I have never seen so many monkeys in all my life! That was my mantra climbing the 365 ancient steps of Swayambunath Stupa, one of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Temples. The temple was inhabited by hundreds of monkeys mainly because it is a temple dedicated to these creatures. Commonly known to tourists as the “Monkey Temple”, this UNESCO site was founded 2,000 years ago. A visit is a must for it will open your eyes to the many Buddhist symbolisms; plus the view of Kathmandu from the top is an added bonus.
The next stop was Durbar Square – Kathmandu, to get a glimpse of the “Kumari” (child goddess) but since we were two hours early, we slowly browsed around the edifice until my guide found a corner where we could have a chat . We waited for the Kumari to emerge from her balcony and I must say that time went rather quickly because of our
interesting conversations ranging from politics, history, culture to domestic life.
By three in the afternoon , we then rushed to the “Kumari Ghar” (House of the Living Goddess) and saw a small crowd gathered in the courtyard. The people were full of anticipation and excitement to get a glimpse of the child goddess. Then I saw an elderly woman open the wooden window and beside her emerged the “Kumari”…..three seconds later, she was gone! Everyone clapped their hands with reverence. I did too, but my brain was full of questions which my poor guide had to answer. To my surprise he calmed me down by saying only one word “tradition”.
After all the cultural explorations, it was just normal to quench my thirst for commerce and so we went to Thamel Market. This market is where the locals go to purchase their day to day sustenance, be it food, clothes, shoes, cookwares, mobile phones, textiles, flowers for offering, jewelleries etc.
My day ended with the most wonderful oatmeal scrub and ayurveda massage…..i was chanting my OM from start to finish. Cost for the two hours treatment was only USD 60 (…so I went back on the day before I left ). Well, this same treatment costs 3x in Dubai so I am