Dadu Aur Madak
Kathmandu remains a magnet for people seeking spiritual enlightenment,
and temples are ubiquitous. In parts of the city center you can barely
walk a hundred meters without encountering at least one temple or
shrine of one sort or another. The outskirts of town are also host to
many of them and they represent a variety of faiths and philosophies.
Having long been a trade crossroads, a fair number of them are
representative of styles from China and Tibet among other places. The
most intense concentration of them is in an area known as Durbar
Square. It is a designated a World Heritage Site. Another quite
spectacular site is the Buddhist temple Swayambunath which occupies one
of the few hilltops within the valley.
on Swayambunath (above left) began in the 5th century AD. It is also
affectionately referred to as the monkey temple for the troop
that has free rein over the place. The shot below
taken from Swayambunath is a telephoto of the rooftops of the temples
of Durbar Square at the city center roughly four kilometers away.
temples and statues of Durbar Square are too numerous to name. Below is
sampling of them.
rickshaw drivers are more than pleased to quote you a return trip price
on rides to Durbar Square. There is no charge for waiting time. Left:
Sadhus around the square are equally content to pose and wave for
whatever few coins you might offer them. They seldom ask for anything
however, and rely on your generosity. Finally, the temple at right is a
good example of the blending of cultures. While it is a Hindu temple,
it features themes that most interpret as Buddhist. Like a number of
temples here the very bottom of the exterior roof struts contain erotic
carvings that are thought to be a Tantric element. Bear in mind that
these images are centuries if not millennia old.
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