Monday, October 17, 2011

Temples and More Temples!

This morning, we walked to the Indian Embassy to obtain an Indian visa.  There were 35 people ahead of us, so Mom and I went back to the hotel and did some school work, while Dad held our place in line.  We ordered our visas today, and tomorrow we will fly to Pokhara, a chill town by a beautiful lake.  We will still be in Pokhara when the visa process is completed, so we arranged for a trusted person to pick up our passports when they are ready, and give them to us when we return.  After we got the visas off our minds, we had some sight seeing to do.  We wanted to see a temple said to be infested with monkeys and a Hindu temple where dead bodies are burned.

To the Monkey Temple, we took a bike rickshaw. This is a tricycle with a small bench at the back of the bike.  A Nepali driver sat on the front seat and peddled.  The streets of Kathmandu are very chaotic.  It felt nice not to have to walk and to be above the confusion.

A View From The Rickshaw

We arrived at the Monkey Temple to find stupas crawling with monkeys and tourists.  We walked for a while and came upon a huge set of stairs a couple hundred meters high.  At the top of the stairs, there was a large stupa and a complex of holy buildings.  There were towers and prayer wheels, and even some houses that looked like they were inhabited.  Most of the monkeys hung out at the bottom of the stairs.  I found the Monkey Temple interesting as it is a mix between a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple.  At the top of the stairs, Dad bought me a yummy butterscotch ice cream cone.  The man who sold it to us, warned me that the monkeys are great ice-cream thieves.   

From the Monkey Temple (Soyambou in Nepali,) we caught a taxi to Pashupatinats,  a Tempel on a river where Nepali Hindus burn dead bodies.  The first taxi we hired was scary.  Before getting in, we agreed on a price.  Once we were driving, the taxi driver raised the price.  We tried to ask him to stop the car but he would not.  Dad actually had to pull on the emergency brake until the man pulled over.  We got out and the driver left, pulled a U-turn and asked us to get back in the car.  We found a better more reliable taxi and felt much safer.

We soon arrived at Pashupatinats.  On large, stone platforms by the river, we saw several burning bodies.  These bodies had already been burning for awhile so we could not make out the shape of a human body.  We saw many Hindu stupas which were much smaller than Buddhist stupas we had seen earlier. The Hindu stupas were decorated with stone carvings of Gods and Goddesses and were similar in shape to the Buddhist Temples.  Cutting through the temple area, runs a tributary that flows into the Ganges in Varnasi.   This temple site is one of the holiest places in the world for HIndus.  We met a group of Indian Hindus on pilgrimage to the temple.

After enjoying the temple, we caught a cab back to the hotel and had a nice dinner.  I am feeling depressed and homesick.  When I looked forward to this trip, I looked forward to a vacation.  Now I realize that travel is no vacation.  For me, I miss my bed at home, my stuffed animals, my baseball cards, and most of all my friends.  Dinner is over and I am slowly feeling better.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!          

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rohan,
    Great pictures - not just today, but throughout your trip. You are becoming an accomplished photographer.
    I understand what you said about wanting to be in your own bed, etc. (My bed felt good after only 5 nights in a hotel.) But think of the wonderful stories you will have to share with your friends when you do get home.
    Love, Grandma Doris