Durbar Square, Kathmandu

There’s a Durbar Square in three of the main cities of Nepal. Durbar Square in Kathmandu is the largest, and the busiest. I enjoyed just sitting on the rooftop cafe and watching life pass by down below. Walking in Durbar Square was just as adventurous – cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and people all zooming by … the rows of tables of crafts and souvenirs for sale … children running by …

View from the roof cafe

Waiting for fares

  
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My stay winds to a close ….

My stay in Nepal has been cut short, and I am suddenly in a whirlwind of packing, closing up, farewells …. too little time all of a sudden. I have to choose which sights and adventures I can squeeze in, and plan the schedule down to the last minute. It was fast, hectic and tiring, but managed to get through it all, thanks to Trishna. Had to leave some sights for the next time I’m there … if/when I make it back there…
Farewell lunch with the Personnel Section


Last evening sunset in Kathmandu

Swayambhunath (‘Monkey Temple’)

Swayambhunath Temple, one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal. Because of the numerous (holy) monkeys living in the temple, it is also known as the ‘Monkey Temple’. The monkeys are called ‘holy’ because of the legend that Majusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swayambhunath Temple stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice had transformed into these monkeys (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swayambhunath).

I climbed up the western stairs (from the back). The eastern stairs is the more commonly used entrance by the pilgrims, and is a steeper climb.


The eastern stairs, taken from the top

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery, a monastic school for local children. Set high up in the hills, it’s a peaceful place with beautiful gardens and views of the city and surrounding areas.

 

Bodhnath (Boudha) Temple

Bodhnath is the largest Buddhist stupa, or shrine, in Nepal, and is one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites in Nepal. It’s a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists, and one of the most important holy places in Nepal.

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha

Praying and making an offering

Walk clockwise around the stupa.

Making the rounds on the prayer wheels

Prayer flags … the five colours represent the five natural elements of earth. Depending on what you need to achieve harmony with all elements, a prayer is printed on the flag, and flown. The belief is that the winds will blow and take your prayers forward to the gods.
The main prayer room
Inside the prayer room

The main ‘altar’

Horns, drums, and cymbals used during the prayers

Butter lamps

Stand Up for Poverty

On Friday, 17 October 2008, I took part in the Stand Up Against Poverty event, held at the UN House, in Pulchowk, Nepal.

” 17 October, 2008 Kathmandu— More than three hundred people including school children and disabled gathered at the United Nations office in Kathmandu this morning to remind world leaders about their commitment to end extreme poverty by 2015, and to join millions of people around the world attempt to set an official Guinness World Record for the most number of people to STAND UP Against Poverty. People gathered at the United Nations Office in Nepal were invited to literally STAND UP while UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Robert Piper, read a pledge against poverty: “We are standing because we refuse to accept more excuses in a world where 50,000 people die every day as a result of extreme poverty and the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider,” he said.” Read more at http://www.undp.org.np/news/latestnews.php?NewsID=1125&showNews=1

Participants gathering

School children collecting their t-shirts and balloons

Balloons released after the reading of the pledge

School children watching the balloons in the sky