So after another crazy week at school I of course could not find the time to post until now -and after being home from Nepal for three weeks I am finally going to wrap up our trip . . .
Our last day in Nepal was Christmas Day. We decided to take a tour of the city and see all the major Hindu and Buddhist temples. It was pretty crazy because we hit up all the major religions on Christmas – we started the morning celebrating Christmas, explores major Hindu and Buddhist sites, and then flew home to the UAE and the sound of the Muslim call to prayer!
Here was our Christmas morning in Nepal:
We then headed back down the mountain for the last time. Nagarkot was a great place to stay but it was now time to explore Kathmandu. Kathmandu is very polluted and its hard to breathe. Just spending the day there made Scott and I sick for a couple days. I’m so glad we decided to just spend the day there and not spent multiple days there. Even from the mountain we hiked in Nagarkot we could see a cloud of grey and green pollution surrounding Kathmandu.
Our first stop on our exploration of Kathmandu was Durbar Square, very similar to Bhaktapur Durbar Square that we had seen the day before. In the square are various Hindu temples, many of which are still used and closed off to people who are not Hindu.
What you see strung from top of the stupa are prayer flags. These prayer flags carry prayers to the heavens and shower blessings below. The colors represent earth’s elements and so, as the color fades due to earth’s elements, new prayer flags are put up – this symbolizes the changes in life and its cycles.
After spending two hours here and feeling very peaceful we thought it was time to go to our last stop – Pashupatinath. It is a Hindu holy site where many bodies are cremated and their ashes laid in the Bagmati River which flows into the Ganges. Over 75% of Nepalese people living in the Kathmandu valley are cremated here. Also in this holy site in a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is the only place where you can see a depiction of the face of Lord Shiva. Because we are not Hindu we were not allowed inside the temple but we were allowed to walk around the surrounding areas of the temple:
Here are some shots from the surrounding area . . .
After leaving Pashupatinath we wandered around the Thamel area until it was time to take a taxi to the airport and head home. Thamel is a really great place for tourists – filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels. And our day would not have been complete if we had not ran into Santa Clause on Christmas: