Photo Of The Day – The Chorten That Was

Title: The Chorten That Was


Location: Above Syangboche Airstrip, Solukhumbu Region, Nepal, Asia

Description: What you see above is a stupa (chorten) that once was. This is the view looking Northwest with Mt. Everest in the far distance just off the shoulder of the stupa and Taboche the highest peak in the photo, clouds whipping around its summit at amazing speeds.

It is estimated 60-75% of the important religious and cultural heritage sites in Nepal have been ruined and this marker is no exception.

Below you see what my friend and local Nepali guide Kami sent to me today.


While the chorten had some cracks and graffiti, this is not the preferable way to have to rebuild it.

In classic Tibetan Buddhism practiced in this area of the Himalayas, impermanence is a core value. Monks will often create amazing works of religious art out of sand and then wipe it clean, never to be viewed again. It’s a reminder that all things pass.

But it is a hard pill to swallow for those not completely devote to the faith. For the rest of us, we look at the ruin and death and destruction only through eyes filled with sorrow.

Kami tells me the rebuilding has indeed begun but the aftershocks make it hard to feel comfortable and safe. Sleeping outside seems like a good idea until the monsoon rains begin in a few short weeks, if not right around the corner.


For a while I am going to post my images of Nepal and ask for you assistance in helping those in the country rebuild their lives. Average citizens don’t have insurance and I would not trust the inept and corrupt government to help where it is needed most.

I am going to focus on two non-profits I know have ties in the country (read: employees with families who understand where funds can help the most) for my pleas for assistance.

The first is Planeterra, a non-profit run by G Adventures. The second is the Paldorje Sherpa Foundation run by Sherpa Adventure Gear. Both of these charities are run by their parent company, who covers all their overhead so that 100% of donations go to those in need. Both of these companies do the right thing and care for the people of Nepal greatly. Both have funds set up specifically to help quake victims.

Please consider donating today.


Photograph Copyright 2015 Peter West Carey. Image Available For Commercial Licensing (email).

Prints of this image are available here if you want professional quality shipped to your home. 100% of profits will be donated to the charities mentioned above.