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Burma (Mynamar) is predominantly a Buddhist country with about 90% of its people practicing Thiravada tradition of Buddhism. She is also the most religious Buddhist country in the world when measured in terms of proportion of monks in the population and based on the ratio of income spent on religious activities.

Buddhism has been practiced in Burma for over 2000 years.Thousands of temples and pagodas, which are devoted to Buddhism, are scattered throughout the country. Bagan, once the center of Buddhism alone has over 2000 temples. The holiest of these shrines is the huge complex of Shwedagon temple in the middle of its capital-- Yangon (Rangoon).

It is very common to see clusters of maroon clad Buddhist monks in the country side and in the hundreds of monasteries that exist throughout the country. Many poor Burmese parents send one or more of their sons, as young as seven years of age, to get free education at these schools and to be tutored in rigorous monastic life style. Only very few of them choose to become life long monks--a decision they dont have to make till they are 18 years of age.

My photographs here depict the lives of these Buddhist monks--studying, playing, relaxing,and of course praying. I was privileged to photograph several of these famous Buddhist shrines, especially in Mandalay, Bagan and Yangon during my trip in December 2010.

Novice in Prayer

Novices out on a stroll

Novices at play

White Cheroot

Novices and the Pigeon

Jumping Novices

Buddhist Nun at School

In study

Lighting Candles at Reclining Buddha

Novice with Rice Bowl

Mount Popa Pagoda

Smiling Novices

In Prayer

Novices at Play

Buddhist Temples at Sunrise

Smiling Novice

In Prayer

Reclining Buddha

Schwedagon Buddhist Temple

Buddhas and Buddhas