Friday, April 9, 2010

Sight Seeing in Kathmandu Nepal, Part one

After breakfast we had a long discussion about our travel plans for the following day. My friends the Neupane's came from a small mountain village in the Rasuwa district. Some of you might recognize them from my stories, 'Dream a World of Good.' I had a plan to donate some books to their village school on this trip and they wanted to treat me to an extra excursion to Tatopani which they told me may be the highest elevation for natural hot springs in the world.

After planning, their son, Belief, showed us all over the Kathmandu valley beginning with a Shrine right next to their home. There are little shrines all over the valley. I have been told that less than 50 years ago there were more shrines than people in the valley.

When I lived in Japan there was a clear distinction between Temples and Shrines, Temples/Buddhist, Shrines/Shinto. Here in Nepal, there seems to be a great sharing of beliefs and it is difficult to tease one religion from the other. To say 'shrine' implies that something is being enshrined. Often I find what is being enshrined are the holy relics of the Buddhist tradition in their stupas.

Don't forget to click on these photos and really explore the detail in the artwork.

Below is Saraswati, the goddess of learning, music and poetry, revered by Brahmans and Buddhists alike.

Winged Lion Guardian

Temple Door, Cheppu, the disembodied head, is both brave and truthful. He guards the doors to shrines. Around the door are dragons, symbols of sacred wisdom, and crocodiles, water deities.
To the right of the door on the wall is Nag Kanya, rain givers and guardians of water. You might remember that 'nag' means snake.

Making an offering

View from the temple

Playing at the temple on a Saturday.

Images of the different aspects of Buddha with and offering in front. Bells are rung to get the deities attention for worship.


  1. An interesting and beautiful location. So nice you were given a tour by your friends from the village school. The detail and design of the shrines are remarkable. Nepal seems so different. But I can guess there are many friendly people even if their culture is different.

    By the way, I truly like the haiku of white falling feathers on your sidebar.

  2. I've so enjoyed this personal tour around Kathmandu, i'm happy to see it's okay to photograph the temples, Buddhas and other holy objects (maybe some are off limits?). The detail is incredible, it's easy to see all the attention and care that goes into everything.
    I'm going to go back and look at everything again. Thank you for sharing.

  3. These are just fantastic. Thanks for posting, Butternut!

  4. such a different land
    I can almost feel the air as I look at your images. Thank you for sharing.

  5. butternut i really appreciate your sharing these amazing places here. i am very drawn to the image of saraswati and i am wondering if the bells are rung and then why? steven

  6. Dear Leenie, I find friendly people all over the world. Even in places where they don't like our governmnent, people will still say that they like the American people.

    Dear Lori Ann, Some of the Hindu Temples are off limits to non-Hindus. At the very least you would have to remove all of your leather items before you could enter. On this journey, I saw into Pashupatinath temple. Amazing! I will describe it in a later post.

    Dear Steven, I know why you like Saraswati. She is your kind of goddess. Temple bells are rung to call your deity and let them know that you are there to worship them. I hear lots of bells ringing early in the morning all over Nepal. Women go nearly every day to pray for the health and well being of their families. Men go as well, but I see more women early in the day.

  7. One day I will get to Nepal
    now I'll just have to explore it though your words and pictures.