Nepal is the little wonder in the Himalayan region. A cross road between India & China, Nepal is overflowing with culture & heritage. We spent four days in Kathmandu & Nagarkot ~
Day 1 – We visited the Kathmandu valley, which is famous for its scenic beauty, beautiful countryside and ethnic settlements. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites related to Lord Shiva. Here are a few glimpses of the temple.
Overall Pashupatinath is a gorgeous temple. But like everything else in Kathmandu, it is surely not well maintained. I was a bit distressed that the temple tour included the ‘last rites and funeral procedures’. I was not impressed and didn’t stand to watch the funeral.
We then went to Kathmandu Darbar Square including the Hanuman Dhoka Palace and Living Goddess Kumari’s house. This is a complex of beautiful temples and shrines, both Hindu & Buddhist. Most are built in pagoda style between the 12th & 18th century.
Each girl is kept in this room on her own and if she can spend a whole night here on her own, the people believe that ‘Kaali’ has been reborn in her and she is then proclaimed to be the ‘living Goddess’. At this age, she is only 3!! We saw the living Goddess…. And I was even more distressed. She was a little 5 year old, without a smile on her face, who spent everyday at the temple. She is then set free to go into the world at 14 years of age!! *shocked*
Saying that.. the Darbar Square was beautiful. The wood carvings and architecture in this area are exceptionally fine and one can easily spend a few hours here… From here we went to Swoyambhunath, which was my post for Buddha Scapes in June!
Overall Kathmandu is a must visit place!! With the backdrop of the Himalayas, and the beauty of these Durbars… it leaves your heart enchanted. However, the place is crowded… much more than I had expected!! At all monuments, beggars range from Sadhus, to old men/women, and even kids. People sell jewellery, wood carvings and Buddhist prayer bells on the roads…. Even if you don’t want to buy them, they hound you, argue with you and at the end … are rather rude!! Sadly I was put off by the fact that people were not hospitable, and are really not ready for the influx of tourism.