A day in Kathmandu, Swayambhunath, Durbar Square and big stupa at Bodhnath
Kathmandu Travel Blog› entry 18 of 24 › view all entries
October 8th, 2007 – by: portia
Next we went to Durbar Square, perhaps the heart of Kathmandu, and a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage site. We parked a few blocks away, and walked there. The streets were narrow, and full of motorcycles, porters carrying loads, and vendors. Durbur Square was the location of several palaces of kings who ruled Kathmandu, supposedly as early as the 3rd century, palaces had been built at this location, although none from that time had survived. There were temples, palaces, quadrangles here. It was much larger than I had imagined. We visited the residence of the living goddess, kumari, she was supposed to be a young girl chosen to be the living goddess of Kathmandu, until she reaches puberty.
We visited the Ashok Binayak Shrine which was dedicated to lord Ganesha, a stone statue of him was in this shrine, covered with the red pigment Hindis used to put on statues they worship.
We then wandered around the Durbar Square, looking at temples, tantric images on pillars supporting roofs, worshiping natives, carmera-toting tourists, saw holy men, monks, lots of pigeons, be careful to not walk on dog poops, and took some photos.
Next stop was the Big stupa of Bodhnath, the largest stupa in Nepal. It was situated in a neighborhood with lots of Tibetans, shops around the stupa played loud Tibetan mantra CD's and there were lots of Tibetan pilgrims. We had lunch at a rooftop restaurant around the stupa, with a great view of not only the stupa itself, but of Kathmandu and the mountains around it. I highly recommend people find one of these rooftop restaurants (there are many) so they can enjoy the view too. People can walk around the platforms of the stupa, on at least 3 levels.
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