Monday, November 27, 2017


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Today we're driving from Kathmandu to the hill town of Nagarkot -- a 32 km (20 mi) drive that takes over 2 hours (not counting stops in Pashupatinath and Bhaktapur).

Our first stop was the nearby Pashupatinath temple complex. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the main temple, but are allowed on the grounds. There is plenty to see. Saturday is the national day off in Nepal (Sunday is a regular work and school day), so the area was quite crowded.

Western sensibilities might be surprised (or alarmed) by seeing the swastika and 6-pointed star ("Star of David") side-by-side, but both are important symbols of good fortune in Hinduism.
The streets entering the complex sell all sorts of religious essentials and souvenirs.
Independent priests sell their services on the side of the road.
The cremation ghats in front of the Pashupatinath Temple along the Bagmati River are the most important in Nepal. We were able to see three active cremations, one body being ritually prepared for cremation, and two more bodies "in the queue". The whole scene was fascinating.
On the other bank of the river are more ghats (not used for cremations) and a series of Shiva shrines.
Looking down the line of Shiva shrines.
More temples/shrines -- mostly to Shiva.
The east side of the river also has a number of stone platforms for performing religious rituals.
A priest reads the newspaper while waiting.
A ceremony in progress.
At the end of the ghats, unburned wood is recovered for use in another cremation.

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