Nepalese authorities have stated in the last week that many of their ancient monuments and temples may have to be demolished due to the extent of the recent damage suffered. MB visited Nepal in October 2012. He saw many temples within Kathmandu and all left their mark.
The Pashupatinath Temple sits on the banks of the holy Bagmati River and is the location of numerous funeral pyres throughout each & every day as bodies are burnt and their ashes thrown into the river. Hindus believe in reincarnation on the path to Nirvana so the funeral service of dipping the feet of the dead body into the holy river and burning the body using timber and straw is generally not a sad occasion.
The Palace and other ancient structures at Durbar Square are also an amazing sight. The square the home to the Kumari Devi – a living Goddess selected by a rigorous process from prepubescent girls of a particular cast. The Kumari is considered to embody the divine female energy of Hindu beliefs. After her first mensuration she is dismissed and a new Kumari is appointed.
Of equal magnitude and importance is the Swayambhunath Temple which is more commonly known to visiting tourists as the Monkey Temple. The monkeys are considered holy, but they are extremely unholy in the behaviour, which can involve grabbing food from unsuspecting tourists. Every 30 minutes or so one is guaranteed to hear the screams of some female tourist who has just suffered yet another unsuspected ‘monkey attack’! The temple sits on one of the highest points in Kathmandu and offers great views of the ancient city. Kestrel birds swoop overhead looking for prey amongst the trees and foliage of the slopes of the hill on which the temple complex and various ancillary structures are constructed.
At all temples, and on the highest slopes you will climb throughout Nepal you will come across Bhuddist prayer flags. They are always arranged in a certain order and represent the five elements: sky & space (blue), air & wind (white), fire (red), water (green), and earth (yellow).
Thoughts and prayers for the Nepalese.