Culture, Chaos, and Devotion in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal was an attack on the senses, but in a good way. My friends and I had a full day to experience Nepal from its narrow streets and alleys to their devotion.


Monkey Overload in Swayambhu Temple


Swayambhu in Kathmandu is a sacred temple for monkeys.


As my friends and I made our way up the temple, we saw plenty of monkeys wandering around the temple's complex.


The temple was founded by King Vrsadeva in the 5th century. The temple is recognized as Buddhist but it is revered by both the Buddhists and the Hindus.




After staying a few days in Nepal, I've gotten accustomed to the crowds, the dust, and the narrow streets. It was an entirely different world, compared to what I was accustomed to.



As you can see, Buddha is all over the place in this temple, and so are the monkeys.


There was something about the chaos, the mess, and the crowds that made the place complete.

*There is an entrance fee of NPR 200 to enter this temple.

Wandering in Boudhanath




From one temple to another, my friends and I ended up visiting one of the largest stupas in the world, Boudhanath. The stupa lies on the ancient trade route all the way from Tibet into the Kathmandu Valley. There's nothing like walking on the cobbled streets of ancient history.


Boudhanath was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site back in 1979. The site is considered sacred and holy by the Tibetans and the Nepalis. There are myths revolving around Boudhanath that good ole Wikipedia will tell you about, I'm just too lazy to discuss it here.



My friends and I took our sweet time roaming Boudhanath. Aside from the stupa, I found the stores, houses, and buildings surrounding it just as intriguing. The hustle and bustle of locals and visitors alike breathed life into this site.

*There is an entrance fee of NPR 150 to enter Boudhanath.

Pashupatinath


The next stop of our wandering in Kathmandu was Pashupatinath, one of the most revered temples in Nepal.




Upon entering the temple grounds, the usual droves of people speaking in Nepali greeted us, but I was sort of unprepared for seeing corpses (I have been to quite a few funerals) being lifted and placed on something like altars. These corpses were then cremated right in front of everyone in the temple complex.


I'm not used to seeing people being cremated in front of me (it was the first time actually) but it was beautiful in its own way.



The temple complex was located along the Bagmati River. Pashupatinath is one of 275 Holy Abodes of Shiva in the continent.


Cows everywhere! We saw them walking along the streets in the city, in highways, and in some houses as well.



The temple complex was huge and required a bit of time to explore. There were several carvings of Shiva all over the place. Pashupatinath is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. The exact date of its founding is still unknown but the temple dates back to 400 AD.



The priests in Pashupatinath are called Bhattas, while the chief priest is called Raval or Mool Bhatta. The Raval is only answerable to the King of Nepal. 


I loved wandering around Pashupatinath and places that have rich history and culture. There's something about walking along ancient cities, streets, and temples that make me think about how prosperous life already was before modern technology.

*There is an entrance fee of NPR 1,000 to enter Pashupatinath.

*My friends and I rented a car for US$60 split three ways so it is approximately NPR 1,880 per person to visit these three places and Bhaktapur.

10 comments

10 Comments


  1. I also went with a fellow traveler and we paid 1,000 rupees each for the whole day. I still have so much to write about Nepal!

  2. Nepal is absolutely incredible, and Kathmandu is a concentrated distillation of its very essence, I think. It is crazy and dirty and frantic and beautiful and colorful and I, for one, had never been anywhere like it ever before. The city has such a fantastic energy and is a wonderful place to explore and so photogenic too. We made it to Bhaktapur, but didn't visit any of the other places around KTM that you visited, so it was great reading about your experiences and seeing your photos! Glad to see you had such a great time!

  3. Joshua, how many days did you spend in Nepal and how much did it cost you? I'll be there this Oct for just 5 days and I'm quite confused what itinerary to prioritize with that short period of time. Any tips? :)

  4. Kathmandu is a mixture of heritage and nature. I hope to see the place too.

  5. It's such a place to discover according to my staff before, but still poverty always present in some sectors of the society. Nice sharing the place.

  6. Gosh! There are many great temples pala sa Nepal. also, imposing Buddha statues. Sure you have a great Nepal experience bro.

  7. Wow, Nepal really looks so Asian! I think I don't know anyone personally who's been there. Looks like our country but with a richer tradition I suppose. Would you reco this country as a nice place to visit?

  8. How high is the giant Buddha? The temples here look familiar as they're like those in Thailand. It's hard to pronounce the names of the temples.

  9. Cremated in front of everyone? O___O

    But the place has its own charm. It's also interesting though! :D

  10. Looking at the temples make me want to visit the place too. I'm so much interested with the history of this place.

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