Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bhandipur and beyond!

The nighttime view of Kathmandu from the northern ridge of the valley. This photo was taken at the beginning of December 2006 while I was attending a 3 day meditation seminar at Nagi Gompa, a hermitage for Buddhist nuns. I am planning on walking back up there sometime this week to attend a 9 day continuous ceremony there (drupchen). Of the many nuns there, a few are Newar, and they have a great tradition of meditation retreat. Many nuns have done 3 year solitary retreats on more than one occasion.

Some children at a tradition water spout in Patan, the municipality south of Kathmandu. It is estimated that there are around 1000 such taps in the Valley, using very simple technology, some have been functioning for as long as 1600 years, if not longer!

Rhesus Macaq monkeys at the Swayambhu Stupa complex in west Kathmandu.

Mustard growing in Lelegaon, a village at the southern edge of the Kathmandu Valley. These mustard seeds will be pressed at a communal mill in the village to make oil.

Some young women making offerings of incense, water, rice, flowers and light to a small Buddhist stupa this morning in Lelegaon. There is a famous Saraswati (Hindu goddess of Education and Music) temple above the village, and since today is Saraswati puja day, many people from the southern part of the Kathmandu valley came for a blessing.

Pictures from last week's trip to Bhandipur, an old Newar/Magar village 3 hours west of Kathmandu:
Vote for Tree! The symbol for one of the political parties here, campaigning to target the illiterate.

Brothers Daniel, Chris and an acquaintance named Leif sitting under a large sacred Peepal (Bodhi) tree south of Bhandipur.

Sunset looking west (of course!) from Bhandipur village. We hiked up to the top of the hill in the background to watch the solar disk fade into the cloudy horizon. You can catch great views of the might Himalaya from town, but unfortunately it was overcast the whole time we were there.

View from the top of the bus we rode back to Kathmandu from Bhandipur on. Yes, we actually rode on the top most of the way, and it was cold as a bitch! But better than sitting in the tin box of B.O. that many Nepali long distance buses become.

And one from the vault:
A picture of me, taken by Mike Neidermeyer in late May, 2004, on our trip from Kathmandu through southern Tibet to Lhasa. I am walking south through the Dingri plain back to the village. The mountains behind me are called Cho Oyo, part of the Everest Massif. Everest was visible just to the left, but not in this photo. Point of advice: when traveling in Tibet, don't wear shorts, or the bottoms of your legs will get hellaciously sunburned like mine did!

1 comment:

Tashi said...

you are making me miss kathmandu very much. i love the pictures...and i wish i was back.