Nepal is justifiably famous for the fabulous woodcarvers of yore, but today I will focus on their locks, hasps and latches on the doors and gates along the Kali Gandaki River in lower Mustang.
The Chhairo Gompa is near the Tibetan Refugee Camp just outside of Marpha village in lower Mustang. It is slowly being restored to its former glory. Chhairo is a Nyingma Gompa and is dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha and Guru Rinpoche.
The Tibetan camp, which was built on land donated by Chhairo residents, has it's own Gelukpa Gompa, and the Dalai Lama is the main focus there.
This gompa was built sometime in the 1600s. Once the religious center of the Thakali people, the salt traders of the area relocated after the Chinese closed the border to Tibet and the Chhairo Gompa fell into disrepair. The last of the monks left Chairro in the 1970s.
John Sanday was the architect chosen by Lama Sashi Dojto help with Chhairo Gompa's restoration.
Just down the road a bit, in Tukche, where I have been photographing this lovely old abandoned house for many, many years, there are quite a few old hasps and latches.
Starting in the early 1960s, these magnificent old houses were abandoned when the road from India to Pokhara was built -- making the traditional salt from Tibet more expensive than the Indian salt. By the early 1970s many houses were abandoned. My husband met a lady who grew up in Tukche at an African/Nepal film festival in Kathmandu. In her mid-60s, her aunt lived in this house and she often visited. She is now a doctor and her children have emigrated to New Zealand.
Looking through photos really makes me miss Nepal.