i have seen pictures of them, but i never saw them in real: sand mandalas, being created, sandcorn by sandcorn. turns out, there is one in process, not far from here. it was started on Wednesday, and will be created during 10 days.
yesterday, i went to the place of happening: the old town hall of Plochingen city, which comes with a historic town centre full of "Fachwerkhäuser" - classic wood-structure houses. the day was overcast, and it all felt a bit surreal. i first wasn't sure if i got the right building. then i saw the prayer flags (which seem to be a returning theme of this week.)
and so i entered. and was amazed. and stood there, watching. then i found the perfect spot, to sit, and see, without disturbing: the wooden stairway of the town hall.
which fitted into the whole mix of styles and structures: wooden pillars and stone floors. and in the middle: the tibetan sand mandala. (if you look at the shelf behind the monks, you see a gathering of what i first thought were candles. it's sand pots. will try to catch a close-up the next time i am there.)
and here.. a close-up i took yesterday.
click the picture to see the larger version. (and a bit about the process: the sand is applied with the help of those wooden tubes, which are vibrated to make the sand flow (like tiny sand violins - you see that detail on the right side when you look closely). another bit: the monks wear respirators to prevent that sand might shift through their breath when they lean in close for detail structures.)
and here, via wikipedia, a bit more about sand mandalas.