Dorji,17, takes in the views after walking from the Taktshang monastery (also known as Tiger's Nest ) outside of Paro, Bhutan. Dorji is one of a handful of monks living at one of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan, a two hour walk from the road, at around 3,000 metres high. Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion, although in the southern areas many citizens openly practice Hinduism. Monks join the monastery at six to nine years of age and according to tradition many families will send one son into the monkhood. They learn to read chhokey, the language of the ancient sacred texts, as well as Dzongkha and English. A new era of democracy is being ushered into the tiny Himalayan nation after the country held a successful national elections ending a century of rule by absolute monarchy.
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