Kathmandu Streets

“Kathmandu is alive, vibrant, magical a living city. I have never know a more colourfully textured, rich and aromatic place. To give it it’s due, Kathmandu is a very busy place. Everybody seems either constantly on the move, or quite conversely – sitting through the heat of the midday sun. It is a peaceful city despite its, diversity and noise. Eagles fly silently above the city heights, dogs scrap for left overs in the streets, and kids run a muck. The pollution in Kathmandu can be unbearable, but which does not detract from my love of it in the least.”

 

The Many Faces of Nepal

My ♥ belongs to Kathmandu

Cool Kathmandu…,

Kool Kathmandu…..

The journey to Muktinath 2013

Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists. It is located in Muktinath Valley at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass, in the Himalayas. Hindus call the sacred place ‘Mukti Kshetra’, which means literally ‘place of salvation’. This is because it is believed that if one manages to reach the Muktinath and Vishnu temple there, one will achieve Nirvana in the next life. Muktinath is within the Mustang region of Nepal which was formerly known as the Kingdom of Lo. Mustang is divided into lower and upper Mustang with the town of Kagbeni providing the marking for the border. We began our trek from a place called Beni, located on the confluence of Kali River and Myagdi River at an altitude of 899 meters, and trekked the 90 or so Kilometers to Muktinath. The most dramatic aspect of the trek was obviously the mountain scenery of the Himalayas; but not only this the way in which the landscape changed the closer we got to Muktinath was amazing.

Bhaktapur, Nepal 2012

Bhaktapur is an ancient ‘Newari’ town to the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley. Famed for its ‘Durbar Square’ which was the Royal palace of the kings of Nepal; the seat of ancient power. Bhaktapur is much quieter and less polluted than Kathmandu. There is an admission fee for entering the city which I paid one Saturday afternoon during my stay in Nepal.

Burning the bodies at Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is one of the most important Shiva Temples in the world. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, Nepal. The temple is said to be the home of Lord Pashupati (Shiva). And here it is traditional to burn the bodies of departed loved ones. When I visited Pashupatinanth there were several cremations in progress. Around the temple complex there are generally enormous crowds. Pashupatinanth is an important place of pilgrimage to those in Hinduism but many come to witness the burning of the bodies. Many Saddhus also live, eat and sleep in the Temple grounds. It is a very popular tourist destination for those visiting Nepal as there is much to see.

Nepal 2010

The Monkey Temple, Kathmandu

The Monkey Temple is an ancient religious complex at the top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The reason for it being named the Monkey Temple is its permanent monkey inhabitants, who live around the complex begging food from the tourists. The ascent up to the top of the Monkey Temple is an impressively steep climb and rewarded by the spectacular views of the city. At the top of the mount is the Buddhist Stupa and various Hindu places of worship; Hinduism and Buddhism sit very closely and comfortably along side one another in Nepal.

On the day of my visit to the Monkey Temple, I met a Buddhist monk in one of the shrines at the top, near the Stupa. I asked to take his photograph and happily he accepted. As well as taking his photo, I asked ‘why had he chosen to become a Buddhist monk’. Expecting to hear an explanation regarding great religious devotion, he simply said that he had been the middle son of his family; and becoming a monk was a duty and a matter of honour for his family. I was surprised to hearing this. The resulting portrait I was particularly pleased with.

Buddhist Monk

This slideshow requires JavaScript.