Temple’s Annual Bhandara Festival

 

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve heard fond tales of attending the annual Bhandara Festival, here at the local Hanuman Temple, from an old friend in Ketchum, Idaho. She had been many times with various friends and family members over a long span of time. So finally, a week ago, I got myself to this year’s festival. Usually it’s hot but this year it was cool and rainy, no doubt creating some logistical issues, if not the big puddles I discovered in the parking lot. I did arrive during a dry period just in time for the “Ram Lila,” an annual staged reenactment of the deeds of Lord Ram, Sita and the monkey Hanuman.

The three girls in this photo are playing the terrifying demons who threaten a happy ending to the story and the young boy is a bear. You can tell by his short, but furry, tail and the overall brown look.

The main focus of the festival is an annual prayerful commemoration of the death of the temple’s guru, Neem Karoli Baba, September 11, 1973. To learn more you can visit the temple’s website and select “festivals.”

Can’t recall how this elephant fit into the story but it was an interesting photo. That’s the lovely couple in the upper left corner, Ram and Sita.

This fine gentleman (wish I had learned his name, sorry), who served as one of two narrators of the story, was sporting a live snake around his neck. I found that very impressive, to say the least. Ahh, Taos, how you live up to the myth just when I least expect it. Get’s me every time, right in the sweet spot of my heart. This was taken during the bowing end of the play. For the performance he was sitting on a throne and he managed to look very at home there.

As part of my volunteer work for the upcoming SEED3 art show I volunteered to go over to Gael Minton’s flourishing garden and take some photos for promotional materials in the show’s exploratorium room.

I selected this one to mark the hint of fall colors peeking out here and there. I think some night temperatures have reached the low 40s so far. Well, it all depends on your location here but I got that number from the local weather stats delivered via the internet from the Weather Channel.

Gael’s garden is not too far from where I live and she has access to acequia water there that comes from the same Rio Chiquito “mother” ditch as ours, just different branches. I took a tour of her garden in the spring and blogged about it but there wasn’t much to photograph at that time. I’m trying to make up for it a bit here. She calls her place Squash Blossom Farm and it’s a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. I greatly admire her beautiful and wise food production and her passion for preserving the acequia tradition here in the Taos valley.

Calendula seeds emerging from the flower head

2 thoughts on “Temple’s Annual Bhandara Festival

  1. Thanks kate

    You truly are an inspiration, I love your info on nature, Taos and the environs

    A few friends have moved there and I still feel because of all your many talents and openness to change, I will be visiting this coming year.

    I have opened LOTUS a one of a kind women’s apparel and accessories store next to Cristina’s restaurant and our first season went well.

    Happy fall

    Gay Odmark

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