Five Nights in Nepal

Perihan Ersoy
5 minutes

On the roof of the world, in Nepal, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, we look at the city of Kathmandu from the temple of monkeys. According to legend, there was a large lake here and a temple on the hill above the lake that was built before humans. Krishna, angered by the people coming and going astray, opened the Chobar passage with a thunderbolt and the lake emptied. The Kathmandu valley was formed where the lake was. There are three big cities in this valley. Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. This is the temple of the monkeys.

Nyatapola Temple, Taumadhi Square. The wrestler in front has the strength of 10 men. The elephant on top of him is stronger than man. The lion on top of him is stronger than the elephant. The mythological god at the top is the most powerful of all.

What you see below is the golden temple. In Nepal, wood carving is at its most proficient level.

Getting around Kathmandu, Patan requires a bit of acrobatics because there are no traffic lights here. Transportation is mostly by motorcycles. Walking down the road and suddenly being surrounded by hundreds of motorcycles is the routine here. But the people are so calm that it is almost impossible to see angry faces shouting at each other here. This is their routine, even though we find it very strange. They continue to live their way of life without any disruption. Everywhere you turn while walking in the city, you see a temple. There are temples all over the country and the eyes of the Buddha are watching you from everywhere. In the streets, offerings to the gods are sometimes slaughtered, sometimes waiting to be slaughtered. There are many different fruits on carts and saleswomen walking long distances to sell you two bracelets.

Patan Lalitpur means city of beauty. The first place they took us in Patan was a Hindu temple. According to Hindu beliefs, no one but themselves can enter this temple. The temple is located on the banks of the Bagmati river, a tributary of the Ganges. The dead are cremated here. They wrap their dead in a yellow cloth, place them by the river, uncover their feet in accordance with their beliefs and wash them with water from the river to wash away their sins. This is because they believe that the body disappears, but the soul reincarnates into another body.

Pashupattinath is the temple of Shiva, the destroyer and re-creator. In this temple, we were greeted by the Sadus. Sadus are Hindu dervishes who try to reach Nirvana by purifying themselves by renouncing worldly pleasures. They rub a red mixture of flowers on the foreheads of the guests and bless them by placing their hands on their heads. Of course, the thanks for this blessing is in dollars.

The most important gods in this polytheistic country are Shiva (Shiva), Parvati, Vishnu (Vishnu) and Ganez. According to legend, Shiva and Parvati are married. Returning from a journey, Shiva finds Parvati in bed with a man and beheads him, only to realize that he is her son. He would be very upset. He cut off the head of an elephant that was there and placed it on his son’s trunk and Ganez came back to life. Ganez is the god of beginnings, the god of luck who removes obstacles. Shiva is the greatest god. Its symbol is the trident. It has four arms. God of destruction and construction. He will destroy evil in the world and establish a new order of pure goodness. He dances away evil. The way he sits is like a yogi.

Another feature and beauty of this country, as famous as its temples, is its magnificent nature. After climbing 2000 meters by car, our tracking journey was towards the Changu Narayan temple, a world cultural heritage site, in the jungle for 1.5 km, on a road that could not be considered a road, in a nature adorned with flowers of unprecedented beauty and overflowing with the sounds of birds.

After the big earthquake in 2015, like all the other buildings, it was partially destroyed. But thanks to the restoration work afterwards, it was made ready for tourists again.

After the temple, we stopped at our hotel overlooking the Himalayan mountains for a cup of tea.

Every city in Nepal has a Kumari. Kumari means little living goddess. These goddesses are specially selected among girls who have no scars, marks or moles on their bodies. Trained in their beliefs, she becomes Kumari, the reincarnated goddess of the temple. These tiny goddesses, whose feet are never placed on the ground, who are never allowed to be near people, who are seen from behind a cage, are removed from goddesshood when they reach a certain age (the first and/or the first wound on their body) and return to their normal lives on the condition that they never marry, never leave the city and never receive an education. To date, only two goddesses have broken this rule and traveled to England to complete their education.

On this trip, according to the guide, Kumari accepted us for the first time in Patan. Respecting their beliefs, we bowed before the Kumaris and were blessed by Him with red paint on our foreheads.

Seeing new places, new cultures, different beliefs is what attracts me the most… The truth may be one, but its beauty is hidden in infinite differences.

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