|Main Stupa (enlarge by clicking picture to see the eyes)|
|This Monkey is Drinking Upside Down|
|2 Smaller Stupas at the Site|
|Steep Staircase Up|
|A Monk With His Offerings|
|A Total of 7 Elephants in This Carving, (4 On This Side)|
While I admired the Gurkha knives, Carol bought a hand carved camel bone depicting 7 elephants and an Om, a sacred symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism.
1953 was the year Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norway Sherpa reached the summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal. We sought out the statue honoring those 2 men. It was a nice photo op.
|Chopping 2 Meters Off the Front|
On the way to the Stupa of Boudhanath, the largest Stupa in South Asia, we saw houses and buildings and shops being chopped by 2 meters. The road was being ‘widened’ and every building along the road lost 2 meters off the front. Just imagine taking 6 feet off the entire front of your house.
The Boudhanath Stupa is a holy place, especially for the Tibetan community. After the 1959 takeover of Tibet by China many Buddhist Tibetans settled in and around Kathmandu. The Boudhanath Stupa was already a special place in their religion, representing, from the sky, a Mandala. Symbolism abounds within the structure. We were not allowed inside, we tourists could only walk around the periphery and that was OK with us. There are many shops surrounding the Stupa and on the small side streets.
One building near the Stupa was a
school for artisans, in particular the painting of Mandalas. A Mandala is a
Buddhist representation of the Universe. Mandalas are produced with sand or flowers
or are painted. Very small details are incorporated into one of those
paintings. Each part of the ‘Universe’ depicting the many aspects of life, with the center being the
goal of existence, the state of total bliss, of understanding, of wisdom and
compassion. Some Mandalas are used as visual mantras during meditations,
others, especially the sand and flower Mandalas, after their lengthy creation
are destroyed to show that nothing is permanent. Mandalas are teaching
meditative and spiritual. I always liked those, so…. I bought one; to be framed
and to keep, not to destroy.
|My Mandala - Example of Miniature Painting|
|Enlarge to See the Incredible Detail in this Mandala|
After all this sight-seeing we had built up an appetite and on the program was a show of native dancing, drink and food. We took a bicycle rickshaw to the venue and our bicycle rider was a bit older (40?). He had trouble transporting us on his rig. His breathing was labored and he coughed sometimes. The air in Kathmandu is terrible. Even if physically fit, smog and dust are not healthy to breathe.
|Our Rickshaw Ride|
The dancing, explosive, sometimes with humor, mostly, though danced in group setting, no solos. What did I think of the music; Drums, flutes and ‘medieval’ sounding.