A prayer for everyone.

Prayer flags Bhutan Chalela
Fading prayer flags on vertical flagpoles with daggers on their tips signifying Jampelyang, the God of wisdom and knowledge.

Flags in yellow, blue, red and green with prayers and religious symbols printed on them – some bright and new, others old and faded, but all just as charming.

Locals believe that prayer flags spread peace, good luck and fortune every time the wind blows and they benefit everyone, not just those who tied or hoisted them. It is no surprise then that treating them with utmost respect is important to people in Bhutan. I often noticed people stopping under overturned, entangled flags to fix them. It didn’t matter that they didn’t tie these in the first place or that they might never see them again.

Prayer flags in Bhutan tied everyone together – even visitors like me. I will never forget the happiness on a local’s face when I stopped to fix a flag that had rolled up with the wind. He smiled at me and told me that I had done my good deed for the day.

Text by Tintu Saleem
Photos by Sukrit Nagaraj

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