We started our day with a lovely breakfast provided by our hotel. After that, it was time to tackle Kathmandu!
We met our guide Rajeev (whom had been our guide in Patan) and this time we also had a driver! The sites we were going to were fairly spread out around the city, so a car was a must!
Our first stop was to Swayumbunath, or the Monkey Temple. It is the smaller of the two huge stupa in Kathmandu.
From there we went to Kathmandu Durbar Square, or the king’s square where we visited some of the temples ( not open) as well as were awestruck by the destruction of the 2015 earthquake.
We then went into the former palace, which was being rebuilt with the aid and support of the Chinese Government. The scale of the palace was very impressive, and the devastation was immense.
From Durbar Palace, we went through the streets of old Kathmandu seeing the markets flourish with clothing, dry goods, spices, fish and vegetables. A trip for the senses indeed!
From there we went to one of the largest stupa’s in the world, Bodnath Stupa. Both stups’s we visited were said to have been built in the 5th century with divine intervention. We happened to have lunch at a roof top restaurant by this stupa and got some glorious views!
From there, we went to the holiest Hindu Temple in Kathmandu, Pashupatinath. While we were not allowed in the temple itself, we could see some of the splendour from the door; the huge bronze bull, the silver filigreed doors, all beyond belief!
After a visit to the temple entrance we walked to the Bagmati River side within the grounds. This is the location of cremation, where they may cremate as many as 30 – 50 people per day. The piers or ghats are lined up along the river. The pier itself is built and tended to by special wardens who are hired to ensure an efficient and pure cremation. Once the cremation is complete, the ashes are pushed into the river to float along this holy river to the Ganges in India and join this holiest of rivers in this region. The procedure was spell binding, and many Hindu people request that they be cremated here.
From here we said goodbye to our guide Rajeev, and headed back to our hotel with our driver. Tonight would be a relatively early night at we are off to Chitwan National Park to see some wild game and enjoy some fresh air. Today was around the mid 20’s, and it could get higher in temp as we travel to the southern border of Nepal to the park.