Stupa's, a Dead Body, The Living Goddess and the casino
Kathmandu Travel Blog› entry 3 of 7 › view all entries
March 11th 1990. Stupaâ€™s, Dead bodies, The Living Goddess, free meals and the casino.
We were up early again for the resumption of our organised tour, the bus arrived to take us to Buddhist stupaâ€™s in two different cities, Patan was the name of one city the other city was Bhaktur.
Badhnuth Stupa was on top of a quite high hill, with a long winding road up to the beautiful temple, with all of its interesting prayer flags and the big eye painted on the Stupa, all very nice and peaceful with a great view of the countryside, and a big crowd of people visiting.
Not my idea of a religious experience, but to each his own!
We all went for a walk through the streets of Patan and Bhaktapur tooking photos of the big stone Lions at the entrance to the Golden Temple, lots of sweet children came up to us offering their services as a guide around the cultural sites, we took up one of these offers and had a great time with the young lad, no doubt improving his English, and he was well paid for his services.
As the bus took us back through the city of Kathmandu we saw a big noisy gathering of locals and Police, to our horror we saw a dead body lying on the road with blood everywhere, the man had been shot, presumably by the Police as part of the illegal demonstration against the King that all these people had been holding!
Left us a bit shocked as we drove on to the to the Hotel Shanker, where we were told to pack our bags and get ready to move on to the Shangrilla Hotel which is also in Kathmandu not too far from the Shanker, we were never really told exactly why this move came about, we just did as we were told and moved, it is possible that it could have had to do with the demonstrations and was for our protection.
After the big move Dave, Eric, John and I decided eat at Ozces a Nepalese restaurant well rated in Ericâ€™s Indian Guidebook, and well deservedly so, boy did we get heaps of food, all of it delicious. I had another great time; I really like these guys, and I am sure they were having just as good a time as I was.
Wandered slowly back to the Shangrilla shopping as we went, I bought another great jersey hand knitted by some little Nepali village lady high up in the Himalayas, I plan to buy several, some I shall give away, some I shall keep. Bought a pair of Yak wool socks for my Husband back home, I carefully chose wool that was not full of seeds and twigs and didnâ€™t smell too bad, these were thick and dark coloured, just right for a market gardener working out in the fields.
While wandering, we came across an interesting building with a tiny wee low doorway that we had to almost crawl into; it was the kumariâ€™s House, the home of the Living Goddess. We went inside, to the inner court yard, with rooms all around and an upper floor with a balcony all around overlooking this courtyard which is open with no roof, so she does get some sunshine, but we didnâ€™t see the little child aged about 7 or 8 who is the Kumari. Apparently she is selected at birth to be the Kumari and is taken to dwell in this special house, in a kind of luxury, with servants, where she receives no schooling, just learns about things necessary for a Living Goddess, whatever they are, she is brought out for many festivals all dressed up in stately special clothes and makeup, carried on a pedestal high above the crowd. She lives in this house until menstruation starts and she is no longer considered to be a pure and Holy Goddess, when another tiny newborn baby girl just born on that day, is selected to carry on the tradition.
The Shangrilla announced that there would be a free French meal provided to all of us to welcome us after the unplanned move between hotels, it was a nice gesture we all appreciated, but none of us really enjoyed the food, but we still ate it. We would have rather had Nepalese food that they really knew how to cook.
Ericâ€™s guidebook again, told us of a Big Casino somewhere out of town that we could catch a free bus to, so five of us decided to do just that.