Recently I came back from Nepal. I was planning it for a while, but India had come first every time. The internet there was very unreliable, but everything else was just superb.
I booked a tour with Himalayan Social Journey. This tour covered a little bit of everything in Nepalese culture.
On our first day we visited a few significant places in Kathmandu as well as just walked along some hot and dusty streets.
Kathmandu airport is welcoming to new visitors.
I wouldn’t want to be an electrician in Nepal. The power lines look intimidating to say the least.
Streets of Kathmandu. Pretty clean if you ask me.
Long hot days, not many customers.
Loved this mail box. Looked so old, so British.
Rickshaws on break.
I was so surprised when I saw all this “risky” underwear in full view. It’s very advanced comparing to India. I have never seen ANY underwear on display there.
I saw different types of houses in Nepal. Most of them are quite pretty with lots of wooden carvings and colourful facades.
By some miracle we found Garden of Dreams – a cool, green oasis among busy, dusty Kathmandu.
Beautiful vistas – very European architecture and layout of the gardens.
This is very interesting. Originally this sculpture was conceived like Greek goddess Nike, but was “recycled” into Hindu goddess of fortune Laxmi. This is quite bizarre, right?
Here is the story of transformation from one goddess to another.
Cute little Nepalese girl was chasing chipmunks. And at last they all gone. She looked quite disappointed.
Monkeys are everywhere, even riding the bikes.
I love doors. I am planning to write a post about doors and gates in Nepal.
This Shiva sculpture is on top of the large temple near Durbar Square in Kathmandu. I had a heated discussion with a local policewoman who tried to stop me from taking pictures without paying 1000 rupees for the privilege. I had to step back one meter behind the rope barrier, but took lots of pictures anyway.
Temples are everywhere, but their presence is not overpowering like in India.
All temples are heavily decorated with stone or wood carvings.
I totally loved this picture near Old Town.
I stumbled by this temple accidentally. The temple outside was really attractive too. Six streets meet at Indrachowk and create the Indra square, where lots of pilgrims and shoppers can be seen. (Indra was lord of heaven in Hindu mythology). One of those six street was in fact an old India-Tibet trade route.
Brass shield reflects sacred lights.
We decided to go for a sightseeing flight. Our plane was from Yeti Airline and it took us to see highest mountains on the Earth. The taller mountain on the left is Everest.
I can’t believe that this tiny plane could actually fly.
This Boudhanath Stupa is one of the holiest and most recognisable sites in Kathmandu. It was completely destroyed during the earthquake two years ago, but Nepalese government managed to restore it to the original beauty.
The old monk is getting ready for his modest meal.
Old people house. If some people have no relatives to take care of them, they can come and live in this home. Government gives some tiny amount of money to run this place, but majority of money comes from begging or donations.
Lots and lots of beautiful ancient temples everywhere.
The main entrance of the Shiva temple courtyard.
Pandra Shivalaya and ghat ( East of the main temple)
Swayambhunath is known as the Monkey Temple and one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal.
Swayambhunath is situated on a hill on the west of Kathmandu. Our guide said that long time ago the hill was under water. One of the Kings decided to drain the lake. Despite being under water, people saw fire on top of the hill. Obviously, this place became holy straight away. I found this assembly (below) very pretty.
Pashupatinath Temple is among the holiest temples of the world revered and worshiped by Hindus and Buddhists. Since I am not Hindu, I could not enter the temple and had to look at it from the opposite river bank.
Pashupatinath Temple at night. One curious monkey is trying to peek inside.
Holy man. He is totally naked and fully covered in ashes. This is his permanent place to live.
One Aussie man from my group. He fits so well with these sadhu (holy men).
Buddhist temples and Buddha statues are everywhere as this is a main religion in Nepal.
And this is Shiva lingam.
Cremation ceremony as per Hindu tradition. The most desirable place for any Hindu person to be cremated is on the banks of Ganges in Varanasi, India. Pashupatinath temple is the second on the list.
Here is a short video about cremation at Pashupatinath temple. I am planning to make a video of the whole process from bringing the body to sweeping the remains into Bagmati river.
And every night, a huge crowd is waiting for the ritual light offer – Bagmati Aarti.
During our visit to Monkey temple we witnessed a rehearsal for some TV program. These beautiful Nepalese women are waiting for their turn.
I am off to Pokhara, where my next adventure would start soon.