They call him the 100 Rupee Lama. Nepal by John Spies

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They call him the 100 Rupee Lama. Nepal by 

96 years old and living with his 64 year old daughter in a cave at 4200 metres absl, this venerable Tibetan Buddhist Lama has earned his name, reputation and fortune from providing blessing to mainly foreign trekkers who hike up to his humble home from Manang, on the Annapurna circuit trek. The gruelling trek to the tiny Gompa (temple) is considered good for acclimatisation and crossing Tharong La, a 5400m pass. He is in good health but stopped walking down to the valley when he turned 93.
Canon 5DMKll
Canon 24-105 L lens @24mm
ISO 1600
1/20 sec


lama, tibet, buddhist, monk, old, manang, annapurna, nepal, trek, cave, canon 5d

I am an Australian expat living in the hills of Mae Hong Son province Thailand (please visit I photograph almost everything, above and below ground.

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  • Justin Foster
    Justin Fosterabout 2 years ago

    great shot….

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazorabout 2 years ago

    Love this shot! (May 5th, 2012)

  • Thanks for the feature, most appreciated

    – John Spies

  • MarcW
    MarcWabout 2 years ago

    Congratulations, this work of yours has been featured in 50+ .
    Great observation, great technique.

  • Thanks Marc, I wish i could inform them of the feature, but it is a gruelling trek back to their cave

    – John Spies

  • Rob Steer
    Rob Steerabout 2 years ago

    stopped at 93, I bet you’ll still be walking when your 100 John!

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