March 27-30th, Nepal
By the time we arrived in Nepal I was burned out on temples, stupas and religious monuments. This was totally unfair to Nepal, which has an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, several of which we saw. I was also still suffering from Delhi Belly for the first couple of days which did nothing to help matters.
I did however immediately notice that Nepal was cleaner, quieter, and calmer than the places we had visited in Northern India. There was less desperation in the voices of the sellers and fewer beggars.
Instead of trying to capture every building from sixteen different angles I focused (literally) on faces and smaller architectural details.
Perhaps in the days to come I will revisit the pictures I took and attempt to do more justice to the culturally important monuments. But in the meantime, here is my summation of Nepal in faces, places, mountains and the Living Goddess Kumari.
The Faces of Nepal
Well, really this should be labeled a tiny taste of some of the architecture, structure and forms. However that did not rhyme with faces, so please humor me.
The Himalayan mountain range is home to the tallest peak on earth, Mt. Everest. There are over 100 mountain peaks here that exceed 23,000 feet in elevation! Several members of our group set out early one morning and took an airplane ride to view them. They got a crystal clear view and reported back that it was one of the highlights of the trip for them. We had debated whether or not to go, and sadly decided not to join them. This is as close as we got with them barely visible behind us.
The drive up into the mountains did allow us to see some of the terraced farming in the area.
I had heard about Kumari, but did not realize that we would be going to visit her home on Durbar Square. About every 6-10 years a pubescent girl is selected to be the Kumari or Living Goddess. I hope you have the time to read about the ritual, selection process and life of the Kumari that can be found by clicking on the above link.
We were fortunate to be allowed a short audience with her where she appeared in the window above our heads. They made it VERY clear that no photography was allowed. It was a unique cultural experience
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the many people who willingly allow me to take their picture. If possible I ask before clicking, but sometimes the opportunity occurs suddenly and I quickly take a shot to capture a moment.