First Sunday in Nepal

Given that it is Sunday, we were up and about very early this morning!  We actually left the hotel just before 8.00am and were taken by two of the restaurant staff to Pashupatinath – Nepal’s most important Hindu temple which stands on the bank of the holy Bagmati river.  It is surrounded by a bustling market of maily religious stalls selling marigolds, Prasad, incense, rudraksha beads, conch shells, pictures of Hindu deities etc etc.  In religious terms it is seen as a powerhouse of Hindu spiritual power and here the God Pashupati, the Lord of the Beasts is celebrated.  Devotees of Shiva come from all over the subcontinent to worship here and many Nepalis choose to be cremated here on the banks of the river. The former Kings of Nepal used to come here for a blessing before commencing any important journey.  Apparently Pashupatinath is the Nepalese equivalent of Varanasi on the Ganges.  Only members of the royal family can be cremated directly in front of the temple and 5 members of the last royal family were cremated here after the massacre in 2001.

Today was like our Remembrance Sunday, when Hindus remember their dead, and there were tens of thousands of them processing up and down the Ghats – long twisting stone or wooden stairways to the various small temples scattered across the hillside.  Monkeys were in evidence picking over the nuts, seeds and flowers that the people scatter everywhere, and there were also herds of deer on the hillside and cattle, goats and chickens wandering through the crowds.  We saw no other western Europeans in the hour and a half we were there, but no-one seemed bothered by our presence and we were pushed and shoved in the huge crowds just like everyone else!  It was an amazing experience to be a part of it all – one we will remember for a long time.

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One Response to “First Sunday in Nepal”

  1. Chris Hawthorne Says:

    Hi Meg,
    WE went up to M/cr yesterday and Mum was delighted to see us. We took the bag with her Autumn Fayre stuff in & she was delighted with your offereings. I put a coathook on the bathroom door at a lower level which I hope she will cope with better.

    Janet phoned me – she couldn’t / can’t get on a blog either. I needed to ask an ‘expert’ at college to explain that you have to log on through the main text box NOT google or Yahoo or as an email. Maybe, if you’re low on viewers, your friends don’t known how to log on either.

    Sunny, cold and variable weather here. Another week is about to begin – I hope you enjoy your teaching. I’m sure the buzz will soon grab you. What is the food like? Are you coping and how’s your health.

    Take care.

    Love,

    ChrisX

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