The Tibetan prayer wheel or Mani wheel in Tibetan or commonly called dharma wheel, symbolises the Wheel of Buddhist Law, the endless cycle of birth and rebirth and is one of the oldest symbols of Buddhism. Around the world it is used to represent Buddhism in the same way that a cross represents Christianity and turning the dharma wheel is a metaphor for the Buddha's teaching of the dharma in the world. A prayer wheel is of a hollow metal cylinder, often beautifully embossed, mounted on a rod handle and containing a tightly wound scroll printed with a mantra. According the Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning such a wheel is just as effective as reciting them orally.
This was taken in one of the many impressively adorned and colorfully painted Gompas or Monastery in Buddhanath. A pilgrim discharging her religious duty by spinning the hugh wheel clockwise and reciting prayers & mantra, sending compassion and healing in all directions as it is turned
Mani wheels are found all over Tibet and in areas influenced by Tibetan culture such as here in Nepal. There are many types of Mani wheels, but small hand-held wheels are the most common by far. Tibetan people carry them around even on long pilgrimages, spinning them any time they have a hand free.
Workshop1: Hand-held prayer wheel in action
Workshop2: Hand held prayer wheels on sale
Critiques | Translate
sevy (15365) 2012-11-12 6:17
I tried many times to do this kind of shots when I was in Ladakh or in Nepal. But the management is not easy due to the usual low available light and the fact I do not want to use flash to keep a more natural rendering. It is not written but I guess you used high iso level?
Good rendering on your shot with the blurred wheel and the rest of the scene sharp.
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-11-12 6:47
Beautiful shot, Abmdsudi, with perfectly timed movement and crystal clarity in extremely difficult light. I imagine you didn't have long to get this one right, so well done putting together the perfect elements with the perfect settings here. The light is focused beautifully on the old woman's hand - the whole shot seems to glow from there, right at the thirds mark and a natural starting place for the eye. Beautiful.
yquem46 (38746) 2012-11-12 6:56
I tried to figure out how i could manage with this wheel prayer in Bodnath but unsuccessfully
Now I know how I should have done it
Shot at the right moment, at the right place and at the righr shutter speed
SnapRJW (31617) 2012-11-12 8:09
Light was difficult but what an atmospheric image Abmdsudi. The spinning prayer wheel with the soft blur retains detail, the elderly lady has just sufficient light on her to enable us to see her face and the BG with the traditional art work completes a super shot. You know? I am so pleased to see this as is. The light could be brighter, the woman's face less shadowed but where would the atmosphere be? This takes me back to Bhutan where I have seem comparable scenes. Fine work with your usual excellent detailed notes. Have a great evening Rosemary
Antipodean (1658) 2012-11-12 9:38
Kia ora Abmdsudi,
A great shot which illustrates perfectly the atmosphere inside a Gompa. It brings back to me memories of the tours I led in Ladakh in the mid-1980s. Very difficult photo to atke. Cheers, Neil
marina7 (8055) 2012-11-12 9:39
this looks like a timeless picture, the prayer wheel never stops. Love the surrounding darkness which enhances the mood of eternity. Wonderful work.
Have a great week
yaya13baut (3344) 2012-11-12 10:40
a dynamic shot with the position of the lady and the blurred red wall.
good dark light and contrasted colours.
pajaran (53447) 2012-11-12 10:43
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst o Tibetskom molitvenom tocku ...
Lep pogled na tocak i staricu ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, ostrina i kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobra kompozicija, lepo pokazan molitveni tocak.
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici.
Very interesting and good article on Tibetan prayer wheel drive ...
Nice view of the wheel and an old woman ...
A good time recording, sharpness and contrast, beautiful color.
Good composition, nice demonstrative prayer wheel.
Good work with beautiful photographs of the workshop.
All the best.
Fis2 (87581) 2012-11-12 10:48
A very interesting place.
Excellent light and colors.
willperrett (7490) 2012-11-12 10:57
Lovely low-key photograph (your signature style), clearly relying on available light, of which there wasn't much! But you've caught the atmosphere of devotion and dedication perfectly. The blur on the dharma wheel shows us clearly what is going on, and as usual your very informative notes add to our understanding and thus enjoyment. A treat.
JFS (32459) 2012-11-12 11:37
Fascinating image of this old woman prying spining the huge wheel. Delicious light and color, I like the mood.
karacabeylis (1465) 2012-11-12 12:31
a very well managed one. it entirely reflects the atmosphere. well-done indeed.
jemaflor (86862) 2012-11-12 12:45
Good angle to take this scene, interesting portrait and dynamic effect, well made, tfs.
mkamionka (31369) 2012-11-12 13:26
again a very interesting story well illustrated with the excellent quality photo. I like how you have captured the movement of the wheel with the crispy sharp lady in spite of having a really low light situation.
pascal13 (2098) 2012-11-12 18:51
Very nice picture Abmdsudi. I like the atmosphere that surrounds .Shooting angle was well chosen and the result is excellent.This wheel in motion brings this dynamic side.Picture very interesting as well as notes.
Thanks for sharing.
Longroute (19396) 2012-11-12 23:24
So many beautiful photos! Really difficult to choose one. As usual with you they are both interesting and informative, conveying the essence and feeling of a place or ambiance. I envy you for the chance you have to travel to those lovely countries.
Graal (98786) 2012-11-12 23:55
an interesting scene. Good shot and caught moment. Image is well composed. Well note and photowork. Photos I like - here and in WS.
Have a nice day.
bayno (18344) 2012-11-13 0:21
Always a good job related to Ws and a nice note, have you heard well handle the difficult and little light and you managed to give the image a great depth, very nice colors and framing and sense of movement...
dkmurphys (50508) 2012-11-13 0:37
A true masterpiece with mysterious mood and wonderful colors. Well taken, enjoy a nice day.
mesutilgim (86886) 2012-11-13 0:52
Very nice capture under uneasy light condiditons but still perfect result.
Good pov and good layout. 1/25 was a good choice as it lets us feel the movement of the wheel but on the other side still good enough the picture shraply the woman at right corner.
Many interesting notes makes your entry a perfect TE work.
TFS and best regards
Bluejeans (64249) 2012-11-13 5:36
Ola Abmdsudi ,
Belo momento com esta Tibetana a rodar esta roda das orações , gostei da sensação de movimento , bonito o contraste entre o vermelho e o dourado , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
kato (11630) 2012-11-13 6:48
You're capturing well this scene by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see big spinning wheel with red/gold and the Buddhistic mural painting in behind. The wheel may originate in the thought of Buddhistic Samsara. It is interesting that there are various cults also in Buddhism and the doctrine and Buddhist scripture differ from each other. I am an atheist. However, people who are alive to the support in religion are prayerful, and pure. Respect is expressed to it.
eldancer1 (29608) 2012-11-13 7:42
Wow! Awesome composition! I like the way light is hitting on this person. And thanks for the wonderful information. Love the colors with good saturation. Very well done, tfs.
Noel_Byrne (25916) 2012-11-13 8:59
This really is a stunning capture. That you have given so much of the frame to the prayer wheel as the main subject is wonderful, but the woman makes another important element being the one who turns the wheel and sends the good thoughts flowing. Her small size in the image reinforces your note in that the prayers are the focus, but always with that beautiful human input. Amazing how you captured the movement of the wheel while the woman is so sharp. Bravo. And thanks, as always for an excellent informative note.
All the best
ourania (33797) 2012-11-13 12:42
I love the effectiveness, consistency and intimacy of this image and its atmosphere. Your angle of capture seems both well studied because of its effectiveness and spontaneous thanks to the naturalness of the scene and the lady's moving, concentrated and pious expression. Her expression and the space you have given to the spinning wheel illustrate precisely the spirit of your note. I love the smooth and suggestive invasion of a warm light in this exclusive ambiance and the contrasts of movement and stillness, bluriness and sharpness. An exquisite atmospheric picture accompanied by another two intriguing photos in the workshop. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
clic (15474) 2012-11-13 16:02
Very instructive note joined to the artistry of this fabulous picture: Backlight on this religious scenery creates the mystic mood and suits well the introspection state of the devotee.
Cricri (108975) 2012-11-13 23:02
Très belle scéne et image pleine de détails et colorées, les deux WS sont intéressante aussi, tout comme la note toujours très instructif, magnifique
shevchenko (18892) 2012-11-14 0:15
Nice colourful dharma wheel and mural, lively shot with capture a believer that spinning it as the religious daily practice, interesting composition, thanks for sharing.
kordinator (19484) 2012-11-14 4:08
A very interesting article on the Buddhist religious props.
Stunning photos in the workshop, with the main work, make an excellent unit.
Beautiful presentations from Tibet.
ciakgiak (30421) 2012-11-14 4:21
le tue note sono molto interessanti, a corredo e completamento di una foto altrettanto interessante oltre che molto bella.
Eccellente il senso di movimento ed i colori, molto efficace la composizione.
Un caro saluto
CLODO (30942) 2012-11-14 6:00
You're the master of humanist picture, well enhanced by the dark colors tones, and with the old lady in a ray of light. The framing is perfect and the decision to have a long exposure blurrs the barrel, giving life to the shot.
aliabazari (15999) 2012-11-15 20:31
Hi abmdsudi My noble friend
Beautiful capture of this old mother. Picture clarity is very good. Exposure and mix well performed. Attractive appearance is cute.
adores (38839) 2012-11-16 16:35
So great and magical! The wheel turning, the old lady touching the wheel with her hand. The light and the decoration make it perfect but I really like the atmosphere of the moment and the sense of movement you have captured! Very well done!
macjake (58160) 2012-11-17 14:27
what another wonderful trio of photos.
excellent WS photos, all worthy of being posted in their own right.
your photo shows the spinning and the more stable woman in a very elegant manner.
there is just amount of light to capture the details on the wheel.
excellent TE cultural post
Janusz1974 (2824) 2012-11-18 12:20
Excellent shot from this elder lady wearing the traditional clothing and the fact she is spinning the wheel adds dynamism to the scene. Beautiful details, colors.
Angshu (56260) 2012-12-04 3:27
Like Yves or Patrick, I have tried this & failed. Perhaps I had done it all wrong! Your focus is firmly on the old lady as the wheel keeps rotating. Light seems to be challenging & yet deftly handled. When you handle such situations with such expertise, my friend, you get a superb result as this one....
elenimavrandoni (14207) 2013-01-20 12:19
Hello Abmdsudi, a very challenging theme and shot with difficult light, became an extraordinary image with beautiful elements, color and light management!
The lady is amazing and your note is fascinating and very informative!
tatadalou (6727) 2013-09-24 17:03
Excellent shot ! The woman, just placed where the light comes, and the moving wheel, makes this photo wonderful.
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (44930)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-03-03
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D70s, Tamron SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD, ISO 200 RAW
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): CLODO"s selection XV [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2012-11-12 6:08