An insight into the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan via Kathmandu is the first Trinity Travel Talk in a new series of six talks by Steuart and Anita Kellington, to be held next month.
Bhutan is a tiny kingdom in the Himalaya, about twice the size of Wales. It borders on three sides with India and its northern border with China has some of the highest peaks of the Himalaya. Only open to visitors for a few decades, it remains a secretive kingdom and the present king is keen to preserve its unique customs and traditions.
Steuart said: “Our talk begins with a visit to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, which we have visited twice previously when we have been trekking in the Himalaya but the city had changed.
“The historical heart of Kathmandu around Durbar Square was damaged badly in the earthquake of April 2015. I will be comparing our previous photographs of the square with the current state of many of the temples. In contrast, excellent restoration has already taken place of the huge Boudhanath stupa seven miles east of Durber Square.
“The Kingdom of Bhutan is about 200 miles east of Kathmandu and we enjoyed outstanding views of Mount Everest and nearby peaks as we flew to Bhutan.
“During our visits to towns and walks through the countryside and picturesque villages, we found the people very friendly. They admire their king, wear traditional dress, are mostly devout Buddhists and are proud to show you their country. We attended the Black Necked Crane Festival celebrating the return of the cranes from Tibet. It was very much a local event with very few tourists and featured local singers, dancers and school children.
The talk will be held on Friday, October 6th, at Trinity Methodist Church and Community Hub, Parson Lane, Clitheroe, BB7 2JY.
Admission is £5 (no tickets) including interval refreshments with net proceeds for Trinity Methodist Church Development Fund (charity number 1129609). The six talks will take place on the first Friday evening of each month from October to March.
The photograph shows the beautifully situated Punakha Dzong at the confluence of the “Mother” and “Father” rivers. In common with other dzongs, it houses the regional government offices and a Buddhist monastery illustrating the importance of Buddhism to the government of Bhutan and giving a clue to the special way of life in Bhutan.