Nepal: Kathmandu / Dhulikhel

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October 22nd 2012
Published: April 1st 2013
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22/10 to 29/10: Kathmandu and around Dhulikhel

We arrived in Katmandu during the Dasain Festival - one of the biggest festival in Nepal. Celebrating the victory of the goddess Durga over the devil forces, they sacrifice a goat or a buffalo in her honour. They install swings at the entrance of villages and people will have a Tika on their forhead.

Nepalese people were travelling back to their family home therefore shops were closed and not so many people in the streets. Streets have no tarmac and are very dusty but it was still nice to wander around. A good place for shopping if one need any trekking gear from The North Face, etc - fake of course ! but still ok quality. The architecture of the buildings is interesting and typical Newari Style: carved wood around the window and balcony and Teracotta walls. The backstreets lead to hidden temples, shrines and scuptures nearby Durban Square: Place where the city's kings were once crowned and legitimised and from where they ruled. Heart of the old town, and Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979, this complex is home to several temple and also to the Kumari: real living goddess - young girl who lives in the building with her family. The Kumari is selected from a particular caste of Newari gold and silversmiths. She is between 4 and puberty and must meet 32 strict physical requirements ranging from the colour of the eyes and shape of her teeth to the sound of her voice. Her reign ends with her first period or any accidental serious loss of blood. She then reverts to a normal mortal status and the search starts again....

For more, read From Goddess to Mortal, the story of Rashmilla Shakya, Kahmandu's Kumari between 1984 and 1991 (co-written with Scott Berry).

We spend few days in a hilltop village Dhulikhel 2 hours outside Kathmandu and trek to Namobuddha home to a Tibetan monastery. This is a nice place to stay to witness the Himalaya Range, some village-life and great sunrise! Again another beautiful surprise from Nepal....

We loved it 😊

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