Temples & Stupas

Trip Start Sep 13, 2009
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Where I stayed
Annapurna Lodge

Flag of Nepal  ,
Friday, October 9, 2009

9am, first morning back in Kath. Hot water, yay!
Right. Brekky, then a walk and maybe I'll sit on the steps of a temple in the Square to watch the world go by. Slept well - the mattress is thin but not sponge; much more dense. No sore hips. Woke up this morning to bells ringing in the hindu temples, people singing, the smell of onions frying....

Noon. Have returned from my meanderings - I did indeed sit on the steps and watch the square wake up. A family visiting from India asked me if I would pose with their baby girl Viksham, about 18 months old. She had massive kohl-rimmed eyes with very long lashes and a candy pink fairy dress on, and had no problem at all holding my hand. After a bit more of a wander I went to let family and friends know we are ok - just as well because Shell had heard of the landslides in the Pokhara region from the late rains and was concerned when we were not at our designated hotel and she hadn't heard from us. Then home for some housekeeping-sorting out some washing to send to the laundry. We're not allowed to wash our own clothes here. B has gone off to use the net before we go out this afternoon. He has somehow lost The Climb, only half-read. I've booked a swish hotel room with a tele for our last night.

6.30pm and Dipak has just dropped us home after an afternoon of stupas and temples. First was Swayambhunath stupa, or the monkey temple, with its 270% view over Kathmandu.
Then my favourite, the Boudhanath Stupa - it's the centre of a mandala when viewed from above. I find it so beautiful, so peaceful, even amongst the bustle.At the monkey temple we saw etchers working with stone, chiselling intricate designs. At Boudha we went upstairs to one of the Thanka Schools and watched the students working on various stages of HH The Dalai Lama's mandala. We got an explanation of how the cotton is prepared for painting, too. 

 After Boudha we went to Pashupatinath temple grounds, the oldest Hindu temple in Nepal, built around 400 AD or before. Non-Hindu's are not allowed in the temple so it has a wall around it; you walk across the bridge over the river and up the hill to get a good view. The wall makes it even more mysterious and enticing. There are ghats there on the Bagmati river so Brenden got to see a funeral pyre underway. On our walk around here we spotted a dog  with a raw wound where once there'd been an ear; it upset Brenden greatly. I only hope it was taken off for compassionate reasons and not cruel; of course us humans are capable of great extremes of both. There are many stray dogs in Nepal, everywhere. Pet dogs too, that seem well cared for. Sad for the others who appear to hold little use or value. Another mouth to feed, I guess. We were also witnesses to a woman who had her lunch stolen by a monkey; I'd turned to say something to Brenden behind me and saw the woman take a brown paper bag out of her handbag, but before I could say No put it away! a big male had run up and snatched it from her. He sat close by and she tried to retrieve it but he bared his teeth and hissed so she called it even and gave up. It was a little bit funny, especially as she didn't get all that much of a fright.....at least she only had one monkey, 5 years ago I had a band of them come at me from all angles to steal a paper cone of hot chips, thrown to me by a much larger monkey of more human extraction, laughing his head off. I screamed and threw the chips up in the air! It was funny.
Brenden has bolted to use the internet while his buddies are still awake. We've asked Dipak to come and pick us up on Sunday to go to Baktapur.
Vive le revolution! Dunno why I wrote that. I thought it, so I wrote it.

The hacking sound before spitting
Bells jangling
Bells ringing
Rivers flowing
Trekking poles clacking
"Hello, madam - come in to look?"
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