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Prayer Flags

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These ubiquitous prayer flags, or dorji, can be found everywhere in Bhutan – on ridges, bridges, hillcrests and mountain passes.   I was, and still is, fascinated by them.

There are four different types of prayer flags and the ones shown in the photo are known as lundhar – flags erected on ridges or hillsides.

The flags come in five different colours – blue, green, red, yellow and white and symbolise the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and iron respectively.  They also represent the five wisdoms, the five directions, the five meditation Buddhas and the five emotions.

Fluttering in the wind and exposed to the weather elements, the flags are usually faded, tattered and torn.  As the flag flutters, each flag invokes the gods and blessings according to one’s needs, be it wisdom, good health or good fortune on the journey ahead.

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I love walking on one of Bhutan’s numerous suspension bridges and watch the flags flutter in the wind. I consider this to be one of the best sights in Bhutan – watching the colourful flags flutter furiously in the wind against the beautiful scenery in the backdrop.

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