Nepal. Kathmandu. Boudhnath and Pashupatinath


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November 14th 2010
Published: February 27th 2011
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BoudhnathBoudhnathBoudhnath

too big to capture with my simple camera
November 14

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.


Boudhnath

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

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 it is.




Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


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DSC03830DSC03830
DSC03830

this picture might reveal the greatness of Stupa
Water Offerings to GodWater Offerings to God
Water Offerings to God

they offer water because it's a simple gift, available both to the rich and the poor
PashupatinathPashupatinath
Pashupatinath

a large complex of many different buildings, stone temples, etc.


28th February 2011

Nepalese Cultural Traditions
Dear All ! You can read this respected writting about Pashupatinath and Baudha in Nepal. Nepal is a country sandwiched between China and India. Because of its geo-political situation, Nepal's sovereignty has always been very sensitive. Nepal is rich culturally and naturally. Nepal is the pious Hindu country in the lapse of the Himalayas, which is beautiful, quiet, the birth place of Buddha and origin of Hinduism. Lord Buddha is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu- the Hindu God. Besides being the country of Everest it is equally popular with its diverse cultural values. This is the land where civilization began and is also known as the country of 'SANGRILA.' Nepal is as holy place to Hindus & Buddhists, as Mecca for Muslims and Jerusalem to Jews and Christians. interplay of peoples and their religious traditions has produced a rich fusion of Hindu and Buddhist faiths. It is common for both Hindus and Buddhists to worship at the same shrine, for many gods and saints are cross-over, often known by a different name but holding the same attributes. The original inhabitants of the valley were animists, a tradition which survives in the multitude of spirits, demons, local deities, and stones which receive dutiful worship to this day. Hindu and Buddhist traditions adapted from the pre-existing animist practices and from each other. Indeed, in the medieval period, when both religions' practice adopted mystical, Tantric traditions, they were almost indistinguishable from each other. Nepal's History and Religions Nepal is a rich and complex mix of different cultures and traditions, melded over thousands of years into a unique whole. For the western traveler there is much that is familiar, and many surprises. Family and religion are of paramount importance, and are constantly reflected throughout the culture. Nepal moves to a different rhythm than the West. The notes here are meant only to tantalize you into visiting this amazing place. Hindu culture and traditions have a long history spanning over a period of thousands and thousands of years and, developed over several eras. They remain indispensable to the lives of Hindus and Hindu Temples today as sources of religious practices, spiritual inspiration, cultural expression, and social bonding. They bind all Hindus together irrespective of the regional and ethnic diversity. Prithvi Narayan Shah, the unifier of Nepal is the pride of Nepal. It was almost 100 years before unification of Germany (1868), Italy (1868), and the restoration of the Meiji (Japan, 1868) in which America was also under British dependency, that Prithvi Narayan Shah had already unified (1768) 54 small fiefdoms to build a large, expanded and greater Nepal. But after the movement of April 2006 and the party leaders Congress, UML and Maoists came to power they smashed the statue of the great King, contempt and insulted him and called off the birth anniversary of the late king as a day of national unity. Why? A country's existence and prestige can gradually be eroded by finishing off its faith and belief tradition and culture and the creator of nation. If anyone wants the assurance of integrity and lasting peace in this country, one must not be confused about the country's century's old customs and religion prestige as well as the builder of nationality and unity. Having diverse cohesive communities, Nepal has built up as a nation in a long historical process. Nepal was worthy to be bowed down by Hindus all over the world. This is the highest honor Nepal could receive from the international community. Nepal's prestige and honor would elevate further if this country is declared as "Hindu and Buddhist" country, instead of a secular state. But, at present why the peaceful country where Lord Buddha was born has become the venue of confrontations? The main causes of the crisis is the abolishing our culture and traditions. Some are going to abolish the creations of Prithbinarayan Shah and to destroy his statute. Hindu and Buddhas both are the original assets of Nepal. According to Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics, signs of Hindu religion are even found in the present Islamic country like Iran. A stone scripture of 486 BC found in Iran contains the words Hindu and Hindus. Even an ancient Parsi scripture 'Shatir' has lifted a word of Ved Vyas 'I am a true Hindu born in a Hindu country'. Another Hindu philosopher Manu has taken the area between Bindhya in south India and the Himalayas in the north as Aryabrata, the land of Aryans. Even outside travelers like Megasthaniz and Fai Han have written in their travel memoirs after their visit of the Kingdom of Chandra Gupta Maurya that Hindus have tall figure, long life, healthy, who avoid narcotics, simple, intelligent, truthful, who do not keep witness in transactions, do not lock their houses and there is no theft. So, in the evolutionary process of the world's civilization, Hindu philosophy is taken as liberal, simple and tolerant. A Nepali Scholar Mr. Dinbandhu Aryal expains –'Hinduism is the sum and substance of the traditional humane cordiality. The African leader Nelson Mandella was impressed from Vedas, legends and Upanishads. He wanted to be converted Hindu for that purpose he wanted to perform penance or provide donation if necessary. He would be gratified and feel fortunate' Hinduism is the most liberal and tolerant of religions. How can the oldest and most liberal of religions be thrown away just like that? No religion (and certainly not Hinduism & Buddhism) should be made a political issue. Because of this unique heritage and culture, Nepal has been contributing an ingenuity of resolving its conflicts and differences. Why the culprit leaders of (Congress,UML & Maoists) party didn't try to understand the sentiments of the people? It is the main duty for all the leaders to care the basic norms and values of the nation. But, by declaring Nepal a secular state & republic, the visionless party leaders have done just that: tried to put together the unmixable, which could be dangerous for the stabilized Nepali society. No one has right to trample believe and conviction of the people rights. The Hindus have the freedom to pursue their own way of observing the religion. If Nepal is to be declared a secular country, all countries, which call themselves as Christian or Muslim countries should also be declared secular countries. If they want Nepal to become a secular country, then they should also be willing to shun their 'Cross' of the Christians, 'sign of David of the Jews and 'Kava' of Muslims. However, it needs to be pondered that even if Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom, its nature was like a secular country as Hindus have never done anything that would harass or trouble other religions. The Hindus and the Buddhists are more than three billions. It is a scared land for more than a billion Hindus and Buddhists. So, it is our request not to exercise in ineffectiveness. In the name of transforming the country into ‘New Nepal’ this is not the way to destroy our culture and traditions. 'OM' is a symbol of Vedic Knowledge. Hindus, Buddhist's Mantra. It provides a fine example of Symbolism. Symbolism is needed in all fields of human knowledge like science, religion and politics. Spoken sounds of words are expressed as Alphabets and Numbers with Symbols by writing. 'OM' and 'OM Mani Padme Hum' is a language of Sanskrit. It is universe. So, we should have to think independently and have to come to our own conclusion. Nepalese nationalism has evolved and been consolidated more through social and cultural exchanges than conflicts. Nepalese monarchy has been offering balance role among the miscellaneous communities, castes and religions. So, to keep intact our sovereignty, indigenous cultural assets there should have to reinstate our monarchy. Thank you. Please reply me. Dirgha Raj Prasai Political & Cultural Analyst-Kathmandu,Nepal Email: dirgharajprasai@gmail.com
28th February 2011

Thank you very much for your comment; I must say that I respect Nepali culture very much, and I'm learing the Nepali language, and I am very eager to learn more about its culture when I come there next time. I never argue about religion, because I am not a religious man (this does not mean that I do not believe in God, I simply prefer not to talk about it). As for my story about Boudhnath and Pashupati, and also about the other places, it is only a story about my own impressions. I completely agree with you that Nepalese sovereignity and cultural traditions must be kept intact. But this issues should be solved by Nepalese people and the government, and not by tourists; and tourists will of course respect the country and its traditions.
28th February 2011

Wow very beautiful....
Nice blog,nice information shared... If have interest in travel so please come india, here see indian culture,national parks,indian wildlife each and everything in india. for more information visit on our site:http://www.royalindiantour.com/
28th February 2011

I do want to visit India. For several years I was learning the hindi language and it was my favourite. I am planning to start learning it again soon. I will go to Delhi perhaps for several days. But your country is very big, and it requires much time to visit. thank you

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