Wednesday, May 6, 2015

KATHMANDU VALLEY AS IT WAS

Line of Stupas
Stupa on the way to the forbidden parts of Kathmandu
As our guide would tell us, you cannot separate Nepal from Buddhism. This is true. Do you see the trails of steepled structures? Those are Buddhist offerings called stupa. I had never heard of them before and my own father is Buddhist. The structures lined Kathmandu in varying forms, from basic stone carvings to the dramatic structure with eyes - those are the eyes of Buddha watching you. They are all stupa. You will walk across pathways that are for stupa and holy structures alone. 
Stupas
Kathmandu is overcrowded, and that is putting it mildly. Moving from the rural areas where most people are from and into the city center is a proper shock. Hiking was a paradise. You would meet no one for miles and you would wander around places only locals ever saw. Returning to Kathmandu was the opposite of that experience. All these people barely fit into the city and simply navigating your way down streets was an adventure. So many people, such insufficient resources, and yet so much land went to stupa.
Stupa temple
The eyes of Buddha
Here is the main stupa for one of the largest Buddhist temples in Kathmandu. Tiny people are at the base of it, so you can get a sense of scale. At the top, the eyes of Buddha.All stupas
Walking through here, alongside the Hindu offerings, the stupa, and the associated animals, was divine. You can't see it, but there are animal carvings in front of some structures, because some Hindu gods have an associated animal.
Stupas to gods

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