KATHMANDU VISIT A DAY IN KATHMANDU
an official French speaking Nepalese tourist guide,
all entrances to parks and museums,
transport, private minibus, …
PROGRAM OF KATHMANDU VISIT DAY
Departure from the hotel at 8 am and direction Pashupatinath
Pashupatinath is a hotbed of cremation.
After half dipping the corpse in the river, the eldest son of the deceased ignites the body by introducing fire by the mouth. Subsequently, the ashes are scattered in the waters of the Bagmati to reach the sacred waters of the Ganges.
On the left bank of the river, there are sanctuaries sheltering lingam (phallic symbol), which symbolize the procreative aspect of Shiva. They are associated with complementary elements, the yoni (symbol of the female sex), in the shape of a cube.
After this visit, we head to Boudhanath. we win the stupa of Boudhanath, mainly frequented by Tibetans. This imposing monument, the largest Buddhist sanctuary in Nepal, radiates a feeling of calm and power at the same time.
The crowd runs along the stupa in a clockwise direction, turning the “prayer wheels”. These cylinders contain rolls of paper sheets or cloth ribbons, on which is written the mantra “Aum mani padme hum!” (“Glory to the jewel in the lotus flower”).
The setting in motion of the mill is equivalent to the recitation of the psalmody. We visit a monastery, built near the stupa where we admire large statues of Buddha and Bodhisattva, as well as murals depicting the life of Buddha.
Our guide explains the different mudra, (codified gestures); the position of Buddha’s hands suggests an attitude: meditation, compassion, taking the Earth to witness, etc.
Bhaktapur, former capital Malla, we will visit the monastery of Shechen.
In Bhaktapur the “palace of fifty-five Windows” presents windows of different size and shape, all finely worked.
The Sundhoka Gate (Golden Gate), allowing entry to the worship parts of the palace, is one of the latest achievements of Newar art. It is surmounted by the effigy of the goddess Tuleja Bhawani. It is a beautiful work hammered copper, gold.
Also on the Durbar Square, we discover the erotic scenes carved on the wooden props of the temple of Pashupatinath.
On the Taumadhi Tole Main Square stands the five-storey Nyatapola Temple dedicated to the Great Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. It is reached by a staircase lined with statues representing beings of increasing strength: wrestlers, elephants.
In the square of Tachupal Tole is the temple of Dattatreya, dedicated to the three Hindu deities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma). Today is the women’s party (teej). All radiant, draped in their red saris, they carry their offerings (flowers, fruits, rice, earth, red powder …) consecrated by the brahman and deposit them in the temple, in honor of Shiva. They wish long life and prosperity to their husbands.
In the afternoon, we wander the streets of Bhaktapur. We stop in front of some houses with wooden doors and windows worked.Bhaktapur is a city of potters. The pottery is cooked in ovens covered with clay and straw, then dried in the sun on large squares.One of us, being interested in Nepalese paper, made from the daphne, Saïla takes us to discover a craft factory. The official paper of Nepal is a white craft paper.
We end with a visit to a Thangka workshop (“thing that is unrolled” in Tibet), traditional paintings depicting Buddhist deities. The painter draws the characters on a cotton canvas most often, then paints it with pigments dissolved in water and added a colloidal substance
Patan is an essentially Buddhist city. Many monasteries are built in the city, including the Golden Temple called “Kwa Bâhâ”.In a small square, out of the way, stands the temple of Mahabuddha or temple of Thousand Buddhas, covered with terracotta tiles.
In the afternoon, we walk through the streets of Patan. This city is known for its Newar goldsmiths. We observe craftsmen making or polishing Buddha statues. Our guide explains that for a statuette ordered to be valuable, the lama must, before closing his base, introduce sacred texts, mantras, and other precious objects for the family.
Then we go to Patan Museum, a marvel. Statues of Hindu or Buddhist deities, in gilded copper and bronze, are exhibited: Indra (the God of the Gods), Dipankara (the Buddha of the Past), Sakyamuni (the Buddha of the Present), Amoghasiddhi (the Buddha of the Future).
At noon we will stop at a Nepali restaurant, where we taste the momos, steamed meat pies or a Dal Bath, white rice (bhat) and a bowl of lentil soup (dal) decorated with a vegetable curry (tarkari).