Nepal, January/February 2012



A view of Nepal in 17 pics



Kathmandu is a busy, crowded, polluted city which affects how you see it. Two temples on the outskirts of KTM: Pashupatinath and Boudhanath are different and fascinating worlds.


The Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Shiva, is on the bank of the holy river Bagmati. The temple has been there forever and is truly a special place of pilgrimage and a popular place to die by and be cremated there.


A Tibetan-style stupa has been a place for pilgrimage since about 600AD. At present there are many Tibetans living in the neighborhood and the stupa's grounds are the place of daily gatherings for prayers.



Bhaktapur: a walk around town

Bhaktapur has been a town-kingdom since XIIc until the unification of Nepal in the XVIIc. It has many beautiful buildings and plazas, showing its former wealth and today's charm.



Patan Museum

Another former town-kingdom in the KTM valley, Patan is a very nice town, full of temples and stupas, with a must-see museum.



Manakamana is a temple dedicated to Kali, located on a top of a hill, served by a gondola built by Austrians. Time to visit is on Saturday when many pilgrims come to pray and make offerings. About 30 min walk above the main temple there is a small shrine dedicated to Shiva, featuring a priapic stone altar.



A king of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah, conquered Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan (and in the process killed many) to unite what is today's Nepal. Thanks to soldiers from Gorkha (and lack of roads), Brits never conquered Nepal; having been being impressed by these soldiers' bravery, Brits still recruit Gorkhas for their army.



Bandipur has been a rich trading center until a modern road from Kathmandu to Pokhara was built; today it is a very nice place to visit and offers panoramas of the Himalaya.



If you're a Brahmin unsure of your children's devotion to Hinduism, you'll retire to this town, at a sacred point of confluence of two rivers: Kali Gandaki and Trisuli. Apparently it is obvious that people you see here are from the highest caste.



Lumbini, the birthplace of the historical Buddha. Many Buddhist nations built temples by invitation from Nepalis; judging by the size and beauty of these temples, Germany is the most influential Buddhist nation on Earth.



Elephants, rhinos, and crocodiles....




The Himalaya are rugged and huge: we hiked from Lukla to Namche and back, with a very interesting side-trip to visit a 700-year old monastery in Pemcholing, several hundred feet above the valley.


On the Road



This collection documents several meals we ate. Often when these pictures were taken when the photographer and the subjects were hungry which affected what you see. Note that if in Nepal you want coffee with milk you ask for milk-coffee.


Our Trip

This collection documents that we were there; though often the subjects were not at all interested to be photographed or simply were going about their own business -- the last two pictures illustrate this point very well.


Faces of Nepal

A few people we came by


This pics are put together for CS.


On the way there we made an overnight stop on Doha


Day 1  (Mon. Jan 16) 9:45 pm flight from DC to Doha, Qatar
Day 2  (Tue. Jan 17) 5:30pm arrive Doha, night there
Day 3  (Wed. Jan 18) 10:30 am flight from Doha to KTM, arrive  KTM 5:00pm, check into hotel, dinner
Day 4  (Thu. Jan 19) KTM
Day 5  (Fri. Jan 20) Bhaktapur
Day 6  (Sat. Jan 21) 6:15 am flight to Lukla (delayed 4hrs), hike to Phakding
Day 7  (Sun. Jan 22) Hike to Namche
Day 8  (Mon. Jan 23) Hike to Everest View Hotel
Day 9  (Tue. Jan 24) Hike to Phakding, visit Pemcholing Monastery on the way
Day 10 (Wed. Jan 25) Hike to Lukla, a walk to Nangbu
Day 11 (Thu. Jan 26) 7:00 am flight to KTM (delayed 4hrs), in KTM shop for thangka
Day 12 (Fri. Jan 27) Patan
Day 13 (Sat. Jan 28) drive to Manakamana, visit there, drive to Gorkha, night there
Day 14 (Sun. Jan 29) Visit Gorkha, drive to Bandipur, walk through town, night there
Day 15 (Mon. Jan 30) Drive to Lumbini, night there
Day 16 (Tue. Jan 31) Visit Lumbini, night there
Day 17 (Wed. Feb 1)  Drive to Chitwan, hike through jungle, night in Sauraha
Day 18 (Thu. Feb 2)  Elephant ride through jungle, walk around village, night there
Day 19 (Fri. Feb 3)  Drive back to KTM, visit Devghat on the way
Day 20 (Sat. Feb 4)  KTM: Pashupatinath and Boudhanath
Day 21 (Sun. Feb 5)  Changunarayn and Bhaktapur, 11:55pm flight to Doha
Day 22 (Mon. Feb 6)  Arrive Doha 3:30 am,  9:00 am flight to  DC, arrive 2:30pm