Amateur photographer, traveler showcases Buddhist art through time in new book


Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Khadromas and the Way of the Pilgrim cover

In a recently published photo book, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Khadromas and the Way of the Pilgrim: A Transformative Book of Photography and Pithy Sayings (Orange Palm Publications, $79.95), Montreal based Simhananda, an amateur photographer, and Dadi Darshan Dharma, a book author, dedicated 224 pages to images of Buddha and Buddhism through the ages. 

Almost every page of the book features a photo. There are 100 large and 201 small images of art depicting Buddha and Buddhist art. There is a glossary in the back of the book for readers, who like us, don’t know the meaning of some of the exotic words used in the book. Bodhisattva, for example, means a Buddha who has unselfishly given up his liberation temporarily to help mankind.

The hardcover book allows armchair travelers, Buddhists and spiritual enthusiasts to view art depicting Buddha from the comfort of their homes. Each page includes one or more photos and short sayings, in English, French and Italian, intended to be inspirational, spiritually uplifting and sometimes humorous. Although we couldn’t find any descriptions of the photos, when or where they were taken in the book, they capture crisp, blurry, stunning, striking, and colorful images set next to short inspirational words. The combination of the words and images is designed to further the author’s desire to “help elevate the mind toward the Divine” and to console and comfort worldwide suffering and death.

Simhananda, which means lion’s roaring, only appears in silhouette in the book and is described in promotional materials as a private man. He recently produced four calendars and is working on another photography book about nature. He also authored a book on Zen Buddhism. Dadi Darshan Dharma, also in silhouette and a resident of Canada, authored several books on spirituality including Paradisal Plums from which the sayings in Bodhisattvas, Khadromas and the Way of the Pilgrim were reproduced.


Click here to buy Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Khadromas and the Way of the Pilgrim

Zambia: my favorite destination for scenic wilderness, dense game concentration and luxury accommodations

Article and photos by Josette King


 Chongwe River Camp where the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers meet

After an exciting visit to the South Luangwa National Park in the fall of 2006, I returned to Zambia last year. In the Luangwa Valley, particularly lush in 2007 after experiencing intense seasonal flooding in January and February, I especially enjoyed Nkwali, the flagship camp of Robin Pope Safaris.


Hippos enjoyed the morning sun by their waterhole near Nkwali

Located on a prime vantage point on the east bank of the Luangwa River, Nkwali coupled the casual atmosphere and intimate proximity to wildlife that only a bush camp can provide with the indulgent amenities of the best safari lodges. From there, I traveled deep into the park to Luwi. This remote seasonal camp of reed and thatch huts offered a rare opportunity to experience one of the last traditional bush camps as envisioned by the renowned late conservationist and guide Norman Carr.


 Cape buffalos throve in the Lower Zambezi National Park

I went on to explore the Lower Zambezi National Park. Established in 1983, it is the most recent of country’s national parks. Although still relatively underdeveloped, this stretch of wilderness is wedged between the Zambezi River and the Zambezi Escarpment; a privileged location that offers remarkably picturesque scenery and an amazing concentration of wildlife along its 120 kilometers of river frontage.

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An elephant emerged from the Zambezi at Sausage Tree Camp

The river bank is home to several highly reputed wilderness camps and lodges, including the Chongwe River Camp, with its panoramic view of the confluence of the Chongwe River and the Zambezi rivers; the Chiawa Camp blended so unobtrusively into its surroundings that elephants and buffalos routinely paraded within feet of the tents on their way to the river; and the whimsical Sausage Tree Camp with its pristine conical Bedouin tents peering through the riverine forest canopy at the scenic entrance of the Chifungulu Channel.


A lioness

My journey concluded with a visit around Victoria Falls, where I experienced first-hand the award-winning accommodations and hospitality of Tongabezi, as well as the stunning architecture and sweeping vistas of the recently opened Stanley Safari Lodge.

Are you thinking of traveling to Zambia? Click on the following hyperlinks to read dedicated articles on Zambia destinations and properties visited by Simon & Baker travel teams Zambia, Lower Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park, Chiawa Camp, Chongwe River Camp, LuwiNkwali, Sausage Tree Camp, Stanley Safari Lodge and Tongabezi.