I gotta be in Kathmandu
Trip Start Oct 22, 2007
13Trip End Dec 12, 2007
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Religious ceremony is an ongoing way of life hear for both Hindus and Buddhists, ceremonial practices and offerings that date back several thousand years continue today like a recurring mystical dream.
I walk several blocks from my hostel and you see Hindu women dressed in their colorful saris and scarfs. Round the corner, several Tibetan monks, dressed in their traditional maroon and yellow robes, idle along the road chatting. Further still you pass several holy men, known as sadhus, enroute to the sacred temple compound, Durbar Square
Even the python named Madrina was affectionate. Two Hindu men sitting on a street corner begin playing music. For some reason the music sounded like an Irish jig. One gentleman began to open a basket which I presumed to be for donations. A wrong assumption in Kathmandu. This particular basket contained a small cobra. The man opens another basket, out pops another cobra, the final, largest basket containing python Madrina. Which member of Monty Python was she? Yes...these men were snake charmers and I was quickly indoctrinated with Madrina draped over my shoulders. How lovely!
The Kathmandu business community is definitely on an enlightened path, judging from their marquees; third eye restaurant, nirvana paint supplies, dharma massage, and siddhartha bike repair.
That afternoon I trekked through Kathmandu neighborhoods, along rubbled, dusty streets, to reach the spectacular Buddhist stupa Swayambhunath, affectionately known as the Monkey Temple
The stupa overlooks the Kathmandu valley. Numerous Tibetan monks, as well as Hindus, consider this a very holy place. Always reverent to tradition, pilgrims pay tribute, giving offerings and in a clockwise movement, circumnavigate the stupa, spinning the heavy metal prayer wheels as they walk around. Several of the prayer wheels are three meters high...spin that!
Graced on the top of the stupa, are the penetrating, ever-watchful, omnipotent eyes, that follow you wherever you go.
There truly was a special, spiritual presence to this place, enhanced by the present and pass spiritual souls that have ventured up the steep steps to get here.
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