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February 1st 2008
Published: February 6th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

Loved this place. Living in Delhi, some days you feel insignificant in a city of 20 million people. You begin to get a little cynical because someone is always trying to sell you something or get the better of you.

Kathmandu didn't feel so impersonal. Maybe because there were not as many hungry people and peddlers approaching you. You could settle down a little and let down your shield.

Our friend Ira who lives in Nepal, took us for a walk in the Thamel area on the evening of our arrival. The Thamel area has many skinny streets with charming shops and restaurants. There was food and music from around the world all within walking distance of each other. In Delhi, you need a car to go between shops and destinations. Here you walk a few blocks and you have 10 different food choices from around the world.

There are many shops offering different kinds of Nepalese arts and crafts and clothing at reasonable prices. You are going to love this place.

"The earliest known inscription in the Kathmandu Valley is dated 185 AD. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,992 years
Flight to NepalFlight to NepalFlight to Nepal

First time in business class for Kim and Dan.
old. Four stupas around the city of Patan said to have been erected by Charumati, attest to the ancient history present within the valley. ... The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kaasthamandap. In Sanskrit, Kaasth means wood and Mandap means covered shelter. This unique temple, also known as Maru Sattal, was built in 1596 A.D. by King Narsingh Malla. The entire structure contains no iron nails or supports and is made entirely from wood. Legend has it that the timber used for this two story pagoda was obtained from a single tree." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathmandu

"Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the area of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is located about 11 km (7 miles) from the centre of Kathmandu, Nepal on the northeastern outskirts of the city. Its platform is a massive mandala and it is the largest spherical stupa in Nepal. It was built in about the 5th Century AD." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudhanath

"The Kumari is a living goddess in Nepal. Kumari literally means virgin in Nepali and was the name of the goddess Durga as a child. A Kumari is a prepubescent girl selected from the Shakya caste of the
The KumariThe KumariThe Kumari

The home of the female child god.
Nepalese Newari community. The Kumari is revered and worshipped by some of the country's Hindus as well as the Nepali Buddhists, though not the Tibetan Buddhists. While there are several Kumaris throughout Nepal, the best known is the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, and she lives in the Kumari Ghar, a palace in the center of the city. The selection process for her is especially rigorous. The current Royal Kumari, Preeti Shakya, was installed on July 10, 2001 at the age of four. A Kumari is believed to be the bodily incarnation of the goddess Taleju until she menstruates, after which it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury are also causes for her to revert to common status." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumari

Our guide said that it was bad luck to marry the Kumari. Hmmm. I wonder why? She is worshiped by millions from a young age and all but forgotten when she gets her first period. Do you think she has any perspective on life? You might as well marry Paris Hilton.

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Kath and JenKath and Jen
Kath and Jen

The 4 of us were the only people in Business Class.

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