20151109

From Dhulikhel to Kathmandu, Nepal -- Monday, 10/19/15



Sad to say we leave this fairy tale resort, but it's time for the bus to hit the road for Kathmandu (20 mi).
(enlarge this picture to see what Jimmy is doing!)


I did want to show you what remains of the restaurant at Dhulikhel, flattened by the earthquake.  That seems to have been the only damage here.


Yesterday afternoon while we had a couple of spare hours, Jimmy and I wandered all over the grounds, admiring the landscaping and coming across various old features like the stone steps (steep like for elves).  The plants and flowers are out-of-this-world ... 




... including great stands of D.Giganteus bamboo.




This little guy is my hero.  He's been the landscaper at Dhulikhel for 37 years and has wrought wonders to the resort.  We met up with him on our walk-about.  He had just enough English and I had just enough plant names that we carried on a kindred-spirit conversation!  Now we bid Dhulikhel and him, "Namaste."

* * * * *


... And we found ourselves in the midst of a traffic snarl like I've never seen.  I mentioned previously that our group has arrived during the Dashain festival.  And each year during Dashain, Kathmanduites return to their nests outside the valley throughout Nepal to celebrate this festival with their families.  People from far and wide come to Kathmandu during the year for work and education, but Dashain means returning home. I can promise you, Kathmanduites are returning home by any means!


And he pretty much just stood there.


We spotted some jammin' rigs while sitting there!  Oh, yeah, baby, this is it!  Our new motor home "do."


The wait would have been hours to get into Kathmandu.  Krish got out to talk to someone about an alternate route, and our driver made a left turn at the intersection where the cop was.  We found ourselves on a rutted donkey track, nearly running over people and cows!  It was, uh, well, it got us out of the jam! 

  
Have I mentioned the fuel crisis yet, which began Sept 23th?  Landlocked Nepal has to import its fuel, most of it coming from India.  Normally approx 300 fuel trucks enter from India each day, but during this crisis, the passage of trucks has dwindled to 5-10 fuel trucks daily.  Nepal accused India of outright treachery and of imposing an undeclared blockade (bad timing, too).  Of course, India denied the allegations.  It all has to do with Nepal passing a long-stalled Constitution on Sept. 20th, and India demanded specific changes be made to the new constitution. I'm sure it's all very complex, but it's created a real mess for the Nepalese, especially as they try to make their way home for Dashain.  We have seen half-mile long queues of motor bikes parked roadside as they wait for days for a few liters of gas.  Luckily our little bus has not been affected.


With the fuel crisis, carpooling has become even more necessary!


We eventually made our way to Kathmandu Durbar Square.  Its old temples and palaces epitomize the religious and cultural life of the people.  But, right now, we saw a lot of earthquake clean-up going on.  Men at work? 


It appeared to be women at work, cleaning bricks ...


... sweeping dust


... and working on archaeological data.


We visited Kumari Ghar (House of the Living Goddess).  Nepal has the tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or devi in Hindu religious traditions.  This Kumari is eight years old.  I don't understand the tradition at all, but if you click here, you can read about it yourself.


She did appear at the window to look down upon us in the courtyard, and then disappeared inside.


And, yes, monkeys climb around her palace.


Chyasin Dega (Temple of Vansagopal) was built in the 17th Century.  It's destroyed, and as far as I know, temples like this and Nautalle Durbar and the Big Drums House, et cetera, will not be rebuilt.


They feed pigeons here; only they call them doves.  They're considered good luck.

After lunch, we'll pay a visit to Swayambhunath, the oldest Buddhist "stupa" - a place of meditation - established more than 2,500 years ago and also known as the Monkey Temple.  Then we'll check into the Soaltee Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kathmandu.  Tonight we have a special family-hosted dinner!

7 comments:

  1. What a fascinating place!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a great visit! What an interesting culture.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:07 AM

    I love the pictures of your trip that have been posted so far. Thank you for sharing these. B.C.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I should think that many pigeons would not be very healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The photos from this day are incredible. Funny, the show Madam Secretary just featured this pre pubescent goddess divine female manifestation. Fascinating. I can only imagine the overload of cultural input you must be feeling. My favorite photo is of the marigolds on the terrace hanging over the mountains. Love that one. Love all of the actually. Incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I too recognized the Kumari phenomen from Madam Secretary! TV hard at work educating us about other cultures on that show.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm with Sue...love the terrace laden with marigolds. Shame about the fuel crisis. As usual, while the governments quibble, the people suffer.

    ReplyDelete

We love hearing from you -- please leave us a note! (Comment moderation is turned on, and your comments, including anonymous comments, will be visible after they have been reviewed and published.)