Namaste Nepal or Hello Nepal!!!
I only learned one Nepali word that I could speak while visiting Kathmandu city this trip. But today is the first day for city tour, we bought the tour package to visit 4 well-known temples all of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites!!!
The map shows the ordered of our travels for the “City Tour”…the tour started at 9am, the local tour guide and the driver picked up us at the Shangri-la hotel. It’s a nice day, not too cold or too hot…
Start at No.1 Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple).
It’s a long climb to the top, but worth it to see Kathmandu Valley’s oldest and most sacred shrine. The admission fee is 200 Rupees (or $2). Swayambhunath is about 3 Km away from Kathmandu city central.
The site has two access points: a long stairway (365 steps) leads directly to the main platform of the temple with a central stupa. The tour guide told me that this is the oldest stupa in Nepal.
The stupa is a round, white domed stupa, like a full solid skirt, at the top of which were two giant Buddha eyes (all seeing) wisely looking out over the peaceful valley…
It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are “holy” monkeys living in parts of the temple! Many monkeys can be found surrounding the stupa and the temple steps, and the surrounding grounds… Get ready to start shopping when you get to the top! Lots of paintings and touristy stuff up there!
Next No.2 Patan, a major province of Kathmandu located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley, about 5 Km away. The addmission is 500 Rupees ($6).
It is best known for its rich cultural heritage as City of Beauty and City of Fine Arts, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue.
The erotic temple contains some sexual or erotic carving outside the temple. The carvings depict sex between deities, human and maybe animal!!!
While the sexual nature of these carvings have caused the site to be referred to as the Kamasutra book.
Don’t be amazed if you see so many erotic carving are selling in the shop in Kathmandu city… Oh, and there’s shopping here too!
Then Pashupatinath Temple – Temple of Living Beings, the admission fee is 200 Rupees ($2.5)
While entrance to the temple is allowed for Hindus only, the surrounding forest area provides a great area to explore!
The Pashupatinath temple located on the banks of the Bagmati River , about 5 km away from Kathmandu city.
The Bagmati River, which runs next to the Pashaputinath Temple has highly sacred properties. Thus the banks are lined with many ghats (bathing spots) for use by pilgrims.
The Bagmati river will flow to merge with “Ganga” and “Ganga River”in India is the most sacred river to Hindus.
Pashupatinath is the site of numerous cremation ghats (platforms), where corpses are cremated atop piles of wood and straw…
The tourists are allowed to stay the other side of temple only…but it’s really closed enough to see the cremation!!!
There are so many monkeys at this temple as well, and you will meet Saddhus (or holy men) but barter first before you take their photo…just like my picture, it costs about 100 rupees for both of the saddhus…
No shopping here, but an interesting spot to look around.
Last (4) Boudhanath…the admission is 200 Rupees or $2.5.
Bouddhanath Stupa lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world!!!
There are so many player flags around the stupa (read our trip to Dashinkali where we did the player flags on top of hill…)
Remember to walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction and also to spin the prayer wheels clockwise…
A LOT of shopping here!!!! It’s set up all the way around the temple!
End of the city tour for today about 3pm – (we didn’t stop for lunch as we were full from breakfast!)…
Summary cost for today:
Tour package for 2 pax = $55 included local English speaking tour guide, the driver and nice small car
The admission fee for 4 temples = $14 (each)
Tips guide($10) and driver ($5) = $15
Totally the minimum cost for today is $49 per person!!!
Still time for shopping in Thamel area for tonight!
Date travelling: 23 Dec 2012
Read all the trips in Nepal at: http://www.somethingjam.com/jammin-south-east-asia/nepal