Friday, March 9, 2012

Uzbekistan | Tashkent | Bukhara


Woke up this morning in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. I am not quite sure how I got here. I seem to recall a hurried trip to the airport in Ulaanbaatar; a three hour flight to Seoul, an overnight in a luxurious hotel near the airport, courtesy of Korean Airlines, since I was flying with KAL to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, the next day; a seven hour and twenty minute flight from Seoul to Tashkent; a night in the Grand Wazoo Hotel in Tashkent; a quick trip in the pre-dawn darkness to the domestic airport in Tashkent, a fifty minute flight to Bukhara; and taxi ride to Komil’s Guesthouse in the southern part of the Old City, where I soon found myself in the ornately decorated dining room having breakfast.




Welcoming sign at Komil’s




 Entrance to Komil’s Guesthouse




  Interior of guesthouse. The building was once the private residence of a prosperous Bukharan trader.




 Dining Room in the guesthouse




Wall furnishings in the dining room




Wall furnishings in the dining room


Uzbekistan | Tashkent | Bukhara

Woke up this morning in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. I am not quite sure how I got here. I seem to recall a hurried trip to the airport in Ulaanbaatar; a three hour flight to Seoul, an overnight in a luxurious hotel near the airport, courtesy of Korean Airlines, since I was flying with KAL to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, the next day; a seven hour and twenty minute flight from Seoul to Tashkent; a night in the Grand Wazoo Hotel in Tashkent; a quick trip in the pre-dawn darkness to the domestic airport in Tashkent, a fifty minute flight to Bukhara; and taxi ride to Komil’s Guesthouse in the southern part of the Old City, where I soon found myself in the ornately decorated dining room having breakfast.
Welcoming sign at Komil’s
 Entrance to Komil’s Guesthouse
  Interior of guesthouse. The building was once the private residence of a prosperous Bukharan trader.
 Dining Room in the guesthouse
Wall furnishings in the dining room
Wall furnishings in the dining room

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mongolia | Incarnations of Javsandamba 16 – 25


Earlier I posted about the statues of  the first  First Sixteen Incarnations of Javzandamba on display in the Larivan Temple at Erdene Zuu, in Kharkhorin, Övörkhangai Aimag. The sixteenth incarnation was of course Taranatha, who was born in Tibet and died in Mongolia. 








16. Жонан Дарната

Jonan Darnata (Taranatha) statue at Erdene Zuu






Tibetan thangka of Taranatha




This spectacular late nineteenth century thangka of Yamantaka (it measures over seven feet in length) was just recently unearthed in the archives of the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, a vast repository of materials many of which have never been put on public display before or even catalogued. The first twenty-four incarnations of Javzandamba are depicted at the top of the thangka. 




Taranatha on the Yamantaka thangka above


The next nine incarnations (17 through 25) served as the Bogd Gegeens of Mongolia. The first was of course Zanabazar








17. 1 Богд Занабазар (1635-1723)

Zanabazar  (Enlargement)






Statue of Zanabazar in the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum 










18. II Богд Лувсандамбийдонмэ (1624-1557)

Luvsandambiidonme  










19. lll Богд Ишдамбийням (1758-1773)

Ishdambiinyam  










20. IV Богд Лувсантүвдэнванчуг (1775-1813)

Luvsantüvdenvanchug







21.  V Богд Лувсанчүлтэм Жигмэддамбийжанцан (1815-1841)

Luvsanchültem Jigmeddambiijantsan 









22.  Vl Богд Лувсанбалдандамбийжанцан (1643-1648)

Luvsanbaldandambiijantsan 












23. VII Богд Агваанчойживанчүгпринлайжамц (1849-1868)

Agvaanchoijivanchülgprinlaijamts








24.  VIIl Богд Агваанлувсанчойжинямданзанванчүг (1869-1924)

Eighth Bogd Gegeen Agvaanluvsanchoijinyamdanzanvanchüg 










25. IX Богд Жамбалнамдолчойжижанцан (1932 – )

 Jambalnamdolchoijijantsan




The Ninth Bogd Gegeen lives in Ulaanbaatar but reportedly is in very bad health. Speculation has already begun on where the 10th Bogd Gegeen will be born. 

Mongolia | Incarnations of Javsandamba 16 – 25

Earlier I posted about the statues of  the first  First Sixteen Incarnations of Javzandamba on display in the Larivan Temple at Erdene Zuu, in Kharkhorin, Övörkhangai Aimag. The sixteenth incarnation was of course Taranatha, who was born in Tibet and died in Mongolia. 
16. Жонан Дарната
Jonan Darnata (Taranatha) statue at Erdene Zuu
Tibetan thangka of Taranatha
This spectacular late nineteenth century thangka of Yamantaka (it measures over seven feet in length) was just recently unearthed in the archives of the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, a vast repository of materials many of which have never been put on public display before or even catalogued. The first twenty-four incarnations of Javzandamba are depicted at the top of the thangka. 
Taranatha on the Yamantaka thangka above
The next nine incarnations (17 through 25) served as the Bogd Gegeens of Mongolia. The first was of course Zanabazar
17. 1 Богд Занабазар (1635-1723)
Zanabazar  (Enlargement)
Statue of Zanabazar in the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum 
18. II Богд Лувсандамбийдонмэ (1624-1557)
Luvsandambiidonme  
19. lll Богд Ишдамбийням (1758-1773)
Ishdambiinyam  
20. IV Богд Лувсантүвдэнванчуг (1775-1813)
Luvsantüvdenvanchug
21.  V Богд Лувсанчүлтэм Жигмэддамбийжанцан (1815-1841)
Luvsanchültem Jigmeddambiijantsan 
22.  Vl Богд Лувсанбалдандамбийжанцан (1643-1648)
Luvsanbaldandambiijantsan 
23. VII Богд Агваанчойживанчүгпринлайжамц (1849-1868)
Agvaanchoijivanchülgprinlaijamts
24.  VIIl Богд Агваанлувсанчойжинямданзанванчүг (1869-1924)
Eighth Bogd Gegeen Agvaanluvsanchoijinyamdanzanvanchüg 
25. IX Богд Жамбалнамдолчойжижанцан (1932 – )
 Jambalnamdolchoijijantsan
The Ninth Bogd Gegeen lives in Ulaanbaatar but reportedly is in very bad health. Speculation has already begun on where the 10th Bogd Gegeen will be born. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mongolia | Fifth of the Nine-Nines | Tavisan Budaa Khöldökhgui


The Fifth of the Nine-Nines—nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather—began on January 27. This is Tavisan Budaa Khöldökhgui, the time when “Cooked Rice Cannot Be Frozen.” I must admit I really don’t understand the definition of this period. It seems to me that cooked rice would be frozen at any temperature below freezing, and we can certainly expect colder temperatures than that during the last week of January and beginning of February. Anyhow, the Fourth of the Nine-Nines was supposed to be coldest of the Nine-Nines, but this year the Fifth might well turn out to be colder. I have blogged in the past about the Magical Moment when 40 below zero are the same on the Fahreinheit and Celsius scales. The last few days we have been having a Magic Moment every morning.



























This morning it dropped down to a frosty 45 below 0º F.










Some old Gray Beards I spoke with at the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum yesterday assured me that this would be the coldest week of the year and that we might expect it to warm up just a bit before Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, on February 22. In any case, it is good weather for people who are freezing their Buuz on the balcony in preparation for the Festive Day

Mongolia | Fifth of the Nine-Nines | Tavisan Budaa Khöldökhgui

The Fifth of the Nine-Nines—nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather—began on January 27. This is Tavisan Budaa Khöldökhgui, the time when “Cooked Rice Cannot Be Frozen.” I must admit I really don’t understand the definition of this period. It seems to me that cooked rice would be frozen at any temperature below freezing, and we can certainly expect colder temperatures than that during the last week of January and beginning of February. Anyhow, the Fourth of the Nine-Nines was supposed to be coldest of the Nine-Nines, but this year the Fifth might well turn out to be colder. I have blogged in the past about the Magical Moment when 40 below zero are the same on the Fahreinheit and Celsius scales. The last few days we have been having a Magic Moment every morning.


This morning it dropped down to a frosty 45 below 0º F.


Some old Gray Beards I spoke with at the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum yesterday assured me that this would be the coldest week of the year and that we might expect it to warm up just a bit before Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, on February 22. In any case, it is good weather for people who are freezing their Buuz on the balcony in preparation for the Festive Day

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mongolia | Fourth of the Nine Nines | Dönön Ükhiin Ever Khöldöne

Update: 40º below 0 F. at 8:00 am on Thursday the 19th and calling for 47º below 0º F. tonight. So the Fourth of the Nine-Nines is living up to its reputation as the coldest of the nine nine-day periods of winter weather.



The Fourth of the Nine-Nines, known as Dönön Ükhiin Ever Khöldöne—Time When Four Year-Old Cows’ Horns Freeze—begins today, January 18. This is supposed to be the coldest of the Nine-Nines, nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather. It was 20 below F. (–29º C. for you unrepentant Celsius freaks) at 10:00 am, not especially cold for This Time Of The Year. But the forecast for this week is for much, much colder weather, maybe even record-setting. Stay tuned . . .