Rich Buddhist Heritages in Nubri Valley along Tracks of Manaslu
Nubri valley surrounded by high mountains and icy pass hidden in Manaslu region close to Tibetan border is one of the wonder regions of Nepal. This region with Mount Manalsu has been a great tourist destination. There are numerous villages where there are many ancient important Buddhist monasteries that still preserve ancient Tibetan Buddhist art and traditions. Crossing the Ghap village, the area of Nubri valley starts and Lihi village is small village with few monasteries, numerous Mani walls and Kani gate. Mani Dungyur Gumba of Lihi village has big Mani with numerous new images made of copper gold plated from Kathmandu. Along the track that leads to Manaslu basecamp and Larkya pass which destine to the lower land, there are numerous Mani walls, Kani Gates and ancient monasteries. Samagoan is the biggest village in Nubri valley in Manaslu region. The inhabitants of whole of the village follow Tibetan Buddhism. There are numerous small and big Stupa on the road of this village. The four eyes on four directions on the Hermika of Stupa looking at the four directions are similar to the eyes on the great Stupas of Kathmandu valley, Svayambhu Mahacaitya and Baudha Stupa. Pungyen Mountain and Pungyen monastery are two very important pilgrimages for the people of Nubri valley in Manaslu. For the normal people Pungyen Mountain means Mt manaslu, but for the locals it is the protector deity. The worship of mountain reflects the tradition of Nyingmapa sect here in Manaslu. Samdo village situated on the foot of Larkya pass which positioned on the border of Tibet and Nepal border is the last village of this valley. The metal images which are kept in the house of an old elderly monk named Lama Tashi that were brought from Ru monastery were previously housed in Samdo monastery. This Samdo monastery was damaged during 2015 earthquake so these images which are housed in Lama personal house. Most of the metal Buddhist images were transported to Tibet from Kathmandu Valley or Newar artists from Kathmandu valley travel to different parts of Tibet to make statues and paint the mural paintings on the wall of these monasteries. All the metal Buddhist images of this monastery were brought from the Ru village monasteries across the border. According to the villagers, they even had to leave the bases of most of the statues to make it less heavy during their serendipitous escape to Nepal during the Cultural Revolution. These images have a very strong Newar influence in them. Most of the monasteries in this reason have high influence of Newar artistic tradition as this reason being in close proximity to Kathmandu. The physical distance is short but the Himalayan topography of the reason made this area remote. Despite its remoteness, the Buddhist tradition of Tibet and Newar artistic tradition mingles in this pristine Himalayan region.
Key words: Newar, Nubra, Pungyen, Samdo, Samagaon