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100 Rupee Lama

A two hour trek up the mountain from Manang in Nepal lies the Hundred Rupee Lama Temple, so called because that's the fee for a blessing and an audience with the Lama. Built into the rock face and bestrewn with fading prayer flags, it's a lonely place with panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range. On the morning I went, the Lama, who's in his 90s, was in hospital in Kathmandu recovering from an illness and his daughter had stepped in to fill the post. She boiled water for tea on the wood-burning stove and showed us the carved out temple in which she also lives and sleeps. No luxuries, every inch of wall space covered with Buddhist iconography and photos of spiritual leaders. I'd brought biscuits and we had a long chat using mimes and drawings.