Monks in Ballater blessing

The monks and pipers at Ballater Bridge
The monks and pipers at Ballater Bridge

Monks from India have revisted Ballater to bless the community following the devastating Storm Frank flooding.

The group from the Gyuto order near Dharamsala were first welcomed to the village in 2013 after performing at Glastonbury to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Declaration of Independence.

They feel they have a relationship with Scotland and Ballater in particular

Joanna Whysall Deeside Inn General Manager

The monks - currently on a UK tour - heard about the damage caused by the floods and decided they wanted to pay their respects.

They visited Ballater on Tuesday of last week and performed a meditation at the Deeside Inn for staff and guests.

Three members of Ballater and District Pipe Band - including Jono Tosh who works part-time at the inn - then piped the monks to Ballater Bridge where they prayed before blessing the river.

Deeside Inn general manager Joanna Whysall said the monks had taken Ballater to their hearts.

She added: “The monks became aware of the devastation caused to Ballater in the New Year floods and decided they wanted to return to pay their respects, while on another tour of the UK.

“They feel they have a relationship with Scotland and Ballater in particular. I think it reminds them a little of Tibet.

“We were delighted to see them and it was a special occasion. They said they wanted the community spirit here to stay strong.”

The group stayed at the Deeside Inn and went on a visit to Loch Muick.

The Gyuto monks are known for their tradition of overtone singing, also described as “chordal chanting”.