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Religion in Tibet and Nepal
For centuries, Buddhists have turned to the Himalayas as a sacred space where they may gain an understanding of the world and journey toward enlightenment. On the slopes of Mount Everest lie two important monasteries: Rongbuk on Everest’s north side and Thyangboche on her south. Between 1921 and 1953 all nine of the Mount Everest Expeditions witnessed the devotion of the local people to their religion in features across the landscape, from mani walls to prayer flags. Expedition members were also aware of the importance of Buddhism to the Sherpas, in recognition of which they often sought the blessing of their Lamas and Rinpoches. In 1953 when Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest, he took with him his offering to the gods, in thanks.
Cairn building
At a rest stop on the way up to the Kharta Glacier, the local Tibetan porters indulge in some competitive cairn building. Howard-Bury noted that the local people would invariably shout “Lho-gyal-lo,” “Victory to the Gods” as a term of respect.
Photo: George Mallory, 1921