Saturday 6 August 2011

Kathmandu ~ 1

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.

I did read about the ‘living Goddess’ before… but was stunned to know that there is a selection process for the Goddess. Three year olds should have black hair, black eyes, perfectly fair complexion, perfect teeth, etc…. to qualify as Goddess. After which, they are kept in one of the temple rooms with 108 buffalo heads that are just cut.

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.

But all said and done.... Kathmandu is beautiful... and I'd love to visit again with the kids.


  1. lovely pics!!! I have heard of the living goddess and i too find it rather shocking! it happens in India too, you know,, both in the south as well as in the north.... dont know if u remember, but there were a couple of films made on the issue when we were young.. forgot the names, though!

  2. Always wanted to visit Nepal. Thank You for the beautiful delightful photos


  3. wonderful photography! Looks like a great trip!

  4. Awesome clicks,ur right about the people there ,.

  5. Enjoying all your vacation stories . Did you read my comment on your trip to Kolkata ?

  6. Thanks for posting this. Reminds me of my trip to Kathmandu as a kid with my parents. It is undoubtedly a very beautiful city. The wooden carvings in Darbar Square are simply awesome!!

  7. AH!!! now I now where to head off in my next trip to India :-). Have been wanting to go there for a while and really didn't happen.

  8. Beautiful pictures you got here. I agree, Nepal is such a beautiful place. They have managed to preserve their precious culture for thousands of years. Walking on Kathmandu is like taking a time machine to the past. If these old buildings could talk, they will tell an endless story about the Nepali people.


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