Day #4 - Pashupatinath Temple

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November 19th 2012
Published: November 19th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Early start today for a spot of World Heritage sightseeing in Kathmandu. Heading out to the eastern part of Kathmandu, we trundle through busy streets to the never-ending sound of honking horns and suicidal bike riders. First on the list is Pasupatinath Temple which is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath didnt you know. The temple is one of two sites close by which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The walk down the path to the temple is through a selection of stalls and hawkers selling anything from singling bowls to some kind of fiddle. Politely refusing all kinds of offers of goods, I make my way down to the beginning of the temple by the river. It was obvious early on this was a sight for public cremations, something I had read about in my guide book several times. There were a few fires being prepared for the enevitable event. Our guide provided a detailed account of the activities involved in the cremations, which to Westerners must seem very odd, but to the Nepalese is part of their culture.

Further on up the river we arrive at the main temple complex, with shades of the Cambodian temples in one of those Lara Croft movies. Monkeys roamed the temples and to the amusement of click happy tourists like myself. Living in the temple are some kind of priests - "Sadhu", which for a collection of notes from the tourists would let you take their pictures and play their guitar. These guys are the real deal. Elsewhere in the temple were locals dressed up in the same kind of gear and face adornment (with a striking resemblence to the Red Bull team colours) who were merely actors touting for cash from unsuspecting tourists. These we named the Saddoes, and they were fake, like many things you can buy in Kathmandu.

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