David goes to sMenri Monastery (Part 1)
Hello everyone, it has been a wonderful trip to go back to sMenri Monastery especially with my son Jason. We just had three wonderful days in Dehli with Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche and now our trip from Delhi to Dolanji began Saturday afternoon at about 12:30. To get to Dolanji, you follow a main road north out of Delhi. In previous times it went through Chandigarh and the Kalka, where the plain ends and the foothills begins, and was a narrow winding road up to Solan and then a dirt road to Dolanji. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the road to Chandigarh was now a six-lane expressway (“lanes” being kind of an arbitrary concept in Indian driving), there was a bypass around both Chandigarh and Kalka which avoids a lot of traffic, and the road through the foothills from Kalka to Solan was wider and better maintained.
We stopped twice on the way, once for a late lunch and once for dinner, and the obligatory cups of chai, sweet tea with milk, ginger and cardamom. Gyaltsen, Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche’s driver, is a very skillful driver who expertly manages his four-wheel drive, 5-speed manual transmission Indian equivalent of a Jeep Cherokee, got us to Dolanji safely, albeit with a few white-knuckle episodes of passing trucks in the dark on narrow mountain roads.
We arrived at the BCH Guest House at Dolanji at about 9:30. We were greeted by Kelsang, the Secretary of the BCH, with kataks. The Guest House is very nice, clean and spacious, with big windows and terraces with good views of the hillside, the BCH, the river below, and The Redna sMenling Convent, nunnery across the river.