We need to respect the laws of nature; another disappointment was I could not go para gliding. Though people were para gliding in Pokhara, the local tour guide warned me that the winds were gusty and not safe. So I just had to make do with a boat ride through Lake Phewa. But on our way back to Kathmandu, we did river rafting in Trishuli river.
The experience was adventurous, the river was full and the currents strong. Gorgeous scenery, amazing river; 30 kms of rafting. We had a professional instructor who gave us tips and instructions; the rowing was tiring - go with the current. Team work - consistent and in sync made it all. I even got out of the raft and hung on the edges and waded through the water for 2 kms. It was scary; the depth and the strong current. All it required was let your hand go of the rope tied on the sides of the raft and you go with the water. Though life jacket was worn; it still was scary when the current was strong and the water swelled; I had to be pulled into the raft :-D
Another observation that struck us - maybe only because we are from southern part of India. English is used as any other local language and we actually find it odd if English is not used. Got to see pure Hindi script everywhere - few words which we long forgot after wrapping up our school period. Like 'yatayat' for 'transport', 'prahari' for 'police', 'pul' for 'bridge'. These words brought that lingering memory of having come across these words in school when learning Hindi.
Getting ready for rafting on Trishuli.
A team already on their way
On our way back; just after the rains, the rainbow appeared. As the landscape was rolling hills one after the other; one could see the rainbow in different angles - sometimes across one mountain to another as if its a sky bridge; sometimes just touching the ground as if its nailed to the green bed of grass; sometimes as its hanging from nowhere. It was the first time ever that I could see the rainbow lingering for more than an hour!!! That was a bonus. It didnt end there. It was not one but two rainbows!! What more to ask for :)
I clicked 100s of picture to capture it in all angles and landscapes.
Patan - also called Lalitpur is a major city in Nepal. Its a city of rich heritage - fine ancient arts, metallic and stone carvings. Patan, like Kathmandu has a Durbar Square. Here is the Durbar Square of Patan; a UNESCO world heritage site. The temples with intricately carved wooden doors and windows, beautiful courtyards, exquisite icons made of terracotta, stone, metal and wood exhibit artistic excellence of the craftsmen and the fine taste of the people. The whole city looks like an open museum; you are treated with amazing art works whichever side you turn.
A slab proclaiming the UNESCO site
The Mul chowk; bustling with shops selling crafts and arts
Statues at the entrance of the chowk. Hanuman covered as usual with an orange silk cloak, Narasimha; the other side was a Ganesh statue.
A closer view of the top of the pillar.
Jagannarayan temple; built in 1565; its the oldest temple in Patan. Every durbar square has a kamasutra temple which served as a center for young people to learn about sex; as it was a taboo to discuss sex among people. These temples served as self learning centers. Each pillar has erotic carvings in wood. Enlarge the picture to notice the details :)
The King's palace - residence of the Malla rulers of the Patan state. It was under renovation. Those little things hanging from the eaves of the palace are the bells.
Circumventing the Hindu temples at the Durbar square are Buddhisht vihars and temples. This is the entrace to Hiranya Varna Mahavihar also known as Golden temple. The three story pagoda of Lokeshwar(Lord Buddha) was built in 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma.
Detailed wooden carving at the entrance.
On the extreme right is the figurine of Sakyamuni - the primary figure in Buddhism said to have born from the armpit.
The statue of King Bhaskar Verma and his Queen who constructed the temple.
The Dorje, the prayer wheels and the Buddha
The temple roof looks like any Hindu temple except for the presence of the Dorje and the Prayer wheel.
On one of the door was a carved dragon about 1 feet in length
Tangka paintings were sold everywhere.
The Harishankar temple. The three story temple of Harishankar - half vishnu and half shiva built in 1704. It has an arcade beautifully decorated with wood carvings depicting the torture of the damned. In the front is a stone carvings of elephant on each side.
This beautiful shikara style Krishna temple is different from others which are all built in Pagoda style. It was built in 1637; consists of central tower encircled by three arcades. Its the first temple to be of Shikara style and all made of stone. Its the only temple having 21 golden pinnacles. There are beautiful carvings and a statue of man bird Garuda - the vehicle of Krishna is facing the mandir. This temple was the most beautiful in my opinion. As usual, leather was not allowed inside the temple. It was my birthday and was feeling incomplete without a temple visit; and the Krishna temple was a perfect place to seek my blessings.
The narrow by-lanes of Patan.