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Kulvinder Matharu
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A traveller with a camera!
A traveller with a camera!

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Well before dawn, hundreds of monks, old and young, queue at Ananda Temple during the Ananda Pagoda Festival in Bagan, Myanmar. Around the temple, thousands of pilgrims have congregated and set up camp. A hive of activity, including worshipping, cooking, and shopping for trinkets, surrounds the temple. Here, a Buddhist monk smokes a cigar.
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Wandering around Hpa An in Myanmar, we made our way through the courtyard into the large Hindu temple. Dark but brightly decorated inside, with the main door overlaid with intricately patterned brass or bronze, this was likely the main (perhaps only) Hindu temple in town. It was quiet and I was pretty much free to walk around the place. Here, a Hindu priest relaxes by a window, reading a magazine.
https://www.silentnomad.com/images/Photos/Showcase/index.php#img=_DSC3648.jpg
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The last few days in Myanmar had been good, and today it was a pre-dawn trip down to Inle Lake to photograph the Intha fisherman. It was one of those mornings with mist on the lake surface, soon to be burned-off by the heat of the sun. I saw this hut by the lake shore and enjoyed the gentleness of it all.
https://www.silentnomad.com/images/Photos/Showcase/index.php#img=_DSC7194.jpg
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It had been a long day travelling by car from Yangon to Hpa An. At our destination, having unpacked, we explored the immediate vicinity of Hpa An and found a great place just as the sun was setting. Children were playing in the water, and an occasional boat would pass, but it was quiet. A great end to the day.

https://www.silentnomad.com/images/Photos/Showcase/index.php#img=_DSC0532.jpg
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In Myanmar, there’s a 1.5 hour trek across the spine of a mountain from the Golden Rock Pagoda to another pagoda where men put on a show by sliding down inclined ropes. The route is lined with stalls and the occasional shrine. At one of these stalls, a young girl is taking shelter from the sun.
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It needed a small truck to get here but, up here in the hills of Kayah State (Myanmar), there was plenty to like as we experienced a wonderfully foliaged landscape interspaced with the odd village. In what seemed to be the most substantial local village, we were warmly welcomed by the Padaung, and we had the chance to explore the area by foot. Outside the village, we came across some children who were clearly enjoying each other’s company! Afterwards, we decided to forgo the truck and return to base by hiking down through the hills, which added magnificently to the experience.
Kids running
Kids running
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Chin State in Myanmar is mountainous, and that means long winding roads carved into the forested mountain sides. It gets quite cold here in the winter, and villages have a hard life surviving off the land, but friendliness is abundant. In one of these villages, a young girl takes note of the new visitors; I suspect we met with her approval!
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Northern Afghanistan, near the ruins of the ancient city of Balkh, in the region once known as Bactria.

Balkh was once a majestic city, and one with an illustrious history. It was likely a base from which the Aryan civilisation spread through the region. Zoroaster is claimed to have been born here, and it is where Alexander the Great married Roxanne, a local Bactrian. A place once renowned for its Buddhist monasteries and stupas, a place the Arabs called the “Mother of all cities”. But after centuries of war and climate change, those days are long gone.

The remains of probably the oldest mosque in Central Asia can be found here, itself having been built on the ruins of Buddhist and Zorastrian temples. This is where I came across the site’s caretaker (chowkidar). He allowed us access to the ruins and to roam the area.
Chowkider
Chowkider
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A young girl selling cloth in the village of Indein close to Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar
Young girl at Indein
Young girl at Indein
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