Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Nepal. Visions of Beauty.


Wow! What a great first day I had in Nepal!

Today, was a feast for the eyes. I took so many photos that I exhausted nearly 3 camera batteries so I'm only going to post up a few snapshots for now to try and give you a sense of what I saw - will post up more when I get home.

Here, every city has a Durbar Square that is essentially the heart of the city and it is chock full of temples - so many that after a while you get dizzy trying to soak it all in! As places of worship, temples here are adorned with fine artwork - both inside and out. I started my day in Patan's Durbar Square and the first thing that strikes you when you enter the Square is the architectural beauty of the temples.


You look up, you look down, you look around. Everywhere, there is art. Walking through the back streets of both Patan and Bhaktapur, I was so captured by the beautiful wood framed windows and doors of old Nepalese homes. The carving work is absolutely amazing!


There's wood carving everywhere - even in the pillars that hold up temple roofs.
Pavement and floors are decorated - usually with images of the mandala (Wheel of Life).
....and the humble drainage pipe is not left untouched.

Stone and bronze sculptures can be seen everywhere as well.

....and bells, large and small adorn the outsides of temples and homes.
Though this is a predominantly Hindu country, Bhuddism does have its place here and each religion has borrowed elements from the other. It was not uncommon to walk into a Bhuddist temple and see Hindu images and vice versa. However, in all Bhuddist temples here, the prayer wheel (which is a symbol of Tibetan Bhuddism) is a prominent sight. I saw many devotees spinning them on my visit to the Boudanath stupa.

I had an absolute blast today, waandering through the streets of Patan and Bhaktapur. The sights and sounds of Nepal are a feast for the senses. Right, I'm tired to the bone and am ready for dinner, a shower, some TV and bed.