(Editor’s note: This photo dispatch from Kathmandu is from Marge and Martin, my sister and brother-in-law. They’re the ultimate expats, based in Atlanta, but living on Corfu, Greece much of the year when they’re not in India, China or wherever the moment takes them. And for those who were not around in the 1970s, the title of this post, one of a continuing series, is a nod to the song by Bob Seger.)
We are in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, 8,000 miles from Atlanta. Kathmandu is where Dr. Strange learned how to save the universe :-).
These photos of our spiritual and cultural tour include several UNESCO World Heritage ancient sacred sites within 10-to-45 minutes by taxi of Kathmandu.
Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. bordering Tibet to the north, and India in the south next to Bhutan. Northern Nepal includes the Himalaya mountains with eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.
Nepal is a sacred place for Buddhists, and it’s where Gautama Buddha was born.
The 1,500-year-old Boudhanath Stupa is a very special place; it is an awe-inspiring and spiritual space and also one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Kathmandu for all Buddhists around the world. It is one of the largest spherical stupas in the world, 100 feet in diameter. Stupas are Buddhist commemorative monuments which contain the relics and remains of Buddha. Prayer flags that are tied to the stupa flutter in the wind, carrying mantras and prayers towards the heavens.
Swayambhu temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites second only to the Boudhanath stupa. It is also known as the Monkey Temple, named for the macaque monkeys all over the place. One snatched our Oreo snack.
I getting my bell rung with sound healing. For those who believe in chakras, healing bowl vibrations activate, boost and clean out the negative energies from the seven energy centers of the body.
These temples in Patan, once an ancient kingdom, are now an open-air museum.
Patan Golden Temple Buddhist Monastery off the main square was completed 1409.
These temples in Bhaktapur, Nepal were founded in the 12th century.
Bhaktapur Pottery Square
Buddhist pilgrims walk in a clockwise direction around the stupa, and turn the prayer wheels while repeating mantras. On our previous trip to Boudhanath, we bought tea and cake for a Dutch pilgrim who had walked around the stupa 30,000 times.
Kopan Buddhist Monastery near Boudhanath offers Buddhist retreats in English.
A quote at Kopan Monastery from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama offers Buddhist retreats in English
KGM Guesthouse in Thamel, Kathmandu offers an amazing Museum of Nepali Art with guided tours and peaceful gardens. (Photos from KGM site.)
See more from Marge and Martin here and here in Dispatches’ archives.
Martin Risbergs is a retired IT executive turned traveler and travel photographer. He and his wife Marjorie are based in Atlanta, but spend much of the year in Corfu, traveling to India, China and other countries in Asia.