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March 1, 2023

Nuns on bicycle trip to Upper Mustang

Kathmandu: Most of the nuns of Dryuk Amitabha Mountain Monastery (White Monastery) in Nagarjuna, Kathmandu, have set out on a bicycle journey to Upper Mustang, wishing for world peace.

There are 195 nuns and 5 monks in this journey of 200 participants. Most of the common people have the idea that ‘monks and nuns live in Buddhist temples or monasteries only for meditation.

This is the seventh edition of the cycle tour that had been stopped due to Covid-19. The cycling journey that started from Seto Gumba on Tuesday reached Tanahu Anbukhaireni to stay on Friday evening.

According to Jigme Yishe, a nun who is coordinating the trip, they will have a truck with provisions including tents, food, medicine, spare parts needed for bicycle repair, worship materials, and so on throughout the trip.

“It will take a month to reach Upper Mustang and return to Kathmandu,” said nun Yeshe. We are also spreading the message of environment-friendly living, peace and gender equality.

We will also do cleanliness, awareness classes, worship, meditation, and trekking on the journey through Mugling, Pokhara, Beni, Jomsom to Upper Mustang”.  Seto Gumba or White Monastery has already made a bicycle trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara (6 month-long cycling trips) to Nepal and India before the outbreak of Covid-19.

“Our nuns have traveled thousands of miles by bicycle from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Halesi, Lumbini in Nepal and Odisha, Bihar, Darjeeling and Ladakh in India,” said Jigme Konchhang, another nun who participated in the journey.

White monastery (Seta Gumba), which was established 34 years ago, has around 500 nuns aged 9 to 60 years. In cycling trip, they are in the age group of 16 to 45 years. Most of the young nuns there study martial arts for three hours a day for self-defense and self-discipline.

Nun Jigme Yishe said that this is the first monastery to teach kung fu to monks and nuns, and said that her fellow sportsmen have helped villages in earthquakes, taught women self-defense, and have cycled 14,000 miles until the 6th edition to combat trafficking of women and children.

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