I traveled to Bhutan in pursuit of gaining an insight into one of the oldest surviving forms of monasticism in the annals of religion.

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My search took me to monasteries and nunneries across Western Bhutan where I got a chance to interact with monks and nuns as young as six, to those of the Sangha – community of ordained Buddhist monks and nuns.

I came back with a deeper understanding of Buddhist theology and the human experience.

Following are a selection of photographs I took of some of the remarkable individuals I met.

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A child monk takes a break from morning lessons in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Punakha.

“What did you learn today?” “Buddham Sharanam Gacchami! Oh! I also learnt to make a plane!”

This six-year-old nun appears lost in the midst of a prayer ceremony in Zilukha Nunnery, Thimpu.

A three-meters-long metal horn, played by this teenage monk, punctuates the sonorous chants of other monks during a prayer ceremony in a monastery in Punakha town.

A prayer ceremony in progress in Zilukha Nunnery, Thimpu.

I was given a tour of the three-hundred-year old Tango Monastery in Thimpu valley by the monks pursuing higher education in Buddhist theology there.

“Can you make me look thin in the photograph?” “I will try my best!”

An old monk chants while rolling a huge prayer wheel (inside Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Punakha), an act believed to set in motion the mantras written on them.