Kathmandu photos

Kathmandu should be the most interesting and surprising tourist city in the world. There’s something astonishing around every corner.

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Shame it’s so polluted. So disorganized. :-(

see the last of my high resolution Kathmandu photos

Patan in Kathmandu

Patan, Kathmandu … was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs or mounds on the perimeter of Patan are ascribed around, one at each corner of its cardinal points, which are popularly known as Asoka Stupas. Legend has it that Emperor Asoka (the legendary King of India) visited with his daughter Charumati to Kathmandu in 250 BC and erected five Asoka Stupas, four in the surrounding and one at the middle of the Patan. The size and shape of these stupas seem to breathe their antiquity in a real sense. There are more than 1,200 Buddhist monuments of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around the city.

The most important monument of the city is Patan Durbar Square

Nepal_Patan_Mangal

I arrived at dusk, my favourite time of day. Ticket takers were happy to collect the $5 entry fee … then told me that the museum and some of the other attractions had just been locked up. :-(

Still, it was lovely watching the light fade over antiquity from my rooftop restaurant.

Patan

Bhaktapur is easily the best of the 3 major Kathmandu former capitals. Patan is a pale second best.

Monkey Temple, Kathmandu

The Buddha taught here. It’s said. Emperor Ashoka built a temple here in the 3rd century BC, it’s said.

But the earliest confirmed activity here was 460 AD.

It’s my favourite place in Kathmandu.

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monkey templeI visited 3 times in 2 days. (Don’t ask. It’s embarrassing.)

Dusk is the best time.

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Swoyambhunath … is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in … Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys …

… among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. …

Although the site is considered Buddhist, the place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. …

Ranked #2 of 65 Attractions in KathmanduP1310719

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P1310638see all of my high resolution Monkey Temple photos

the GREAT STUPA of Boudhanath is … GREAT

In 1998 I wrote: “The most rapt devotees at Boudanath, faces lit by butter candle lamp, aren’t the monks but Western women.”

That’s changed. Everyone, monks and Western students of Buddhism, stare at mobile phones in 2014. :-)

Boudanath HAS changed a lot in the past 16yrs. It’s more commercial. More touristy. But still wonderful.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I arrived at dusk. Did my obligatory circumambulation kora. Then picked the most appealing rooftop restaurant.

Stir fried chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots on rice. Medium pot Masala Chai.

The smell of burning juniper permeates the Stupa. Monks chant. Blow conch horns. And bugle like rutting elk through long horns.

The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. …

Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. …

Next time to Kathandu, I’ll stay in mellow Bouda rather than the tourist ghetto of Thamel. :-)

to Ethiopia – Land of BBC Documentary

I’ll be a tourist in Ethiopia Dec 1-14th.

The main goal will be trekking the highlands. The famed Simien traverse.

Ethiopia looks GREAT. :-)

Land of Extremes

BBC documentary showcasing a glimpse of the natural serenity Ethiopia has to provide. From the magnificent, Semien mountains often called the roof of Africa to the lowest place on earth or the erta-ale which contains the only active volcano in the world. From Axum, capital of the great Axumite kingdom, hailed as one of the four super powers of the last millennium to the sturdy tribes men of the south. One of the best documentary about Ethiopia. Definitely a must visit place for every one.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.