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Pashuputinath and Boudnath

Written on: Wednesday June 27th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Today, I still feel fairly crap, but decided getting out of the flat was far more enticing than sitting staring at the same 4 walls again! Met Sophie at 12 outside Kanti hospital, and we decided to head to Pashuputinath temple, just outside of Kathmandu.

When we got there, we had a wander around the markets before a guide took us down to the river, where cremations were taking place - lovely. There were about 6 platforms on the side of the river we were at, and the guide explained that each platform was for a different caste - there are 4 castes, and then 2 platforms for atheists and agnostics. 3 of the platforms were full, and it was quite nauseating to watch the bodies burning, but the guide seemed to think that we would be interested. It was quite distressing actually, being there when all the families were there mourning for their dead. Apparently it is Hindu tradition to get the bodies to the cremation platform as soon as possible after death, sometimes as quickly as 2 hours post mortem! We were getting ash blown onto us from the fires, so we moved to the other side of the river. The guide kept telling us we could take photos, but I didn't feel right to do so, so just ignored him!

Further down the river, there were a couple more platforms for the richer people. One platform was for those of a high caste, and one was for royal cremations. There were no royals there today, but the scene was quite different to the 'poorer' side. We were told that in Hindu religion, it is frowned upon to cry, and the rich people were singing as the funeral pyre burned, but the lower castes were a different story. Not very nice at all. We quickly made our exit, after paying the guide an extortionate 1000 rupees!!

From here we decided to make our way to Boudnath Stupa, which we were told was a 20 minute walk. We made our way up the steps, dodging monkeys along the way. I felt extremely rough, so stopped for a drink of water and some crackers - the extent of my diet at the moment (along with plain rice!). However, I soon wished I hadn't, as I was accosted by a group of hungry monkeys. One rather large monkey started jumping up at me, so I hastily lobbed the cracker away from me and made a swift exit!! 

At the top of the hill, I finally managed to sit down and munch a few crackers, but a group of school children decided that they were hungry too, so I divided a couple of crackers up for them as well - they were worse than the monkeys! Haha!

The walk down to Boudnath was quite pleasant, with trees lining the paths, and it was mostly downhill so not too tiring! We were using the Lonely Planet book as a guide, and today it served us well! We wandered through villages, following the directions until finally stumbling upon the stupa.

The stupa itself was gorgeous, far better than the monkey temple, in my opinion. It is polite to walk around clockwise, so we set off around the circle, admiring the view. You could get much closer here than at Swayambhunath, so we managed to take some fab pictures. We stopped for a drink at the New Orleans cafe, and I had a smoothie to get some well needed nutrients! I also stopped into a shop to buy some more souvenirs - will have to try and find space in my bag!!

It was possible to head up to the stupa, so we went inside, and ambled about a bit, taking pictures. The coloured flags were bright in the sun today, and we sat on the steps for a while, taking it all in. The heat was pretty bad today though, so we didn't stay long, heading to Thamel instead to book The Last Resort for the weekend - very excited!! :) 

Anyway, as for the stomach problems, I took a whopping dose of ornidazole (an antibiotic) last night, and some more this morning, and I do feel a bit better this afternoon, so fingers crossed things will start to look up...





From Mum on Jun 27th, 2007

Enjoy your spa weekend Kim. Hope you feel better soon. Love Mum xxx

From Martyn on Jun 28th, 2007

Err you said i was the only monkey in ya life!! Love ya xxxx