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Published: February 27th 2011
too big to capture with my simple camera
On this day I was to have a guided excursion to Boudhnath and Pashupatinath, the price of it was included into the cost of the trip. There was a guide for me and a car with driver. This day was the last day before the trek, so I was rather excited, if not very.
It was warm in Kathmandu during all my stay. The sun shone most of the time, but in the evenings, when I went to the hotel’s third-floor open-air restaurant, it felt a bit chilly. Sitting there, waiting for the food, and looking at the airplanes flying by... I must confess the trip to Kathmandu and Annapurna Base Camp has been the most exciting so far.
The excursion started at 9 o’clock in the morning and the two places were among the best I ever saw in my life. Both of them are located within Kathmandu and can be easily reached. Both are highly esteemed religious sites. Boudhnath is in the Unesco’s World Heritage List.
The guide was a young man of the same age as myself, and he talked not perfect English, but I could understand him very
well; I do not speak perfect English myself. He asked me some questions about Russia while we were driving, and named the Russians familiar to him, such as Arshavin, Maria Sharapova, Putin and Medvedev, and also Stalin and Lenin. He asked me to share my opinion about Lenin but I told that I’d rather not, because I’m not very good at history and refrain from making remarks on what was good and what was bad. He also wondered if I was married and when I said no, he joked about my getting married to Maria Sharapova, and this was rather funny, I laughed. People in Nepal usually were a bit shocked to hear that Russia is a very cold country and there is much snow.
The impression left on me after visiting Boudhnath is not easy to describe; I just felt completely satisfied and amazed by what I saw. They in Nepal have such a variety of bright colours and their buildings are not in the least like buildings I saw in Russia or in Europe. It’s Asia, it does look completely different. Tourists have to pay entrance fee.
I learned many things about
Buddhism, prayer wheels (we went inside a temple and spun a big prayer wheel), prayer flags (their different colours represent the different elements, and the wind blows to deliver the wishes to God), the different manifestations of God etc. Most of all I liked the philosophy of the Wheel of Life, depicted inside one of the buildings. The circle represents various stages of human life and explains why the suffering is caused. Each part of the wheel has some significance and I was amazed how complex the seemingly simple picture was. I wish I could free myself from the carnal pleasures and live in more accord with the Universe and have a stricter defined meaning of life and remove all the evil from the world. This last is silly, of course. We made a walk round the Stupa and then returned to the car to drive to Pashupati.
Pashupatinath is a different place, completely different from Boudhnath. What I saw there was leprosy, cremation and smoke, monkeys, many stone temples, and saints dressed in orange clothes.
Lepers sit on stone pavements and beg for money and their feet look like lumps of rotten meat,
I was not looking too long at it. Cremation does not look so sad from a distance, and the body is not seen. The corpses lay prepared for cremation wrapped in orange cloth. The river, flowing through the complex, is dirty.
Saints, peculiar-looking old people in orange robes, as the guide told me, do not eat anything for the whole day and sleep inside the small stone temples which are abundant there. I was too shy to take a picture of them.
I also saw many monkeys doing their own business. I’ve read that one has to be careful with them because they may steal things and carry rabies. On one of the river banks there are rocks and some people live inside these rocks. Hermits, I guess. Non-Nepalis are not admitted to the main temple of Pashupati. Please find more accurate information about that; I’m not delivering facts like that.
It one the whole, a sad impression pursued me in Pashupati, as opposed to the beauty and brightness of Boudhnath.
When I had the first, now deleted, version of the text, it was not so primitive as this one. However, there
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