Monday, May 28, 2012

Reaching out to the Hanging Monasteries

When you're trying to connect with your god, it helps to find some peace and quiet, if you can. But that was, indeed, no such problem for the architects of these impossibly built monasteries.

Constructed at dizzying heights on the sides of mountains, they ensured only the most devoted - and vertigo-free - followers would join them for prayer.

Gripping: This gravity-defying hanging monastery clings to the side of Mt Huashan in China and is only accessible via steep and dangerous paths

The Taktshang Tiger's Nest monastery clings to a cliff 2,300ft above the Paro Valley floor in Bhutan at such a height it looks down on the clouds. According to legend, the Tiger's Nest takes its name from the 'second Buddha', Precious Guru Padmasambhava, who travelled to the site on a tiger.

By far the most precarious is a monastery that dangles seemingly in defiance of the laws of physics on the side of Mt Huashan in China. Located around 75 miles east from Xi'an City of Shaanxi Province, Mt Huashan is known as 'The number one precipitous mountain under Heaven'. It is one of the five sacred mountains in China. It is home to several influential Taoist temples where emperors of past dynasties made pilgrimages, making Mt Huashan the holy land of Taoism.

Read Mail Online for details / more awe inspiring photos