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Published: October 9th 2018
Today we started out easy with a good breakfast (included in the price). We had fruits, eggs, coffee, potato and something else I can't remember and headed out around 11, with the guide from the previous day, Jay. Also present were Jarod (USA), who travels the world and teaches (mostly) English in S/SE Asia and Maynard from Minnesota, who chose to see the world after retiring, also hoping to escape the American bubble.
So on we went to Bakhtapur, Durbar square, and the temples. In continuation of yesterdays education, I learned about some hindu gods and their transports. Each of the 33 million gods has their own unique transportation, which can be anything. I have some trouble reconciling the fact that there's only a couple of thousand words that can be used for that. I guess you'll have to come up with very specific adjectives to achieve that. Like "a god that travels on a purple horse radish, hoovering 50cm above the ground, but not above water". Anyway, there's a lot of them. Shiva is the main one. Often depicted blue and larger-than-life. Then there's Ganesh, the elephant god and Garuda, the giant bird. If I remember correctly, Brahma in
the god of creation and Kali is the god of destruction. The more arms a god has, the more powerful it is. Same goes for heads. A two-headed god is smarter or more cunning than one with only one head.
At shrines and temples, there will usually be a couple of bells, that one can ring to announce their presence to the gods. Then there are a couple of godly depictions which will have some red paint / dust on them. The devotee will then put the red paint in their hair and/or get a blessing on their forehead (often self-applied). Westerners are normally not allowed in the holiest parts of the temple, on account of having had cow-meat, ever in their lives.
So, coming to Durbar square, we saw a lot of godly depictions and a golden door, that leads to the temple courtyard. Beyond the courtyard was also another bathing place for royalty. At the front of the temple, no photos were allowed. There was a army man, stationed there, to make sure that westerners didn't get in, photo's were not taken and hindu's that could go in, would not bring their shoes, bags and other
things that should not go in.
Walking back, we visited other parts of the square. like the big pagoda temple, that has not suffer any damage from the earthquake (obviously due to the special status and tantric healing magics). Got some nice photo's and we moved on to a paper-museum that was unmanned on saturday, but we could still see lark-tree-based paper drying in the sun. They use it for special cards and invitations mostly. A couple of times, I notice restaurants using this, for their menu's. Interesting how you are able to spot more details, with increased knowledge.
Finally, we had some good food on a rooftop terrace, walked the shopping streets and got back to the car. On the way back, Maynard and Jarod were dropped off at Pashtuprashtinat, the temple where the dead are cremated and we went to the monkey temple, of which you can see some shots below 😊
Oh, and there's also deshain coming up. It's the harvest feast, but instead of having lots of produce, they kill the animals they herded for meat.
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