…..IMG_2755

This was the main Stupa on the premise although there were numerous smaller worship areas as well……


I love the Buddha eyes and nose painted on the spire.

This white tower is one of two Anantapur shrines, however the other one was destroyed in the April 25th earthquake.


This is all that is left of that tower…..

IMG_2790These small shrines are burial sites for various high ranking monks. They have run out of room here so burials are now someplace in the countryside….


It made for a fun place for a photo op…..IMG_2768

One of the temples was dedicated to a Goddess who could protect children from Smallpox and many parents used to bring their families there.

The city views from the top of the hill were magnificent……IMG_2773

This is where the Monastery used to stand, however the roof collapsed in the earthquake.  They have demolished the entire building now and are starting to rebuild….IMG_2775

Once again, we were enamored with the symmetry of the prayer wheels…..IMG_2781

There were many monks worshiping around the area…..IMG_2788

My ever watchful husband found this enchanting design in one of the sidewalks…..


One of the other group members pointed out these small sculptures located at the very top of the roofs, apparently decorating the drainage pipes.


….SO much attention to details!!!

We are always captivated by the brooms used…..IMG_2802

On the drive away from the temple I noticed two interesting shop names….. an Aquarium store called “Wet Pets” and a KFC (Kwality Food Center)!!

As we traipsed up the hill returning to our hotel, we encountered a herd of goats heading down the mountain….


…followed by this woman carrying food that she had cut to feed them with…IMG_2809

Life is SO hard for many of these people…..

We returned to find dinner preparation fully in swing with the fresh ingredients for Momos (Dumplings) displayed proudly in the kitchen…


After dinner, we headed to bed, excited about starting our Trek tomorrow!!!

2 thoughts on “Spinning, Weaving & Monkeys

  1. SO MUCH YARN> that's a knitter's paradise right there.Indeed, life is so hard for most people on the Indian subcontinent- but somehow they seem to smile and make the most of it. These women are so beautiful!

  2. I would travel there just to watch the weaving. Seeing the whole process from start to finish is fascinating. I do remember seeing pictures of the collapsed shrine. I know it is going to take a long time to replace much of the damaged buildings. However, i had not consider the lack of fuel.

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