People are warm and friendly; accommodating and adjusting. Is that because we are tourists? I might not able to infer; in cities like Kathmandu; yes; everything comes with a price. But elsewhere; you realize that the tentacles of urbanization has not reached far yet. On two instances; I witnessed an entire village participating in the final procession for the dead and they were carrying placards and praying.
People are very religious and revere money as God. When the shop keepers or taxi drivers return the change; they bow low and fold their left hand to touch the right elbow. I remember we used to be that way long time ago. Not only this; there were many instances when I felt 'we used be this way'. People and their practices reminds you of late 80s and mid 90s India.
Another interesting stuff was people walking inside temples with footwear. They are fine as long as its not leather. And yeah, Nepal does not have railways and I did not see any flyovers. The one which awed me was the Nepali calendar. They officially follow Bikram Samwat which is 56.7 years ahead of Gregorian calendar. They are currently in the year 2068.
Budhanilkantha village on Shivpuri hill. It started raining and we had to halt at a small shop which was serving hot sweetmeats and chai.
Budhanilkantha temple. The statue of Lord Vishnu reclining on coiled snake. It is said to be sculpted from a single block of stone which is not found in Nepal. It lies in a pond and appears floating. It is said to be at least 1300 years old. It is said that King of Nepal was not supposed to see the statue as it was prophesied that death will occur if he does so.
A close up of the stupa. Buddha's eyes and the symbol of unity.
The stupa is surrounded by temples and monasteries and lot of shops.
An old modeled lock
I learnt this trick to pose with an object to show its size in comparison. This bell has chants engraved all over and was massive.
The dorje/vajra. This thunderbolt was huge as well.
View of Kathmandu valley
Inside the monastery. The aroma as the ghee burned was soothing
Though it was tempting; I did not buy any of them. Cant wear them to work right?
Masks of Buddha and Ganesh.
A miniature motorcycle. We got this home. It needs a makeover :)
Kathmandu Durbar Square or Basantpur Durbar Squar is the plaza in front of the old royal palace of Kathmandu. Its one of the squares and is a UNESCO World heritage site
The durbar square is the area which houses the kings royal palace where Malla kings resided. This complex boasts of impressive temples, shrines all inquisitively carved and is based on Newari architecture; showcasing the skills of craftsmen over several centuries.
Kumari Ghar Its interesting to note another instance of Buddhism and Hinduism intertwined. A prepubescent girl from the Shakya clan of the Newari community is chosen as living goddess and revered by Hindus. The selection process is rigorous and gory. The link-back has the details.
Kumari ghar courtyard; where the living goddess lives was originally built in 757 AD and renovated in 1966
One of the various temples.
The Brisith built this palace as a replica of the palace in London at the request of the Malla king. The British could not overthrow Nepal; they made friends with them. Observe the he Union Jack on the compound
People visit the durbar square in the evening to pass time.
Statue of Hanuman beside the Hanuman dhoka - the gate leading to the courtyard of the Royal Palace. This statue is dated 1672; guards the gate. The statue is decked in a red cloth and an umbrella; face smeared with red paste. Hanuman is always clothed as women believe that seeing him without clothes would leave them infertile as Hanuman is a bachelor.
The stone sculpture of Kala Bhairav