Pat and I walked through Dubar Square, we had to pay to get in because we weren't Nepali. We got a super smart guide who I dubbed "asian-Alex" because he also dresses like a "sk8erboi gangster" and is a history nerd, but he calls himself Mr. D. Here is what I learnt:
1) Hanuman D'hoka is the name for Dubar Square where the statue of the Hunuman (God of Monkey - God of power and a hero) stands . The square belongs to cows and pigeons and is there to clean sin.
2) You go to jail for 20 years if you kill a cow
3) The word God supposedly means Generator, Operator, Destruction, which is a Hindu concept for Brahma the creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.
4) In Taleju Temple there is a Hindu Goddess who is chosen from a Buddhist family, she is selected if she does not get scared of the 108 chickens that are sacrificed around her. Kumari Ghar (living goddess) has been chosen since the 17th century. The chosen one is no longer a goddess when she receives her first major blood shed (usually her period) then she goes back to her family. They used to not be able to have kids but now they can. To be chosen she must have 32 physical requirements.
5) 108 is a sacred number, aside from the 108 slaughtered chickens, the bells sing 108 times at 9am.
6) Kathmandu is named after the wooden temple that stands at the middle of the square. It is 900 years old wood. It is the city of wood, built from one tree.
7) There is also a statue that Mr. D called the God of Justifications, he said that it was believed that if you said your truths there and burst in flames you were lying and if nothing happened you were telling the truth. They also built a police station right next to the statue.
8) Buddhism is NOT religion, its a philosophy of life! (I already knew that but incase some people didn't, don't mistake it!)
9) I also got to witness a monk graduation but could not understand the words in the ceremony.
After the Square I bought my sister Dana a Nepali game to bring her back for her birthday where these 4 lions have to eat all the sheep, or the sheep have t corner the lions, reminds me sort of like checkers. We also went to a gentleman who explained the mandala to us and what it represented. We had lunch on the roof of a building in the square where I ate the best club sandwich of my life with chicken, eggs sausage, cucumbers mmmmm. Love the food here.
SWAYAMBHUNATH (MONKEY TEMPLE):
Monkey temple has monkeys everywhere and dogs chasing them, it is just lovely. There were monks staying in a wing of the temple and I got to see their chanting rituals. The view from the mountain is the most breathtaking view ever, the Himalayans were in the background with a 360 degree view of the city in the forefront. Words and pictures cannot describe it so I just stood there and looked for as long as I possible could until I realized that there were not random artifacts that I was starring at. Thousands of years of history and things lead to this moment, I and everyone else I was looking at were just a split second snapshot in the grand scheme of things.
Later that night we taxied back to Thamel. I feared for my life because a car stopped a half inch from Pat's side of the door. Driving there is crazy! We ate a 5 course meal and a super fancy restaurant with dancing. Turns out a Nepali and a Brit will look at you funny if you ask for separate bills, either that is a Canadian thing or I have been rude to my customers at work all these years.
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