Stephen Ironside

Mahakala Puja in Lo Manthang, Nepal

Stephen Ironside
March 30, 2012
Filed in: photostories

Older Monk

An elder monk stands in line during a Mahakala puja ceremony in Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang, Nepal.

Young Monk

A young monk watches the ceremony from a distance.


A monk chants during the ceremony.


"Demons" race around holding bowls of incense and scare onlookers.

Looking Down

A young boy looks down on the ceremony from an upper story window.


Yak dung surrounds the puja, which has moved to a field.


A group of monks waits for their cue to play horns and cymbals.

Demons Sitting

After scaring some tourists who wandered too close, the "demons" sit down and watch the ceremony.

Lead Monk

The leading monk, dressed in ceremonial garb, destroys cakes made as a sacrifice.

Prayer Position

With hands in prayer position, the monk concludes the ceremony.

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More about this Photo Story

Images from a Mahakala Puja ceremony in Lo Manthang, upper Mustang, northern Nepal, in 2008. The ceremony, done before many residents leave for Kathmandu for the cold winter months, hopes to bring a good harvest in the next year.

Learn more about: Stephen Ironside

I'm a freelance commercial/corporate/editorial/advertising photographer based in Northwest Arkansas, but environmental and cultural preservation oriented photography are my passions and long-term career goals. I believe that even though we are over-saturated with images in an era when everyone has a camera, a photo is still capable of changing the world. I hope to use my work to help revitalize peoples’ love for the natural world and for cultures besides their own–a love that seems to have been lost in today’s society.

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