Saturday 27 October 2018. Nepal Photos.
Highlights: The Great Boudha Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kumari Devi (Living Goddess), Patan Patan Durbar Square
While the High Road to Tibet tour was over my tour wasn’t which meant a day tour around Kathmandu. Today I got to explore significant places of both the Buddhist and Hindu religious sites with some of my Tibet tour mates.
Leaving the Fuji Hotel at 9 am we started with a visit of The Great Boudha Stupa. This cost 400 Nepal Rupees to enter. This massive Buddhist structure constructed sometime between 400 – 600 CE. The Stupa is an enormous structure and has a number of prayer wheels as you work around clockwise. I witness a number of people praying.
Next up was a visit to Hindu Pashupatinath Temple. The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. While the Pashupatinath Temple’s existence dates back to 400 B.C. It was rebuilt in 15th century.
Only Hindus could access the main temple the rest of the massive area was open to visitors (provided you pay the 1,000 Nepal Rupee entrance fee). A major highlight of this area was watching the various cremations occurring, how the bodies were being prepared and later buried and how the platforms were cleaned. The male head of the family (normally) shaves his hair and performs most of the ritual and can’t touch others for 7 days and must complete the ceremony 1 year later.
Additionally near the entry there was dancing and celebrations (video here) and there were monkeys all around this temple and there were very happy to steal tasty treats from the unsuspecting visitors.
Last up was a visit to the Kumari Devi of Patan (Living Goddess) and the historic Patan Durbar Square area which upon seeing I received I’ve seen on websites and TVs before.
A Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl selected from the Shakya caste or Bajracharya clan of the Nepalese Newari community. The Kumari is revered and worshipped by some of the country’s Hindus. When her first menstruation begins, it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury also causes for loss of deity. The Kumari who I visited and who blessed me was 5 years old.
It costs 1,000 Napel Rupees to visit historic Patan Durbar Square area. The Square area is highlighted with red bricks. There are significant number of temples and idols in the area. The main temples are aligned opposite of the western face of the palace. There is also a bell situated in the alignment beside the main temples. Most of the current architecture is from the 1600s, constructed during the reign of King Siddhi Narsingh Malla.
Changes in water practises were highlighted by the royal shower no longer receiving water due to the lower water table. There was also a lovely garden in one of the temples. You do need to be careful with the low doors or you will hit your head. The wood cravings so great skill by the people who created them.
After a late lunch that was the end of the day tour and back to Fuji Hotel and some last minute small souvenirs. It was then farewells for most of the remaining tour members. A 700 Nepal Rupee taxi got me to the airport in plenty of time and once checked in and past Immigration it was onto the Radisson Executive Lounge (Review here).