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Cory Richards August 25, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nepal.

Bon Monastery in Mustang Kingdom, Nepal 2012

Cory Richards (b. 1981, USA) was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. Cory’s camera has taken him to the wild and remote corners of the world, from the unclimbed peaks of Antarctica to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan —all in the attempt to capture not only the soul of adventure and exploration, but also the beauty inherent in our modern society. Cory is a passionate mountain climber on the North Face athletic team, and has carved a niche as one of the world’s leading adventure and expedition photographers. His photography has appeared in National Geographic magazine, Outside, the New York Times; and his film work has won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival including the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

About the Photograph:

“My first assignment for National Geographic took me to a very remote corner of Nepal tucked up against the Tibetan Border. The Kingdom of Mustang was once a thoroughfare of trade from the Tibetan Plateau to the Indian Sub-Continent. We were there trying to piece together the mysteries of thousands of man-made caves that were hewn into the sandstone of the Khali Gandaki basin centuries ago.  The caves themselves are steeped in lore and myth. In order to get a deeper understanding of the culture that once existed there, I spent a lot of time trying to learn about the contemporary culture of the region. While the area is nearly entirely Buddhist, there are pockets of Bon tradition that still exist. In very basic terms, Bon is to Buddhism what Paganism is to Catholicism…much of it is rooted in the older belief system and has adopted the practices to fit the newer belief system. This particular image was taken in a Bon Monastery during a divination ritual. The younger monk was constantly looking at and relating to the older Lama, looking for cues as they worked their way through pages of script and music, calling their deities to give clues to what the coming year had in store for them.”