Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday critter blogging:
The denizens of Swayambhunath

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On the top of a hill in Kathmandu sits Swayambhunath, often called the monkey temple. Visitors and pilgrims climb hundreds of steps to reach the Tibetan Buddhist stupa at the top.

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It's made abundantly clear whose home we are entering.

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We were warned not to feed the locals or try to eat while ascending. The monkeys demand offerings and take what they can get.

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They chatter constantly and move fast.

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With a face like that, it's hard not to think we might be related to this primate, though I have no idea whether such notions inform Newar Buddhism's veneration of the monkeys.

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This guy was as at home among the human artifacts as in the trees.

My pictures misrepresent the scene in that I did not capture the pack action of the monkeys. They dash about in a mob, asserting their rights to the site.

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