A Nepal Temple a Day…
You know the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well the same can be said for a Nepal temple. There is certainly no shortages of temples in Nepal and around Kathmandu. I may tend to use the word temple quite liberally meaning any site steeped in religious ceremony in a non-predominately christian country.
In Kathmandu there is the famous monkey temple called Swayambhunath Stupa. After a climb of a couple hundred stairs and an inflated entry fee (200 rupees vs the 20 that Nepalis pay), you enter a series of courtyards filled with prayer wheels, religious statues, lazy dogs and persnickety monkeys. It isn’t called the monkey temple for nothing.
I must have been still been recovering from jet lag on my visit there because I neglected to take any photos containing said monkeys, all my shots are simian free. There are some great views of KTM from this place and at the base of the stairs is a little bazaar for shopping and grabbing a bite to eat.
Warning: These monkeys may look cute but they will swipe anything you put on the ground, glasses, water bottle, tissues, you name it. Always be aware if they around before rifling through your bag.
Also, on the outskirts of Nepal, there is another temple or maybe it’s better to refer to it as a monastery for Tibetan monks called Kopan Monastery. This road to Buddha is paved with big, pointy rocks and potholes being motorbike bound, was quite a challenge on my hind section. Thank Buddha it was only the last 3 km that was unpaved.
This place sits high on a hill, so enlightenment isn’t far away. It’s has amazing 360 degree vistas of the valley below and chalk full of monks going about their daily chores (sorting recycling, sweeping and drinking tea). The monastery also has accommodation for those interested in it’s teachings and was relatively quite when I was there. I strolled around the grounds for an hour with my Nepali friend and then we left. Check out some of the shots from here.